OXFORD, Miss. — Just one day after announcing the hire of new defensive coordinator, Mike MacIntyre, Ole Miss now begins the search for a new offensive coordinator. The Rebels’ OC Phil Longo is leaving to take the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach position at North Carolina under Tar Heels’ new head coach Mack Brown.
Tuesday afternoon, Longo confirmed to The Rebel Walk he is leaving for North Carolina and indicated with only a week remaining until the early signing day for 2019 recruits, he will start work on Wednesday.
Brown, who won a national championship as head coach of the Texas Longhorns, expressed excitement about his new offensive coordinator/QB coach.
“Phil has been one of the most successful play callers in college football for many years and at every level.“
UNC head coach Mack Brown on Phil Longo
Longo, who earned $700,000 per season at Ole Miss, had one year remaining on his contract.
Hired at Ole Miss by former head coach Hugh Freeze in December of 2016, Longo fielded prolific offenses while at the helm of the Rebels’ offense. Under his “Air Raid” system, Ole Miss averaged 32.8 points per game in 2017 and 33.9 points per game in 2018.
Averaging more than 500 yards per game, Longo’s offensive units were ranked second in the Southeastern Conference in total offense in each of the last two seasons.
Asked last week what he was looking for in an offensive coordinator, Brown said he wants “balance and fun on offense.”
In 2018, Ole Miss successfully threw 42 passes for 30 yards or more, which was best in the nation. The Rebels also tallied 20 passes that went for 40 or more yards and 11 passes that went for 50 yards or more–good enough for fourth-best in the nation.
Brown filling out his staff at UNC
Brown, who was announced as the Tar Heels head coach on November 26, returns to a team he coached from 1988-1997.
He has also hired former Army defensive coordinator Jay Bateman in the same position. Following a four-year stint at Louisville, Lonnie Galloway will coach the Tar Heels’ wide receivers, while Brandon Jones has been tapped to handle offensive line duties. Jones arrives in Durham from Texas Tech where he coached the same position.