OXFORD, Miss. – Following one of the most successful seasons in program history, Ole Miss and head soccer coach Matt Mott have reached terms on a contract extension, athletics director Ross Bjork announced Tuesday.
“The job that Matt and his staff have done is remarkable as they have truly changed the culture of Ole Miss soccer and established a winning mentality on and off the field,” Bjork said. “Establishing a consistent top-25 program has been possible through the right attitude and extreme effort, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds under his leadership. Most importantly, Matt does it the right way, and he and his family are an asset to our community and program. We want to continue building for enduring success and we want Matt here for a long time to come.”
“I appreciate the support, leadership and confidence I’ve received from Ross Bjork and Lynnette Johnson for our soccer program,” Mott said. “My staff and I are committed to continuing our quest to win soccer championships here at Ole Miss – a place that has truly become our home. The community and Rebel Nation’s support for our program this year was unbelievable. We want to build on the momentum of the past season with the goal of being one of the top teams in the SEC each year.”
Mott earned South Region Coach of the Year honors after guiding the Rebels to a 16-6-2 record and a second-round appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The 16 wins marked the most in school history, while the Rebels also hosted an NCAA Tournament game for the first time with a 9-0 win over Jackson State in the opening round.
Ole Miss finished fourth in the overall standings in Southeastern Conference play with a 7-3-1 record. The Rebels defeated Kentucky 2-0 in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament to advance to the semifinals before falling to top-seeded and fifth-ranked Florida 2-1. It marks the second consecutive SEC Tournament appearance for the Rebels in Mott’s four years at the helm of the program.
The squad spent seven weeks ranked in the top 25, marking the longest time spent in the rankings by a Rebel team in a single season. Mott led the Rebels back into the rankings last season for the first time since the 2009 season.
Mott also coached a pair of Rebels to several accolades as Mandy McCalla and Rafaelle Souza were both named All-SEC and All-Region selections, while Souza was also named an All-America selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Souza also earned SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year honors.
Gretchen Harknett also became the most recent Rebel to earn All-Freshman honors from the SEC under Mott’s tutelage.
In addition to success on the field, the Rebels have continued to excel in the classroom under Mott’s leadership. Ole Miss was named as an NSCAA Team Academic Award recipient in 2013, marking the fourth consecutive season to earn team academic recognition.
A trio of Rebels earned Capital One Academic All-Region honors with Souza being recognized for her academic achievement along with Maddie Friedmann and Georgia Russell.
— Bill Bunting, Ole Miss Sports Information