Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze added a familiar name to his football staff Monday as former Rebel player and assistant coach Matt Luke returns to Oxford as the offensive line coach. Barney Farrar has also been named Assistant Athletics Director for Community Relations.
“For a coach like Matt Luke to return to Ole Miss — a place where he is so loved and loves so dearly — is a home run for us,” Freeze said. “He is tireless recruiter and is a great representative of our university.”
Luke spent the last four seasons as Duke’s offensive coordinator/running game while coaching the offensive line. His line ranked among the ACC’s top-five in fewest sacks allowed throughout his tenure, including finishing third in 2009 and 2010.
Luke came to Duke following two seasons at Tennessee where he served as recruiting coordinator while coaching the tight ends and assisting with the offensive line. During his two-year stay (2006-07) in Knoxville, the Volunteers went 19-8 with an SEC Eastern Division championship and two appearances in the Outback Bowl.
On the recruiting front, Tennessee’s 2007 class was rated third-best nationally by Rivals.com and fourth-best in the country by Scout.com.
A native of Gulfport, Luke lettered four seasons (1995-98) as a center at Ole Miss. A starter in 33 career games for the Rebels, he served as team captain in 1998 as Ole Miss posted a 7-5 ledger and defeated Texas Tech in the Independence Bowl. He was named the 1998 Ole Miss Most Valuable Senior by the Jackson (Miss.) Touchdown Club and twice earned Academic All-SEC honors.
Following his playing career, he served as a student assistant coach at Ole Miss in 1999, helping the Rebels to an 8-4 ledger with regular season wins against Auburn, South Carolina, LSU and Arkansas as well as a 27-25 triumph over Oklahoma in the Independence Bowl. He graduated in May 2000 with a degree in business administration.
Luke then spent two years (2000-01) coaching the offensive line at Murray State before returning to his alma mater to guide the Rebel tight ends and offensive line for four seasons (2002-05). Ole Miss won two bowl games during that stretch, defeating Nebraska in the Independence Bowl to close the 2002 season and upending Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl a year later to cap a 10-3 campaign that included a share of the SEC Western Division championship.
Luke is married to the former Ashley Grantham of Oxford and the couple has two sons, Harrison and Cooper. His father, Tommy, was a defensive back at Mississippi in the 1960s while his brother, Tom, quarterbacked the Rebels from 1989-91.
Farrar begins his second stint with the Rebel football staff, having served as Assistant A.D. for External Affairs in 2006.
He spent the past four seasons at Southern Miss, including three as tight ends coach and the last as head of player development and building and maintaining relationships at the high school level.
Farrar was named by Rivals.com as one of the top “Non-Big Six” Recruiters of the Year for the class of 2010 and was one of only four C-USA coaches selected.
“Barney’s ties with the coaches in this state made him a no-brainer for our high school and junior college relations position,” Freeze said. (December 13, 2011, Page 6)