Ole Miss Men’s Basketball Announces Throwback Game at the Tad Pad
The Rebels Will Host Sam Houston State on Friday, November 17 at 8 p.m. and Honor Former Head Coach Rob Evans and His Teams
OXFORD, Miss. – (Release) For the first time since December 2015, the Ole Miss men’s basketball team will play a game in the Tad Smith Coliseum, hosting Sam Houston State on Friday, November 17 at 8 p.m. for their first Throwback Game in the Tad Pad, presented by Cellular South, now C Spire. The team will be honoring former head coach Rob Evans, who won national and conference coach of the year honors in 1997 and spent six seasons at the helm in Oxford.
“When Coach Beard first mentioned the idea, we all thought it could be a great way to bring exposure to the program and incorporate some of the people that helped put Ole Miss basketball on the map,” said Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Keith Carter. “Tad Smith Coliseum hosted many great games over its 50-year lifespan and it will be fun to bring back some nostalgic feelings for our longtime hoops fans, plus showcase the history of the building to some of our younger fans.”
First opening on February 21, 1966, the Rebels played 700 games in their former home on campus, going 490-210 for a win percentage of 70 percent. Ole Miss closed a 50-year chapter on the Tad Smith Coliseum, commonly called the Tad Pad, on December 22, 2015 with an 83-80 win against Troy. Just over two weeks later, the men’s basketball program broke in the court at the Sandy and John Black Pavilion at Ole Miss with a 74-66 victory over Alabama in front of a sellout crowd.
“C Spire has supported and invested in college, high school and pro sports across Mississippi and the Southeast for 30 years,” said Hu Meena, CEO of C Spire. “Ole Miss was one of the first universities we began a relationship with in 1993, back when we were known as Cellular South. Just like Ole Miss’s arena, we also rebranded in the 2010s – changing our name from Cellular South to C Spire to reflect our growth beyond cellular to fiber internet and other technology solutions. We’re proud to be the presenting sponsor for the Throwback Game in the Tad Pad. As part of this throwback game, it only feels right to throw back our brand to the Cellular South days with the return to the Tad Pad.”
Amidst the nostalgia of returning to the Tad Pad, former Ole Miss head coach Rob Evans and each of his teams will be celebrated at the game, including former staff members and players. During six seasons from 1992 to 1998, Evans won 86 games with the Rebels, turning them into a powerhouse by the end of his time in Oxford.
During the 1996-97 season, Evans led Ole Miss to their first 20-win season since 1938, claiming the program’s first SEC West title. For his efforts that year, Evans was named the National Coach of the Year by College Hoops Insider and the SEC Coach of the Year by the Associated Press.
In his final season, Evans led Ole Miss to 22 wins and won his second straight SEC West title after claiming a program-record 12 conference victories. He took the Rebels to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 1997 and 1998.
From 1998 to 2006, Evans was the head coach of Arizona State, before moving on to assistant jobs at Arkansas and TCU. He finished his coaching career as associate head coach with North Texas from 2012-2017, and now serves as the Special Assistant to the Athletic Director at SMU.
Evans and his wife Carolyn will be honored on the court at halftime.
In honor of Coach Rob Evans’ 1997 coach of the year awards, the price for admission will be $19.97. Should seats be available the day of the game, tickets will be sold for $25 at the Tad Smith Coliseum Ticket Office. Admission to this game will not be included in 2023-24 season ticket packages.
Vaught Society members and current men’s basketball season ticket holders will be able to purchase their tickets on Tuesday, September 5, followed by a release to the general public on Thursday, September 7 should supplies last.
A VIP package is also available for purchase as an add on, separately from purchase of a game ticket. This will include an invitation to a Thursday night reception for Coach Evans and his players, followed by an invitation to watch the team’s shootaround following the event. On the day of the game, this package also includes an invitation to an on-court experience from 6:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., where you can enjoy refreshments while watching the teams warm up.
The VIP package also includes an exclusive t-shirt and credential to access each event. The price for this package is $200 per person.
Further details including parking and student tickets will be released at a later date.
Friday night’s game will not be televised or streamed.
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. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.