The Ole Miss coaching staff has taken plenty of flak over the last couple of seasons, but perhaps no member has been as constantly criticized by fans as special teams coordinator and safety coach Corey Batoon. His tenure in Oxford officially came to an end on Friday afternoon with the the news that he’s joining Lane Kiffin’s new staff at Florida Atlantic.
A tweet from FAU’s official account described Batoon as a special teams coordinator and safeties coach. He joins D-line coach Chris Kiffin as the second Rebel assistant to head to Boca Raton this offseason. Chris, who is Lane’s brother, was announced as the Owls’ defensive coordinator earlier this month.
We already knew that Batoon had been relieved of his on-field coaching duties—Hugh Freeze said so during a press conference two weeks ago. But at the time, Freeze claimed he was trying to keep his longtime assistant on staff as an off-field assistant.
“We love him and his knowledge of the game,” Freeze said. “Hope he’ll be able to stay here and assist us in some role, not sure what that is yet, but we’d love to keep him in the building.”
Batoon, who coached special teams and defensive backs for Freeze at Arkansas State, spent his first three seasons in Oxford in player development and recruiting positions before a promotion in 2015. The Rebels young safeties struggled under Batoon’s direction this past season, which is a big reason why Ole Miss ranked 99th in plays of 20-plus yards allowed and 107th in defensive explosiveness.
We want to thank Oxford and Rebelnation for 5 great years. Our time here has been a blessing. We are very excited to begin our new journey— Corey Batoon (@coreybatoon) December 30, 2016