Ole Miss Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack to Retire
Nov. 26, 2016

OXFORD, Miss. – After nearly four decades as a college coach, Ole Miss defensive coordinator Dave Wommack has decided to retire from the coaching ranks, effective at the conclusion of the 2016 season.

Wommack has been the Rebels’ only defensive coordinator in the five seasons under head coach Hugh Freeze and directed the nation’s No. 1 scoring defense in 2014.

“I'm grateful to God for more than 38 rewarding years as a college football coach,” Wommack said. “I worked alongside remarkable men to shape the lives of my players for the better. I'll carry with me the relationships and lessons this game has given me as I look forward to enjoying this next chapter with my family.”

With a win in the Egg Bowl, Wommack will have a chance to coach in his 23rd bowl game. He’s been a part of only one losing season in his entire career.

“I am grateful to Dave for the outstanding leadership he provided our student-athletes and the positive influence he was for our staff,” Freeze said. “I learned so much from him about the coaching profession and will always appreciate his friendship.”

Wommack’s 2014 Landsharks led the nation in scoring defense (16.0 ppg) and fewest touchdowns allowed (24). With talent and high-flying energy at every level of the defense, the Rebels also led the SEC in interceptions (22), turnovers forced (32), tackles for loss (7.6/game) and opponent third-down conversion (33.0 percent). A number of players stood out in that 2014 defense, including All-Americans Senquez Golson (CB), Cody Prewitt (FS) and Robert Nkemdiche (DT). Do-everything Mike Hilton led the team in tackles (71) while mostly playing cornerback, while Huskie safety Tony Conner earned All-SEC distinction. Marquis Haynes was a factor as a true freshman, leading the team with 7.5 sacks and 9.0 tackles for loss.

For the fourth time in his career, Wommack was a nominee for the Broyles Award, presented annually to the most outstanding assistant coach in college football. He also earned National Defensive Backs Coach of the Year honors from FootballScoop, along with Jason Jones.

Ole Miss ranked top 10 nationally in tackles for loss in both 2014 and 2015, putting constant pressure on opponents and creating turnovers. The Rebels’ four pick-sixes last year tied a school record that dated back to 1938.

Among Wommack’s safeties, Prewitt became a two-time All-American and All-SEC pick from his free safety position.

In addition to his defensive coordinator duties, Wommack oversaw the safeties from 2012-14 and the linebackers from 2015-16.

After ranking last in the SEC in total defense in 2011 (419.3 ypg), Ole Miss improved to seventh (375.9 ypg) in Wommack’s first year in Oxford. Following a 38-17 BBVA Compass Bowl win over Pitt, the Rebels finished the 2012 season first in the SEC and fourth nationally in tackles for loss (7.9/game) and second in the SEC and 11th nationally in sacks (2.9/game), dramatic improvements from 2011 (4.75 TFLs and 1.08 sacks per game).

The Rebels continued their improvement in 2013, allowing four fewer points per game (23.7) than they did the previous year and ranking top 40 nationally in scoring defense, total defense and pass defense.

Wommack, a native of Kimberling City, Missouri, coached on nine teams that won a conference championship and also participated in trips to the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs in 1989 and 1990. He boasts 20 years of experience as a defensive coordinator, also holding the position at Georgia Tech, Arkansas, Southern Miss, UNLV, Missouri State and Bemidji State.

His first stop in Hattiesburg covered the 1994-2000 seasons, leading a Southern Miss defense that ranked among the top eight in the nation his final two years as coordinator.

Wommack earned his bachelor’s degree from Missouri Southern State College in 1978 before going on to earn his master’s degree from the University of Arkansas. Dave and his wife, Leslie, have two children, son Kane and daughter Hayley, and two grandchildren. Kane is the defensive coordinator at South Alabama.

Follow Ole Miss Football on Twitter (@OleMissFB), Facebook and Instagram. For more information, visit www.OleMissSports.com.

 

 

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