Luke joins Freeze’s staff as Assistant A.D. for Player Development
Former Ole Miss quarterback Tom Luke is returning to his alma mater as Assistant Athletics Director for Player Development, head coach Hugh Freeze announced Thursday.
Other staff moves include shifting Corey Batoon from Assistant A.D. for Player Development to Assistant A.D. for Recruiting Operations and hiring Lee Wilbanks as a recruiting development assistant.
Luke is the brother of Ole Miss offensive line coach and co-offensive coordinator Matt Luke. As Assistant A.D. for Player Development, he will oversee various aspects of academics and campus life for Rebel players.
“Not many people get an opportunity to come back home one time,” Tom Luke said. “For Coach Freeze to give me an opportunity to come back a second time is a dream come true.”
Luke was Ole Miss’ coordinator of football operations from 2004-05 under David Cutcliffe and Ed Orgeron. He has spent the last few years in the sporting goods business.
“Family is a big part of our program, and it thrills me to bring back a close member of the Ole Miss family in Tom Luke,” said Freeze. “I enjoyed the time we worked together in his first stint on the staff, and I know he will strengthen the chemistry of our program. He understands what it takes to be a successful student-athlete at Ole Miss, and I expect him to do a great job helping develop our young men in all areas of their lives.”
Luke spent 12 years teaching and coaching at Jackson Academy prior to his first stint on the Ole Miss staff.
Luke earned three letters (1989-91) while playing quarterback at Ole Miss, but suffered three concussions during his career, which led to his decision to pass up his senior year and accept a coaching position on the high school level.
He ended his career ranked 17th in passing with 1,524 yards, completing 86 of 178 passes with 10 interceptions. At the time, he also ranked 17th in career total offense with 2,078 yards (554 rushing and 1,524 passing).
As a sophomore in 1990, he developed into one of the most versatile quarterbacks in the Southeastern Conference and shared starting duties with Russ Shows his final two seasons as both battled injuries in the option offensive attack.
Selected Player of the Year in 1990 by the Ole Miss Quarterback Club, Luke also excelled off the field as he was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll three times, while also being named to the Chancellor’s Honor Roll, Dean’s List and U.M.A.A. Honor Roll. He also received the NCAA Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award for having the highest grade point average among graduating Ole Miss student-athletes.
After receiving his B.S. degree from Ole Miss in 1992, Luke began teaching and coaching at Jackson Academy. He served as quarterbacks coach the first three years and then as offensive coordinator from 1995-2003. During his nine years as offensive coordinator, Jackson Academy won four Mississippi Private School Association state championships and was twice runner-up for the state crown.
Luke is married to the former Angie Pope of Clinton, Miss., also an Ole Miss graduate and former Rebelette in “The Pride of the South” marching band. They are the parents of one son, Cale, and two daughters, Carson and Cayden.
Tom’s father, Tommy, earned three letters in football at Ole Miss (1964-66) and then played one year for the AFL Denver Broncos.
Wilbanks returns to Ole Miss, where he was a volunteer on the staff in 2006. He has also been an assistant coach at Hinds Community College, Lambuth University and North Carolina A&T State University.