Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Ole Miss Musings: Former Football Rebels Gather To Honor Great Coach

Hoppy Langley (right) presents an autographed football, signed by the many players who attended the event, to Coach Carlisle.

Members of the 1977 football Rebels along with other former Rebels recently met in Oxford to honor their former coach, Jack Mason Carlisle. Coach Carlisle’s résumé is most impressive spanning more than 50 years.

Carlisle, a native of Amory, began his distinguished coaching career in 1952 as head football coach at Ethel High School. Following this assignment he became head football coach at Lula Rich High School with his next stop at Nettleton High School, where he was both head football coach and track coach. In 1958 and 1959, the honors started accumulating as he won the Tombigbee Conference both years.
In 1961, Coach Carlisle accepted the head football coach and track coach for Murrah High School where he remained until 1971. During this tenure, he won eight City of Jackson titles in football plus eight more in track. Seven times his track team won state championships. All of this success next led the coach to Jackson Prep where he served as athletic director along with head football coach and track coach until 1975. More successes followed and then Ole Miss hired him as junior varsity head football and track coach.

Ole Miss football legend Mike Dennis with Coach Carlisle

In 1978, East Tennessee State University named Coach Carlisle as its head football coach. In 1983, he returned to Mississippi becoming head football coach for Madison-Ridgeland Academy until 1994. More championships followed along with several more assignments and then the accolades really began accumulating. In 2004, he was named to the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame after previously being inducted into Collierville (TN) Hall of Fame (1976); the Mississippi Association of Coaches Hall of Fame (1989); Jackson Prep Hall of Fame (1996); and East Mississippi Community College Athletic Hall of Fame (2003).
Coach Carlisle’s career has impacted countless players in so many positive ways. It was refreshing to see so many former Ole Miss players on hand to honor their former coach. Coach Carlisle played a key role in the 1977 upset win over Notre Dame and was an important contributor to the Ole Miss football program in the 1970s.

Steve VassalloSteve Vassallo is a contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at or call him at 985-852-7745.
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