Freeze Transcript on the Hiring of Phil Longo and Wesley McGriff
The Rebel family helped provide a sustainable water system to their friends in Camp Marie
Members of Rebel Team and Staff Back in Haiti for Mission Work for Third Straight Year
Batoon Has Served on Rebel Staff since 2012
Batoon, Siskey Join Rebel Staff From A-State
In his first season coaching safeties, Batoon helped guide a Rebel defense that returned four interceptions for touchdowns, including two by All-American safety Trae Elston. The four pick-sixes tied a school record that dates back to 1938. In total, Ole Miss ranked second in the SEC with 15 interceptions and third with 23 turnovers throughout the 2015 season.
Elston earned first team All-SEC honors, while fellow senior safety Mike Hilton was a second team All-SEC pick last season.
Ole Miss was among the nation’s best in kick coverage, ranking top 32 in both punt return defense and kickoff return defense. The kicking game was especially strong in 2015, as sophomore Gary Wunderlich led all SEC kickers and ranked top 20 among all players in the nation with 120 points on 19-of-25 field goals and a school-record 63-of-63 PATs.
A 20-year veteran in the college coaching ranks, Batoon had served as Ole Miss’ Assistant Athletics Director for Recruiting Operations in 2013 and 2014 after being the Assistant A.D. for Player Development in his first year in Oxford.
He has helped the Rebels land four straight top-15 signing classes, including the 2013 and 2016 hauls that ranked top five in the nation. He has also contributed to the program advancing to four straight bowls for the first time since 1997-2000.
Batoon arrived in Oxford after three seasons as an assistant coach at Arkansas State, where he coached cornerbacks, safeties and special teams during his tenure. Serving under Freeze in 2011, Batoon tutored cornerbacks Darryl Feemster and Darron Edwards to All-Sun Belt Conference honors, as A-State led the league in total defense (331.46 ypg) and scoring defense (20.77 ppg).
In 2010, Batoon coached First Team All-Sun Belt Conference safety M.D. Jennings, who recorded 84 tackles, three interceptions, four pass break-ups, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble in 2011. Jennings and Keclie McCray ranked second and third on the team in tackles, respectively, as the duo combined to post 163 tackles during the 2011 season. Both Jennings and fellow safety Adrian Hills were named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week once in 2011, and the safety corps was responsible for seven of ASU’s 11 interceptions.
His first season at ASU saw the Red Wolves’ secondary help lead the defense to a No. 1 ranking in total defense and No. 2 ranking in passing defense in the Sun Belt.
Batoon came to Arkansas State after spending the previous 11 seasons as the assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Northern Arizona. He also spent time as the special teams coordinator during his time at NAU.
Batoon went to NAU after a year at Montana working with the defensive line. Before that, he was special teams coordinator and secondary coach at Central Missouri State after two years at Saint Mary’s (Calif.) and a three-year stint at Pierce Junior College in Los Angeles.
Batoon played at San Diego City Junior College and later at Long Beach State (1988-89). He graduated from LBSU with a degree in political science in 1991, later earning a master’s in health, physical education and recreation from Saint Mary’s in 1996.
Born in Honolulu, Batoon and his wife, Stacy, have two daughters, Brandy and Summer.
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