New Rebel Wide Receivers Coach Matt Lubick is a football coach almost by osmosis.
His Dad, Sonny Lubick, is one of the most well-respected college coaches in America and the current head man at Colorado State, where he has been for over a dozen years.
"I was raised in a coaching family and have been surrounded by football my whole life," said Matt, who will turn 34 the 26th of this month. "Since I was born, I was taken to football games. The moods of my family were kind of dictated by wins and losses. My Dad always included me as much as he could because coaching is such a demanding profession – time-wise – and that's how we spent quality time together. I'd hang out at camps and practice and whatever. I loved every minute of it."
Lubick had a highly successful playing career at Western Montana, where he was a four-year starter at cornerback. He earned All-American honors his senior season.
"We certainly didn't play at the highest level of college football, but it was a fun time in my life," Matt, who is single, notes. "I had some very good coaches who inspired me to get going in this profession."
Ironically, Matt's Dad tried to steer his son away from coaching, but it didn't work.
"He tried to point me in another direction for several reasons. One, the highs and lows are tough and there are a lot of them in this profession," Matt continued. "There is also a lack of stability coaches have to deal with on a constant basis. I went to three high different high schools because my Dad was moving up the ranks of his profession."
But Matt could not get the "good stuff" of coaching out of his mind.
"Even though Dad tried to encourage me to get into another field, he is such a positive person about this profession and that rubbed off on me," he noted. "He'd say ‘I get paid to do something I love doing.' And even though this is a taxing profession, it was in my blood."
Matt had a 3.8 GPA in college in exercise sports science/pre-med and was in line to go to Dental School, but education overload got to him.
"To be honest, I got burned out on school. Dad understood and told me that if I really wanted to try coaching to give it a shot, that I could always go back and get in Dental School if I didn't like it," Lubick explained. "Nine years later, here I am.
"I have been very fortunate in the profession to this point. I got to coach with my Dad and Dennis Erickson, who I think is one of the best in the business. Along the way, my family has also gotten very close with Noel Mazzone – we think the world of him as a coach and a person," Matt noted. "When he got let go at Auburn, I tried to help him with Coach Erickson at Oregon State and he had a good run there before Coach Erickson went to the 49ers."
Lubick quickly moved into some of the best jobs, for a young coach, in the country. In 1996, he was an assistant at Cal State-Northridge then went to San Jose State for two years, Oregon State under Erickson for two years and then full circle back to Colorado State where he was a GA in 1994 and 1995.
"At Oregon State, we went to the Fiesta Bowl and beat Notre Dame. That was real special. It was tough to leave Coach Erickson, but Dad had a position open and I thought that would be a great deal to work for my Dad and learn from him this early in my career," said Lubick, who coached wideouts for four years at CSU. "It was better than I thought it would be. Dad is special for a couple of reasons. One, he's a good football coach. Two, he's a wonderful family man who has taught me a lot of life lessons. He's the reason I am here today and he became my best friend during my tenure at CSU. He helps me with any little thing – from coaching to something with my bank account. I always took that for granted until I worked for him.
"I was fired up to come here because Coach (Ed) Orgeron is the best – I love his energy and I always wanted to coach in the SEC, but it was tough to leave my Dad, a lot tougher than I thought it would be. Dad and Coach Erickson advised me to come and told me it would be a great situation."
Matt got to know Orgeron via recruiting in California against Southern Cal.
"He kicked my butt in recruiting. I'd just try to pick up on his leftovers. Ed is the best I've ever seen. I have admired him from afar for several years. I learned a lot from him even when competing against him. The way Ed treats players and high school coaches and family members of prospects, it's special," Matt stated. "I think he also liked the job I was doing competing against him in recruiting. I am very thorough and I work hard at it. Ed believes in that – he understands recruiting is the lifeblood of a program and works at it constantly.
"We had our first recruiting meeting as a staff here the other night and I was amazed. He is so passionate, so thorough and so in-depth. I have never seen anything like it. I've been a recruiting coordinator at Oregon State and at Colorado State and thought I knew some things about recruiting, but this guy blew me away," Matt said. "When I heard he had this job, I called him to congratulate him and see if there were any openings. He called me back and asked me if I would be interested in coming to Ole Miss. I really didn't know if I had the guts to pull the trigger on leaving Dad, but Coach Orgeron has a way of firing you up. He treats coaches the same way he treats recruits. I was ready to come if the opportunity was available. Fortunately, it was."
Lubick had an opportunity to meet Ed on the playing field at Oregon State and then at Colorado State when Ed was at Southern Cal.
"His guys play hard and they love to play for him. Ed's a motivator and he's driven. He's hard on people, but in a good way because he expects and demands everyone's best," said Lubick. "Colorado State played USC this year and they beat us pretty good. What people don't realize about USC is that not only are they very talented with an abundance of great athletes, they are very, very good schematically. They are the best we faced in seeing weaknesses in opposing offenses and exploiting them. Ed didn't have the title of DC at USC, but he was definitely deeply involved and I can tell you from experience they were the best-coached team we saw."
Lubick accepted his post at Ole Miss before Mazzone was hired as the Rebel offensive coordinator.
"Coach Orgeron called me and said he was thinking about Noel as the OC. I told him that would be a great deal. I was keeping my fingers crossed. I think that's a great fit with the staff we have here," he noted. "I was glad when Ed hired Noel."
Lubick has spent most of his time since he's been at Ole Miss trying to get caught up in recruiting. He's pleased with the direction things are going, thus far.
"I am recruiting parts of Florida and everyone I talked to was fired up about Ole Miss. It carried some weight that I was coaching at Ole Miss. The kids knew about us and are fired up to play in the SEC. The SEC's exposure will be nothing but positive for us," Lubick noted.
Lubick closed by saying he can't wait to bring in recruits to show them the facilities at Ole Miss.
"This (we were sitting in his office in the IPF) is unbelievable. This is the best facility I have ever seen. I've done internships with the Broncos and the Rams in the NFL. Their facilities are impressive, but nothing like this. I have not seen a college with these types of facilities. To have all of this in one big building is unique and it's all been done first class. They did not cut back on anything," he ended. "I'm excited about selling this product."
Lubick 'jumped' at Ole Miss opportunity
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