Ole Miss tabs defensive line coach Tray Scott to fill out coaching staff

Published 2:00 pm Sunday, January 1, 2017

Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze has stuck with familiarity to round out his coaching staff.

North Carolina defensive line coach Tray Scott has been hired to coach the same position at Ole Miss, the school officially announced Sunday. FootballScoop first reported the hiring Friday. Scott, a graduate assistant under Freeze for two seasons, fills the Rebels’ final assistant coaching vacancy as part of a significant staff shakeup.

Scott, who is replacing Chris Kiffin, is the fifth new full-time assistant Freeze has brought in following a 5-7 season — the first losing season of Freeze’s five-year tenure — with three of those being coaches Freeze has worked with before. Defensive coordinator Wesley McGriff, who will coach Auburn’s secondary through Monday’s Sugar Bowl before arriving in Oxford, was Ole Miss’ cornerbacks coach in 2012 while former Oregon offensive coordinator Matt Lubick is returning for his second stint as Ole Miss’ receivers coach after working with Freeze on Ed Orgeron’s staff from 2005-06.

Email newsletter signup

Offensive coordinator Phil Longo and special teams and linebackers coach Bradley Dale Peveto, who coached in the same role at LSU the last three seasons, were also hired earlier this month.

Scott was a defensive line graduate assistant for the Rebels in Freeze’s first season as Ole Miss’ head coach before leaving to be the defensive line coach at Tennessee-Martin in 2013. Scott has coached North Carolina’s defensive line the last two seasons.

“We knew we had a star on our staff when Tray was with us as a graduate assistant, and we are thrilled to welcome him back,” Freeze said in a statement. “With the experience he has gained as a coach and recruiter since his first stint here, Tray will bring great energy and leadership to our defensive line and allow us to continue our success at that position.”

Meanwhile, former safeties coach and special teams coordinator Corey Batoon is joining Kiffin on Florida Atlantic’s staff as defensive backs and special teams coach. Batoon coached both at Ole Miss the last two seasons, but Freeze said Batoon would be moving back to an off-field role if he stayed with the Rebels.

“We want to thank Oxford and Rebelnation for 5 great years,” tweeted Batoon, whose Twitter profile was updated with his new job titles Friday. “Our time here has been a blessing. We are very excited to begin our new journey.”

McGriff will help cornerbacks coach Jason Jones coach the secondary.

North Carolina wasn’t great at stopping the run (113th nationally) or getting to the quarterback (84th in sacks) during an 8-5 season that ended with a 25-23 loss to Stanford on Friday, but Scott was part of a North Carolina staff in 2015 that directed the biggest defensive turnaround among Power Five teams as the Tar Heels allowed 14.5 fewer points on average than the previous season. The defensive line had 19 of North Carolina’s 23 sacks that season.

During Scott’s two seasons as the defensive line coach at UT Martin, the Skyhawks collected more than 50 sacks and 160 tackles for loss. Scott, who played at Arkansas Tech, was also a defensive graduate assistant at his alma mater for three seasons as well as at Arkansas State under Freeze in 2010.