Monday, November 26, 2007

Boone Discusses Coaching Possibilities with Team

Ole Miss Athletics Director Pete Boone met with members of the Rebel football squad for about 30 minutes Sunday night to discuss the search for a new head football coach and give them an opportunity to ask questions, either publicly or privately.

Ed Orgeron, who had served as head coach of the Rebels for the last three seasons, was informed on Saturday that he would not be retained. An immediate search has begun for his replacement.

Boone was joined at the team meeting by assistant coaches Hugh Freeze and John Thompson, head football strength and conditioning coach Aaron Ausmus, head football athletic trainer Tim Mullins and coordinator of football operations Kyle Strongin. Several other football staff members and athletics administrators also attended the meeting.

A majority of the squad attended the meeting at the Indoor Practice Facility after having returned to campus following the Thanksgiving break.

“It was an opportunity to give the players at least some reasoning behind why the decision was made,” Boone said. “I also expressed my commitment to them to be successful, while making football fun for them and put more college life back into their lives, along with hard work that comes with it.”

A good portion of the meeting dealt with finishing the semester strong in the classroom and things like getting treatment for any injuries and going over post-season strength and conditioning opportunities.

Freeze and Thompson reminded the players that they represent the University of Mississippi and the plan is to move forward together.

Earlier in the day, Boone confirmed he plans to hire Chuck Neinas, president of Neinas Sports Services in Boulder, Colorado, to assist in the search to hire a new head football coach at Ole Miss. “Chuck Neinas knows people,” Boone said of the person considered by some to be the No. 1 headhunter in college football.

“We’re not going to announce possible candidates,” Boone said to the media, noting that if asked questions about who has contacted him or who he has contacted, his response is “I am not going to get into that on a daily basis. All I’ll deal with is the process, which needs to be well thought through as we look for the kind of person needed to lead these kids.”

Boone did say he already has a fluid list of possible candidates which could change daily. “The list may be 20 names today, 10 tomorrow and then 15 the next.”

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