Trooper Taylor (USA Today)

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze is well into his search to replace Matt Lubick as WRs coach

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze’s search for a wide receivers coach resumed in earnest this week following the surprising departure of Matt Lubick to Baylor.

Lubick was hired for his second stint as a Rebel assistant days before Christmas, and was even officially announced by the school. He spent all of a few days in Oxford, however, as Baylor offered a boost in both pay and title, meaning Freeze’s coaching staff is again one man short. 

Though there’s no definitive timetable for a hire, a number of qualified candidates have emerged, sources detailed to the Ole Miss Spirit. Atop the list are Texas Tech offensive coordinator Eric Morris, former Purdue interim head coach Gerad Parker, West Georgia head coach Will Hall and Arkansas State cornerbacks coach Trooper Taylor.

Morris recently wrapped his fourth season on Kliff Kingsbury’s staff, including his third in the role of offensive coordinator. The Red Raiders, who, like Ole Miss, run a variation of the Air Raid, had one of the most prolific offenses in college football last season. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw for 5,052 yards and accounted for 53 touchdowns, finishing No. 1 in FBS in total offense for the second consecutive season.

Photo By Steven Chapman

Parker was promoted from wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator to interim head coach of Purdue in October, taking over for Darrell Hazell, who was fired. The Boilermakers hired Jeff Brohm of Western Kentucky to its top post this offseason. Parker spent four seasons at Purdue. In his first season as wide receivers coach in 2015, Parker guided DeAngelo Yancey to a bounce-back season, improving from all of 12 catches as a sophomore to 48 for a team-high 700 yards and five touchdowns a year later. Danny Anthrop led all Boilermakers with 57 receptions that year, the most by a Purdue player since Antavian Edison had 58 catches in 2012. 

Hall is certainly no stranger to Ole Miss fans. An Amory, Miss., native, Hall is the son of legendary Mississippi high school football coach Bobby Hall. Hall has spent the last six years as a head coach at the Division-II level, first at West Alabama, and the last three years at West Georgia. Hall resurrected a struggling Wolves program, leading West Georgia to back-to-back 12-win seasons in his first two seasons. The Wolves were 7-4 and fifth in the Gulf South Conference in 2016. Among the players he’s sent to the professional levels is Malcolm Butler of the New England Patriots, whose interception in the final seconds of Super Bowl XLIX sealed a Patriots win.

Taylor has a proven track record both as a wide receivers coach and on the recruiting trail. He’s perhaps best known for his three-year stint as the assistant head coach and wide receivers coach at Auburn from 2009-12, but he’s currently the assistant head coach and cornerbacks coach at Arkansas State. His other stops include Oklahoma State as co-OC and WRs coach, Tennessee (RBs/WRs/AHC), Tulane (WRs), New Mexico (RBs) and Baylor (GA/DBs/WRs). Taylor counts Roydell Williams amongst his former pupils, as well as Robert Meachem, who he coached to All-American honors in 2006. He coached the nation’s top receiving trio in 2001 at Tulane. Taylor has been recognized as a Top 25 recruiter six times.

Freeze is looking to replace former Ole Miss wide receivers coach Grant Heard. Heard left to join the staff of former Freeze assistant Tom Allen at Indiana. Allen was promoted to Hoosier head coach following the dismissal of Kevin Wilson Dec. 1.

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