Luke new TE coach

Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer Thursday announced former Mississippi assistant Matt Luke as the newest member of his football coaching staff. Luke takes the position previously held by Greg Adkins, who Wednesday was promoted to offensive line coach.

"I am pleased to have Matt join us," Fulmer said. "He is a fine coach, an excellent recruiter and brings a lot of enthusiasm to our staff."

Luke, 29, just completed his fourth season on the Ole Miss staff as tight ends coach and offensive line assistant. This past year, Luke also accepted the duties of recruiting coordinator under first-year head coach Ed Orgeron.

"I'm really, really excited about working with Coach Fulmer," Luke said. "I played offensive line, and Coach Fulmer is widely known as one of the top O-line coaches in the country. He's a great head coach and I'm excited about what I will learn from him and what I can offer the Tennessee program."

Luke was an outstanding player and team captain for the 1998 Rebels squad that finished 7-5 and defeated Texas Tech in the Independence Bowl. Despite battling injuries and illness, Luke enjoyed a brilliant career at the center position, earning four letters and starting 33 games.

He was selected 1998 Ole Miss Most Valuable Senior by the Jackson (Miss.) Touchdown Club among his numerous playing awards. Twice he earned Academic All-SEC honors and was a member of the Dean's honor roll from 1995-99. He graduated in May 2000 with a bachelor's degree in business administration.

After finishing his playing career, Luke remained at Ole Miss as a student-assistant coach under David Cutcliffe during the 1999 season.

"There's not a finer man in the profession than Coach Cutcliffe," Luke said. "He has been a tremendous influence on my life and my coaching career. I'm looking forward not only to learning from him but being around him again. We're going to get this thing going and win SEC championships."

Luke's first full-time position was at Murray State, where he coached the offensive line during the 2000 and 2001 seasons. He then was re-hired by Cutcliffe and the Ole Miss staff to coach tight ends and the offensive line and this year was the only assistant coach retained by Orgeron for his debut season in Oxford.

"I'm really looking forward to working with everyone on the UT staff," Luke said. "I've heard a lot of great things about Coach Adkins. Anywhere you go, he's highly respected and highly thought-of and I'm looking forward to working with such a great coach.

"Recruiting is the life-blood of any program and I know how important it is from my experiences as recruiting coordinator at Ole Miss. I'm looking forward to recruiting the best players in the country because you've got to when you play in the Southeastern Conference. It's the best conference in the country and you've got to have great players."

Luke's father, Tommy, was a defensive back at Ole Miss in the 1960s and his older brother, Tom, quarterbacked the Rebels from 1989-91.

A Gulfport, Miss., native, Luke is married to the former Ashley Grantham of Oxford, Miss. The couple celebrates their first wedding anniversary in March.

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