BLOG — Outgoing Ole Miss track coach Joe Walker said Tuesday morning that the hiring of Brian O’Neal as the new track coach at Ole Miss was a good thing moving forward.“Brian is a former athlete of mine and he coached with me for 13 years. He has gone on to the University of Florida and done an outstanding job. He is a native Mississippian and he’s an Ole Miss graduate so there is no doubt in my mind that he will be successful,” Walker said.
Walker, who is leaving Ole Miss to become an assistant coach at Louisville with his son, said that he knew O’Neal had applied to become the head coach prior to him being officially hired by Ole Miss athletic officials. Walker then added that he has kept up with O’Neal since he left Ole Miss for Florida.
“He and I have always had a good relationship,” said Walker of O’Neal, who has been coaching the jumps at Florida, this year’s NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Champions. “I think he is a great person, a fine young man. He’s one of the top young coaches. I think it’s really good that (Ole Miss) has made the decision. I was hoping they would have made it a little bit earlier, but it’s good for our team to know who will be leading the ship and everybody can move on.”
O’Neal will be introduced as the head coach at Ole Miss in a press conference today at 3:30. (June 12, 2012)