Ole Miss coach Matt Luke has named Rich Rodriguez his new offensive coordinator, the school announced Monday. Rodriguez replaces Phil Longo, who left to join Mack Brown's staff at North Carolina.
"Part of building a successful program means surrounding our players with the most talented coaches, and I feel like we have done that with hiring of [defensive coordinator] Mike Macintyre to lead our defense and now Rich Rodriguez to lead our offense," Luke said. "Rich has coached at the highest levels of college football and is one of the most innovative offensive minds in our sport. I couldn't be more excited to get to work with his experience, creativity and toughness as part of our team."
Rodriguez is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of run-based spread offenses that operate with tempo. He took over as the coach at West Virginia in 2001 and built the Mountaineers into a Big East power. He posted double digit wins from 2005-07 and was one win shy of making the BCS Championship Game in 2007 before losing to rival Pitt on the final weekend of the season.
"My family and I are really excited to join coach Luke and the Ole Miss family," Rodriguez said. "I'm appreciative of the trust and confidence of Matt and look forward to helping him continue to build this great program. There are a lot of exciting things happening with Rebel Football, and I'm fortunate to be able to join this team."
His success at WVU earned him a job at Michigan following the retirement of Lloyd Carr. After a 3-9 record in 2008, Rodriguez improved upon his record by two wins per season over the next two seasons. But three straight losses to end the 2010 season at 7-6 wasn't good enough, and Rodriguez was relieved of his duties.
He resurfaced two years later at Arizona but didn't find the success he enjoyed at West Virginia. The Wildcats went 10-4 in 2014 and were in the College Football Playoff mix in November, but that was the only time in his six years at the program that it finished higher than third in the Pac-12 South.
Rodriguez's tenure came to an abrupt end when a lawsuit was filed by a former administrative assistant that accused him of sexual harassment and harboring a hostile work environment. He was fired on Jan. 2, 2018, after a three-month internal investigation.