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Page 273 text:
Ron Aldy Basketball Keil Purdom Golf Woody Cowart Golf Valerie Adcock Rifle Pat Harrison Baseball 265 sports
Page 272 text:
wards ■• Tuberville named SEC Coach of the Year story by doug comfort After leading the Rebels to a regular sea- son record of 7-4 overall, 4-4 in the SEC, Tuberville was voted as the Associated Press SEC Coach of the Year. The honor was a reward for achieving what many sportswriters viewed as impossible accomplishing a winning season. Many of the same writers just three months ear- lier had picked Ole Miss to finish last in the SEC West with no more than three or four victories. " This is a credit to our football players, especially the seniors, as well as the coaching staff, " Tuberville said. " They did an excellent job of overcoming some difficult circumstances and were able to achieve our goal of a winning season and attaining a bowl bid. " Coach Tubervilleis success brought rumors of other schools courting his services for the sec- ond consecutive year. Unlike last year, though, a serious threat to Tuberville ' s status as a Rebel presented itself when Frank Broyles, athletic director at the University of Arkansas, flew his selection committee to New York to meet with Tuberville at the College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in early December. Arkansas fans and the national media pro- claimed Tuberville the man who would save the Hogs. Anna Smi But, in the early morning hours of December 10, our coach proved the national media wrong again by professing his love for Ole Miss and his intentions of remaining the Rebel head man for years to come. " We have a big family here with our fans, coach- es, and players. That ' s what makes it so tough to leave, Tuberville said. I want to thank the fans for letting me know what they think of me. You want to be where you are wanted and deep down, I know Ole Miss is the place for me. " Rebels in top 25 in basketball and football It all began in the fall of 1996 with a promise from men ' s basketball coach Rob Evans, saying that if the Rebel fans supported the team throughout the year, the Rebels would win the SEC Western Division Championship. Although most pundits laughed his comments off, the Rebels saw the promise through with a late February win over hated arch-rival LSU. The success of the basketball team spilt over into the fall with the Ole Miss football team. After defeating 8th-ranked LSU on the road, Ole Miss earned its first national ranking in football since 1992. The Rebels dropped out of the polls the following week, but returned in the final poll at the 22 spot, following a vic- tory over Mcirshdll in the Motor City Bowl. The men ' s basketball team opened the 1997-98 season as a nationally ranked team and stood at 11-1 after 12 games, their best start since 1936-37. The Rebels ' stellar play allowed Ole Miss to climb as high as 14 in the national polls. The football ranking combined with a basketball ranking as high as 14th in the nation marked the first time in Ole Miss sports history that the Rebels were ranked in both sports. As a matter of fact, by combining the two sports rankings for the fall of 1997, Ole Miss would rank in the top ten athletic programs in the nation with such schools as UCLA, Michigan, North Carolina, Syracuse, and Florida State. 264 sports
Page 274 text:
Tommy Tuberville Football John Blair Volleyball Rob Evans Mens Basketball Joyce Maudie Softball 266 sports
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