Coach Dub

Veteran Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack, who has run defenses at South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Arkansas and Southern Mississippi, will now try his hand at righting the ship on the defensive side of the ball at Ole Miss.

For the record, it's not Woe-mack.

We'll let Dave Wommack, the new defensive coordinator at Ole Miss on Hugh Freeze's staff, explain how to pronounce his last name.

"It's hard to say. It's like wigwam. It's Wawm-ack, but you can just call me Dave or what the players do, Coach Dub," he smiled.

Regardless, Wommack, who has over 30 years experience coaching in the college ranks and has been a part of 28 bowl-bound teams, is excited about his latest opportunity.

"I'm tickled to death to be here with Coach Freeze. We know we face a lot of challenges, but we look forward to that," said Dave. "This is a special place and we have an opportunity to do some great things here.

"We are starting at the bottom, but we will work our way up. We are a one-day-at-a-time staff and we try to win every day. We think there is a bright future here, but we know we have a lot of work to do."

Wommack and Freeze got hooked up after Dave took a year off in 2010 to recharge his batteries.

"I was sitting in a deer stand in Kimberling City, Missouri, my hometown, when I got a call from a couple of friends telling me I needed to get hooked up with Coach Freeze. I had never heard of him," said Dave. "I was looking for a good person, a Christian-based guy, I could mesh with.

"He's a real good offensive guy and I have had some success coaching defense and we just meshed the first time we met. We have only been together a year, but we won a conference title and 10 games in the regular season. It's been a fit."

Wommack has a lot of faith in Freeze.

"Hugh has a tremendous faith and belief in himself and he is so sincere. What you see is what you get, but don't let him fool you - he's not one of those aw-shucks guys," said Dave. "He's very sharp and smart. He has a plan in place, he believes in it and he has a knack of taking kids to the next level. We will capture these kids and make them believe in us and our system."

Style-wise, Wommack says the Rebels will be multiple and schemes will be dependent on the personnel available.

"You have to look at the players you have to work with and look at the offenses you will be facing," he continued. "Then you forumlate your plan. I have coached so many defenses and different schemes over time, I don't want to stand here and say we will be a 4-2-5 or a 4-3 or whatever. We will be a multiple defense and give the offense different looks."

Wommack has looked at "four or five games" of the Rebels from last year. His impressions are not fully formed, but he did have some thoughts he'd share.

"We have some good players at different spots, but we still have to recruit some good players to give us a chance," he explained. "When you look at the fact that Auburn won the national title last year and either LSU or Alabama is going to win it this year, we know we have to step it up in some areas.

"I don't mean to be vague, but our task is to find the best 11 people who will fly to the ball and fit them into the best scheme we can come up with. I am just starting my evaluations, but I think we do have some competent players out there."

Wommack said the Rebs will recruit, ideally, players with a combination of speed and power. He understands the importance of both attributes.

"You have to have speed in this league, but after being at South Carolina and Arkansas, there is no question you have to have some body mass and strength to be able to hold up against the run," he stated. "From what little I have seen, I think some of our young inside guys have it, but we have to have some bigger guys outside."

Wommack will be guiding, so far, Defensive Line Coach Chris Kiffin and Linebackers Coach Tom Allen. (Freeze will also hire a cornerbacks coach while Wommack will coach the safeties and the secondary schemes.)

"I like the view from the back side of the defense," said Wommack. "I have coached all positions, but I have found there is so much more going on in the secondary and I want my hands on that," he noted. "With Coach Kiffin and Coach Allen, it's kind of unique because I have never been anywhere where I didn't know any of the coaches and that was the case at ASU.

"Your assistants have to buy in before the players buy in. They both did a great job of learning new schemes - neither one had been in the scheme we used at A-State before. They have been totally loyal and they are great people to be around. They are very good coaches who will capture their players."

Wommack said the lack of experience on this level for Allen and Kiffin does not faze him.

"There are great coaches everywhere - a lot of them have never been on this level," he explained. "I think they are two great coaches who will do a great job here. I have complete faith in them and I have worked with a lot of coaches in my 30 years on the college level."

OM Spirit Top Stories