Hugh Freeze’s longtime defensive coordinator Dave Wommack announced that he will retire after the 2016 season, Ole Miss Sports reported on Saturday before the Rebels’ Egg Bowl disaster against Mississippi State.
Wommack has been head man of the Landsharks since Freeze took command of the ship in 2012, and his 2014 unit led all of college football in defensive points scored per game, averaging 16.0 an outing. The Landsharks also allowed the fewest touchdowns that year with just 24, and led the SEC in interceptions with 22, forced turnovers with 32, and third-down conversion rate with 33 percent.
As Wommack told Ole Miss Sports:
“I'm grateful to God for more than 38 rewarding years as a college football coach,” Wommack said. “I worked alongside remarkable men to shape the lives of my players for the better. I'll carry with me the relationships and lessons this game has given me as I look forward to enjoying this next chapter with my family.”
Though fielding one of the country’s most prolific defensive units in 2014, the Rebs experienced some regression the past two seasons, especially in 2016 with its attendant injuries across the defensive two-deep. This season, Ole Miss ranks 13th in the conference in interceptions, 12th in sacks, and 10th in passes defended. The Rebs let Mississippi State romp for 566 yards—including 457 on the ground—in Saturday night’s 55-20 Egg Bowl disaster.
The Ole Miss Spirit’s Ben Garrett notes that more coaching changes could be forthcoming.
The impending retirement of Dave Wommack is but the first in a number of coaching staff changes to come for #OleMiss.— Ben Garrett (@SpiritBen) November 26, 2016
Wommack’s 39-year career ends with trips to 22 bowl games — 23 if the Rebs beat State on Saturday.