Ole Miss DC Dave Wommack to retire after near 40-year career
Published 7:43 pm Saturday, November 26, 2016
The Dave Wommack era at Ole Miss now has an end date. The defensive coordinator announced his plans to retire at the end of the season through a release by the school ahead of Saturday’s Egg Bowl game with Mississippi State. Wommack is ending a near four-decade career after the Rebels’ fell to the Bulldogs.
“I’ve been so excited about building this program and the way we built in the first four years,” Wommack said after the game. “It was just kind of a downer this year. I think this game just accumulated the whole thing for the season.”
The defense has been the Rebels’ weakest link all season, ranking 57th nationally against the pass and 94th in scoring defense. The biggest eyesore this season under Wommack was the run defense, ranking 113th in the country and have allowed at least 200 rushing yards in nine games this year.
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“I am grateful to Dave for the outstanding leadership he provided our student-athletes and the positive influence he was for our staff,” Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said in a statement. “I learned so much from him about the coaching profession and will always appreciate his friendship.”
All of the returning players will have next year’s Egg Bowl circled on the schedule come next fall, but there will be one player in particular who cannot wait to face Mississippi State again. Junior wide receiver De’Amorea Stringfellow has played in two Egg Bowls and has gouged the Bulldog defense each time. In the two games, Stringfellow has four touchdowns on 11 catches for 181 yards. On Saturday, Strinfellow had two touchdowns and 97 yards on six catches.
Like quarterback Chad Kelly and defensive end John Youngblood, tight end Evan Engram ended his Ole Miss career standing on the sidelines. The senior did not dress out as he was battling a hamstring injury all week. Freeze said on Monday that if Engram could play, that he would, but it seemed the injury was too much and the Rebels were without one of their key offensive weapons in Saturday’s loss to Mississippi State.
This is the second straight year the road team has won the Egg Bowl after the home team won every year from 2011-14. …The season attendance at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium was 454,368, breaking the previous record of 430,829 set in 2014. …Ole Miss topped 500 total yards (528) for the fifth time this year. …Ole Miss is now 2-20 under Hugh Freeze when its opponent scores 30 or more points.