Matt Luke was taking his children to school Monday morning in Oxford, Miss., when he was asked if he was interested in jumping back into coaching again.
“You know, I haven’t quite made up my mind about that yet,” said Luke, only recently fired as Ole Miss football’s head coach. “But I can tell you this: After five days I was pulling my hair out.”
Luke can conserve the rest of his hair. Twenty-four hours after that telephone conversation, the 43-year-old coach had accepted Kirby Smart’s offer to become offensive line coach and become associate head coach at Georgia.
Luke replaces Sam Pittman, who left the same posts to become head coach at Arkansas.
“We are extremely excited and fortunate to have Matt join our staff,” Smart said in a statement released by the school Tuesday. “He’s a proven football coach who has a wealth of experience on the offensive side of the ball, especially in the offensive line. He has a great reputation among those who have played for him and it’s obvious watching his teams over many years that players love him and play hard for him.”
Said Luke: “All of this happened kind of fast.”
Indeed, Luke was fired Dec. 1 after three seasons as the Rebels’ head coach. He was 15-21 at Ole Miss, including 4-8 this past season.
The hiring already was being applauded throughout the Bulldog Nation. Tweets by former UGA linemen David Andrews and Brandon Kublanow offered ringing endorsements.
A former Ole Miss offensive lineman, that has been the position he coached throughout his career.
Luke began his career as a graduate assistant at Ole Miss in 1999. His previous coaching stops which led to his head coaching position at Ole Miss included Murray State (OL, 2000-01), Ole Miss (OL/TE, 2002-05), Tennessee (OL/TE, 2006-07), Duke (Co-OC/OL, 2008-11), Ole Miss (Co-OC/OL, 2011-16), and Ole Miss interim head coach (2017). He was named head coach at Ole Miss where he served from 2018-19.
A native of Gulfport, Miss., Luke was a standout at Gulfport High School before enrolling at Ole Miss. He graduated from Ole Miss in 2000 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. Along the way he served under head coaches David Cutcliffe at Ole miss and Duke, Ed Orgeron at Ole Miss, and Hugh Freeze at Ole Miss.
Luke is married to the former Ashley Grantham of Oxford, Mississippi, and the couple has two sons, ages 11 and 8. His father, Tommy, was a defensive back at Ole Miss in the 1960s while his brother, Tom, quarterbacked the Rebels from 1989-91.
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