Ole Miss hires Alabama’s Pete Golding as defensive coordinator

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
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OXFORD, Miss. — Alabama defensive coordinator Pete Golding is leaving for the same job at rival Mississippi.

Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin announced the hiring of Golding, who had been the Crimson Tide’s defensive coordinator since 2018. The 38-year-old joins Kiffin, himself a former offensive coordinator under Nick Saban in Tuscaloosa, and remains in the Southeastern Conference Western Division.

“We are excited to add a championship caliber coach like Pete Golding to our staff,” Kiffin said. “At multiple stops in his career, coach Golding has directed some of college football’s top defenses. He is also an outstanding recruiter and understands the level of talent necessary to compete at the highest level.

“I think this continues to show our commitment to taking Ole Miss football to the next level.”

Golding helped guide the Tide to a national championship after the 2020 season and to an appearance in the title game a year later. Alabama failed to make the College Football Playoff this season after losing two games on the final play.

Golding had just over a year left on a three-year deal signed in March 2021 worth an average of $1.6 million per year, including $100,000 annual raises and a $125,000 longevity bonus each year. Defensive backs coach Charles Kelly had already left to become Deion Sanders‘ defensive coordinator at Colorado.

Alabama ranked in the top 20 nationally in scoring defense in each of his five seasons with the program and in the top 10 four times.

The Tide ranked ninth in scoring defense and 13th in total defense last season. Linebacker Will Anderson Jr. repeated as the Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner and as a unanimous All-American.

Texas Tech denies Ole Miss claim of racial slur during bowl

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HOUSTON – Texas Tech on Thursday denied claims by Mississippi coach Lane Kiffin that a Red Raiders player spit on one of his players and possibly used a racial slur in the Texas Bowl.

A scrum between the teams came after Ole Miss’ Dayton Wade fumbled in the fourth quarter Wednesday night and Texas Tech recovered. There was pushing and shoving between players and Ole Miss player Jordan Watkins was given a personal foul penalty.

After the game, which Ole Miss lost 42-25, Kiffin said the penalty should have been on Texas Tech senior linebacker Dimitri Moore instead of Watkins. Both players wear No. 11.

Kiffin said after the game at Watkins wasn’t in the fight, and that Moore was fighting Ole Miss lineman Jayden Williams and that “everybody knew” because Texas Tech coaches were yelling at their own player.

“There was a racial slur involved, that’s not the point of what we’re talking about, (it’s) about the spitting part,” Kiffin said. “I brought our own 71 (Williams) up to the officials, right or wrong, you see him crying? He’s not crying not because he got spit on, it’s because something was said.”

When asked to clarify if a Texas Tech player used a racial slur toward one of his players, Kiffin said he wasn’t sure.

“I’m not going to, because I did not hear it, (I’m not going to) say that that happened for sure that he gave a racial slur to our player,” Kiffin said. “I was told that that was said in that (incident) but I did not hear that. So that would obviously be a giant issue.”

Moore and Williams are both Black.

“We are disappointed an opposing head coach decided to insinuate serious allegations that are false and irresponsible,” Texas Tech coach Joey McGuire said in a statement released by the school Thursday. “I have discussed these allegations with Dimitri Moore, and he disputed the two claims that were brought forth against him.”

Moore, in an accompanying statement, said the allegations were untrue.

“I can’t state strongly enough that these accusations are false. It is disappointing to have my final game as a collegiate student-athlete overshadowed by the false accusations that were stated last night,” Moore said. “Since I have arrived at Texas Tech, I have strived to represent my teammates, this coaching staff and most importantly, my family, in the highest manner.”

Kiffin said he got so upset during the game because he didn’t believe it was fair that his player got a penalty that he thinks clearly should have been on someone else.

“I’m going to defend our players when a kid spits on them and is accused to a national audience that it’s him,” Kiffin said. “So, Jordan has to deal with this.”

McGuire was not asked about the incident after the game, but Kiffin said he spoke with him about the spitting after the game.

“If you actually watch over there one of them’s kind of laughing because he got off,” Kiffin said. “He’s screaming at the player, they’re losing their mind on him… I talked to their head coach afterwards, he was like: `Crazy officiating out there.’ I go: `Yeah that was really bad on that one that your guy spit and our guy got the penalty.’ He was like: `Yeah, I know.”‘

Kiffin: Texas Tech player spit, possibly used racial slur

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Mississippi coach Lane Kiffin said a Texas Tech player spit on one of his players and possibly used a racial slur Wednesday night in the Texas Bowl.

A scrum between the teams came after Ole Miss’ Dayton Wade fumbled early in the fourth quarter and Texas Tech recovered. There was pushing and shoving between players and Ole Miss player Jordan Watkins was given a personal foul penalty.

After the game, which Ole Miss lost 42-25, Kiffin said that the penalty should have actually been on Texas Tech’s Dimitri Moore, who is No. 11 for the Red Raiders, instead of Watkins, who wears No. 11 for Ole Miss.

“They announce our 11, which is Jordan Watkins, who wasn’t in the fight, it was their 11 that was fighting 71 (Ole Miss lineman Jayden Williams) and everybody knew because their own coaches were yelling at the guy,” Kiffin said.

“There was a racial slur involved, that’s not the point of what we’re talking about, (it’s) about the spitting part. I brought our own 71 up to the officials, right or wrong, you see him crying? He’s not crying not because he got spit on, it’s because something was said.”

When asked to clarify if a Texas Tech player used a racial slur toward one of his players, Kiffin said he wasn’t sure.

“I’m not going to, because I did not hear it, (I’m not going to) say that that happened for sure that he gave a racial slur to our player,” Kiffin said. “I was told that that was said in that (incident) but I did not hear that. So that would obviously be a giant issue.”

Moore and Williams are both Black.

Kiffin said he got so upset during the game because he didn’t believe it was fair that his player got a penalty that he thinks clearly should have been on someone else.

“I’m going to defend our players when a kid spits on them and is accused to a national audience that it’s him,” Kiffin said. “So, Jordan has to deal with this.”

Texas Tech coach Joey McGuire was not asked about the incident, but Kiffin said he spoke with him about the spitting after the game.

“If you actually watch over there one of them’s kind of laughing because he got off,” Kiffin said. “He’s screaming at the player, they’re losing their mind on him… I talked to their head coach afterwards, he was like: ‘Crazy officiating out there.’ I go: ‘Yeah that was really bad on that one that your guy spit and our guy got the penalty.’ He was like: ‘Yeah I know.’”