OXFORD, MS (WLBT) - Mike MacIntyre, a two-time national coach of the year and coaching veteran with nearly three decades of experience, has been named Ole Miss’ defensive coordinator, head coach Matt Luke announced Monday.
MacIntyre spent the last six seasons as head coach at the University of Colorado, earning 2016 consensus national coach of the year honors after leading the Buffaloes to their first 10-win season in 15 years. He also received 2009 national assistant coach of the year accolades while defensive coordinator at Duke University, where he served alongside Luke.
“I could not be more excited to add Mike’s leadership, values and high-level experience to our program,” 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. Mike is also a tremendous recruiter and should make an immediate impact as we assemble this important class.”
A 29-year coaching veteran, including five seasons in the NFL, MacIntyre returns to Oxford for his second stint with the Ole Miss program after working on the Rebels’ staff with Luke from 1999-2002.
“I am honored and excited to have this opportunity,” MacIntyre said. “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.
“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.”
Turnarounds have been a trademark of MacIntyre’s career. In 2013, he took over a Colorado team that was coming off a 1-11 season, and four years later, directed the Buffs to a 10-3 mark and their first appearance in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Colorado was tied with five others for most improved in the nation overall and the most improved all-time in Pac-12 league games in 2016. The Buffaloes became just the ninth team among Power-5 schools since 1972 to win 10 or more games after finishing the previous season with four or fewer wins.
In 2015, the CU defense improved by as many as 50 spots nationally in many major defensive areas. The biggest jump came in points allowed per game, slicing off 11.5 from the previous year, the fifth-best improvement in all of FBS.
The turnaround at Colorado came just a few years after MacIntyre similarly resuscitated a San Jose State team from a 1-12 record in 2010 to one that finished 10-2 in 2012 and was nationally ranked and garnered AFCA National Coach of the Year distinction for MacIntyre. His SJSU teams won 12 of his final 14 games there.
In recording their first 10-win season since 1987, the Spartans did it with a defense that ranked among the national leaders in many statistical categories. The opportunistic Spartans were the co-national leaders with 20 fumble recoveries and were tied for fourth in turnovers gained (33).
MacIntyre arrived at San Jose State after two years as the defensive coordinator at Duke, where he was reunited with David Cutcliffe, who was the Rebels’ coach during MacIntyre’s first go-around at Ole Miss.
In his first season in Durham (2008), the Blue Devils allowed 67.4 fewer yards and 9.8 fewer points per game than the previous season. The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) named MacIntyre its 2009 FBS Assistant Coach of the Year as the Blue Devil defenses were among Duke's best statistically over a 20-year span.
Prior to returning to college ball, MacIntyre spent five seasons in the National Football League with the New York Jets (2007) and Dallas Cowboys (2003-06) coaching defensive backs. Working for legendary coach Bill Parcells, the Cowboys returned to the NFL playoffs in 2003 and again in 2006 after missing out on postseason competition during the 2000 through 2002 seasons.
MacIntyre served as Ole Miss’ secondary coach during the 2001 and 2002 seasons after spending his first two years in Oxford as the wide receivers coach. The Rebels posted a 29-19 record in that time with bowl appearances in the 1999 and 2002 Independence Bowls and the 2000 Music City Bowl. The 2001 Rebels ranked fifth nationally in pass defense, allowing just 161.3 yards per game.
At Ole Miss, among his recruits were two high profile student-athletes, quarterback Eli Manning and linebacker Patrick Willis. He has mentored many current and former NFL players including recently retired former Dallas and Cincinnati safety Roy Williams, a five-time Pro Bowl player.
He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Georgia, working two years (1990-91) in that capacity. He then coached one year as the defensive coordinator at Davidson (1992), four years at Tennessee Martin (1993-96) and two seasons at Temple (1997-98).
Reports are saying this is a three year deal that will pay $1 million per season.