By John Davis, Oxford Citizen
Surprising news from Ole Miss Monday afternoon as Brian O’Neal announced he was resigning his position as head coach of the track & field program.
O’Neal, a 1993 graduate of Ole Miss and Pontotoc native, had only been at Ole Miss for three seasons after coming back to Oxford from Florida. The Rebels improved during his tenure from a finish in the SEC meets.
A record number of athletes also earned All-America status and many members of the team were underclassmen, which led many to believe that the best was still to come for the program under O’Neal, who was a former assistant coach to Joe Walker for eight seasons between 1995-2012.
“I am announcing today my resignation from Ole Miss as its head track coach,” O’Neal said in a release. “I do so with a heavy heart, but I believe this action to be in the best interests of the university and my own interests. I am most appreciative to Ole Miss for my education, its role in shaping my opportunities, and for the opportunity to return to our track as its head coach and not simply as an athlete.
“I am proud of our accomplishments during my tenure, both the success on the track and the academic and personal successes of our student-athletes off the track. I wish the program and Ole Miss the best and great success in the future. Hotty Toddy and Go Rebs!”
“We support Brian and the decision to resign from his position,” said Ole Miss Athletics Director Ross Bjork in the same release. “We appreciate all his hard work as our head coach the last three years and his contributions as an assistant coach and student-athlete. Brian is a member of the Ole Miss family, and we wish him the best.”