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Rebels’ DC Mike MacIntyre ‘honored and excited’ to be back at Ole Miss

Rebels’ DC Mike MacIntyre ‘honored and excited’ to be back at Ole Miss

OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke announced Mike MacIntyre as the Rebels’ new defensive coordinator Monday. 

MacIntyre, who spent the last six seasons as head coach at Colorado, is a two-time national coach of the year who has almost three decades of coaching experience. He was consensus 2016 National Coach of the Year following the Buffaloes’ first 10-win season in 15 years. In 2009, he was named National Assistant Coach of the Year while serving as the defensive coordinator at Duke—where he coached with Matt Luke. 

“I could not be more excited to add Mike’s leadership, values and high-level experience to our program,” Coach Luke said. 

Throughout our years together at Duke and Ole Miss, I have seen firsthand his ability to turn around a defense, and I look forward to seeing his veteran influence on that side of the ball.

Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke on Mike MacIntyre

With the early signing day of December 19 quickly approaching for the 2019 recruiting class, Luke and his staff will absolutely benefit from having MacIntyre in place. “Mike is also a tremendous recruiter and should make an immediate impact as we assemble this important class,” Luke noted. 

MacIntyre has proven adept at recruiting, the lifeblood of any program. While at Ole Miss, he recruited Eli Manning and Patrick Willis. He also recruited Mike Espy, who took to twitter Sunday when news broke about MacIntyre’s hire.

MacIntyre: ‘Honored and excited….’

As for MacIntyre, it will be his second stint in Oxford, following his 1999-2002 tenure at Ole Miss. “I am honored and excited to have this opportunity,” he said.

During 2001 and 2002, MacIntyre was the secondary coach for the Rebels after having spent two season as wide receivers coach for Ole Miss. He served as the Rebels’ secondary coach during the 2001 and 2002 seasons after spending his first two years in Oxford as the wide receivers coach. In 2001, the Rebels ranked fifth nationally in pass defense, giving up a paltry 161.3 yards per game.

From our time working together, I have a lot of respect for Matt as a coach and as a man. The future is bright under his leadership, and I look forward to working with the players to help take this program to the next level.

Coach Mike MacIntyre on working with Coach Luke 

History of defensive improvement

Colorado: MacIntyre, who has also coached in the NFL, has helped turn around struggling defenses throughout his career, taking a Buffaloes team that was 1-11 before hiring him and turning it around in four years to a unit that finished 10-3 and played in the Pac-12 title game. 

In 2015, the CU defense made a dramatic improvement —  by as many as 50 spots nationally in many major defensive areas — with the biggest improvement coming in points allowed per game. MacIntyre’s Buffs gave up 11.5 fewer points per game from the prior season, good enough for fifth-best improvement in all of FBS. 

San Jose State: Prior to his time at Colorado, MacIntyre helped take San Jose State from 1-12 in 2010 to 10-2 and nationally ranked in 2012. He was honored with National Coach of the Year distinction from the AFCA for his work at San Jose State—where his teams won 12 of his final 14 games at the school. 

An integral part of making such a dramatic turnaround was a San Jose State defense that ranked among the nation’s best in a number of critical categories. The Spartans were tied for the national lead in fumble recoveries with and finished fourth in the country in turnovers gained (33). 

Duke: Before going to San Jose State, MacIntyre spent two years as defensive coordinator at Duke with David Cutcliffe, who was Ole Miss’ coach during MacIntyre’s first stint in Oxford. 

In 2008, his first year with the Blue Devils, MacIntyre’s defense allowed 67.4 fewer yards than the season before. Additionally, they also allowed 9.8 fewer points per game than the previous season. 

In 2009, after coaching a Duke defense that was among the best statistically in two decades, MacIntyre was named FBS Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association. 

NFL tenure

MacIntyre brings experience from the pro football level, as well. He coached defensive backs for both the Jets (2007) and the Cowboys (2003-06), and he worked for defensive genius Bill Parcells when Dallas made the playoffs in 2003 and 2006. 


Coach MacIntyre is a 1989 graduate of Georgia Tech where he lettered twice (1987-88) at free safety and punt returner for head coach Bobby Ross. Prior to his time at Georgia Tech, MacIntyre played two seasons at Vanderbilt (1984-85) for his father, George, who was the head coach of the Commodores from 1979-85. Prior to taking the head coaching job at Vandy, the elder MacIntyre also served as Ole Miss’ offensive coordinator in 1978.

MacIntyre, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Georgia Tech and his master’s in education with an emphasis on sports management from Georgia in 1991, and his wife Trisha have three children: Jennifer, Jay and Jonston.

MacIntyre, 53, commented on what it means to have the opportunity to return to Oxford. 

Oxford is a special place. My family and I loved our time there, and we can’t wait to be back and part of this wonderful community.”

Coach MacIntyre on returning to Ole Miss



1990-91: Georgia (GA)

1992: Davidson (DC)

1992-93: Plattling Black Hawks (AHC/OC)

1993-96: UT Martin (DC)

1997-98: Temple (DC)

1999-2000: Ole Miss (WRs)

2001-02: Ole Miss (DBs)

2003-2006: Dallas Cowboys (DBs)

2007: New York Jets (DBs)

2008-09: Duke (DC)

2010-12: San Jose State (HC)

2013-18: Colorado (HC)


About The Author

Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn's love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship--and continued as she watched Katie receive three degrees from Ole Miss, culminating with her Pharm D. in 2012. Evelyn, a member of the FWAA, USBWA and the NCBWA, has covered Rebel sports for numerous outlets. In addition to working for The Rebel Walk, Evelyn is a sports writer for a newspaper in Texas.

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