Team success leads to landmark season for Ole Miss Athletics in 2018-19
By Kyle Campbell
The continued support of Rebel Nation led to yet another landmark season on the field for Ole Miss Athletics. The Rebel men’s cross country and women’s golf teams each secured the first Southeastern Conference titles in their history, giving Ole Miss four team SEC titles over the past three seasons. A total of 13 Rebel sports competed in NCAA Postseason action in 2018-19. The Rebels earned 48 All-SEC selections and 33 All-America selections, while 15 Rebels were chosen in professional drafts.
In addition to the success on the field, Ole Miss student-athletes had a benchmark year in the classroom. Ole Miss recorded the highest APR score in program history with a multi-year average of 990, seven points above the national average. For the fifth straight season, the Rebels broke the department record for Graduation Success Rate at 85 percent, including five sports with a perfect 100 percent GSR. Rebel student-athletes also notched the highest cumulative departmental GPA in history at 3.032. Two Rebel student-athletes were named Taylor Medal recipients, and a total of 228 student-athletes were named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll, in addition to 55 national academic honorees.
While the Rebel student-athletes continue to raise the bar, the Ole Miss Athletic department has done the same, earning awards for excellence in video productions, publications and more, highlighted by the 2019 Technology Innovation Award for Athletics Departments, bestowed by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and CDW-G.
The Ole Miss Athletics Foundation received $29.3 million in total cash for the 2019 fiscal year, thanks to their continuously generous supporters. To date, the Forward Together campaign has totaled $181.7 million of its $200 million goal for capital improvements to facilities for student-athletes.
“The support provided by the friends and family of Ole Miss Athletics this year has been nothing short of remarkable,” said Interim Athletics Director Keith Carter. “Thanks to the generous and selfless contributions made by our donors and supporters, Rebel Nation has persevered and achieved success even in a challenging time. As we begin the 2019-20 school year with those challenges in our rearview mirror, we can now move forward and continue to build this great athletic department and this great university together.”
The athletic department now closes the book on a spectacular 2018-19 season and looks forward to the next chapter. The football program recently completed a $1.2 million renovation to the Manning Center training room. With a bowl bid in its sights, the Ole Miss football program opens 2019 play with a nearby road matchup at Memphis on Aug. 31. Just one week later, fans will fill The Grove once again when SEC football returns to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Sept. 7. Matt Luke and the Rebels begin conference play and their seven-game home schedule, hosting Arkansas. On the gridiron and off, the Ole Miss athletics teams are brimming with excitement as they look forward to more triumphs and postseason successes on the horizon.