With Matt Luke taking over as the interim head coach for the season, with every opportunity shed that interim title for a more permanent one, Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork has been gearing up to vet other candidates for the job since Hugh Freeze's resignation back on July 20th.
Bjork joined the Talk of ChampionsPodcast, with Ben Garrett and shared some details on what he's looking for in the leader of the Rebel program, as well as details like whether they'll be using a search firm and one thing in particular that won't be happening under his watch.
"Confidentiality is key," Bjork told Garrett. "A lot of times when you're in a short window, because you're going so fast, you just go. In this case, we're going to have so much time, that nothing can leak out, nothing can be speculated, or 'sources.' Right now, if anything is leaked, I would leak it. I would be the source, and that's not happening so I think we have to have a very, very careful process."
Just before noting that, Bjork shared that they'll look to use every resource at their disposal, including Ole Miss great Archie Manning in some capacity, but the specifics of how that will shape out exactly is still being ironed out.
Bjork shared that a big part who the next head coach is is going to be who they can bring in as assistant coaches.
"In today's college coaching world, when I first got into the business at this level, coaches could just coach. Now they are CEOs, they're leaders, they are public speakers, they are so many more things that are on their plate, so you better have the right staff. You better have high level folks."
"So our salary pool for this year is about $4.6 million. Next year, because of some automatic increases that will go up closer to $4.9 million. So I think that we are very competitive with our salary pool, but that will be a big part of the interview process, is 'Who is going to be on your staff? Who do you think that you can get?' And we will make sure that we put the resources on the table to attract the best staff possible."
Then Bjork shared a little bit about what makes the Ole Miss job unique, and what he's looking for in the next leader of their program.
"There is no question that the job is so big, especially in the SEC. Especially in a state like ours where people want to touch and feel the head coach, we're going to need a special leader to make sure that they can do all of those things off the field, while making sure that inside the football building that we're clicking on all cylinders."
Listen to the full interview below, and head to the 20 minute mark to pick up at the part where he discusses the coaching search.