Ole Miss Announces Strong Additions to 2024 Football Staff – Ole Miss Athletics – Hotty Toddy

OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss head football coach Lane Kiffin continues to strengthen his staff with elite coaches, officially announcing two new offensive assistants on Thursday.
George McDonald has been named wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator, while Joe Cox joins the Rebels and will coach tight ends. 
“We are continuing to elevate our coaching staff to a championship caliber with the addition of Coach McDonald and Coach Cox to our staff,” Kiffin said. “Both coaches have been a part of innovative and productive offenses in their careers, and they have proven their ability to recruit and develop talented players at an elite level.”
McDonald, a 24-year coaching veteran, joins the Rebel program after spending the last three seasons at his alma mater, Illinois, where he served as assistant head coach and coached wide receivers.
The Ft. Wayne, Indiana, native helped lead a resurgence for the wide receiver position at Illinois, where he played the position for the Fighting Illini from 1995-98. He helped Illinois’ offense rank as one of the best in the Big Ten in 2023, as the Illini finished in the top five in the conference in passing (3rd), total yards (t-4th), and scoring (5th) and led the Big Ten West in all three categories.
McDonald helped Illinois to one of its best seasons in over a decade in 2022, as the Illini finished the regular season 8-4 and earned a trip to the ReliaQuest Bowl, Illinois’ first January bowl game in 15 years. The Illini were ranked in the AP Top 25 for five straight weeks and Illinois was ranked in the College Football Playoff rankings for the first time in school history.
Prior to Illinois, McDonald served in a variety of roles at North Carolina State. His six-year stint at NC State began in 2015 as wide receivers coach (2015-20) and watched his role grow to passing game coordinator (2017-18, 2020), recruiting coordinator (2019-20), co-offensive coordinator (2019) and assistant head coach (2020) of the Wolfpack. 
McDonald’s first role as primary play-caller at the Power-5 level came as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Syracuse during the 2013-14 seasons.
Before Syracuse, McDonald served as passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach at Miami from 2011-12. Under McDonald’s tutelage, wideout Phillip Dorsett posted the ninth-most single season receiving yards in school history in 2012. 
McDonald made the jump to the NFL’s Cleveland Browns from 2009-10 as wide receivers coach under Eric Mangini. 
McDonald also spent years with Minnesota, West Michigan, Stanford, Northern Illinois and Ball State.
He was a four-year letterwinner at receiver for the Fighting Illini and completed his Illinois football career with 57 receptions for 589 yards and four touchdowns. He led the Big Ten in kickoff return yardage in 1996 (736) while returning 57 kickoffs for 1,276 yards (22.4 avg.) during his career. McDonald also ran track his freshman and senior years, earning All-Big Ten honors his senior year when he set an Illinois record with a time of 6.74 in the 60 meters, a mark that still ranks seventh on the Illini top times list, to win the 1999 Big Ten Indoor Championships 60m title.
McDonald graduated from Buena Park High School in California before his collegiate career at Illinois. He earned his bachelor’s degree in health planning and administration from Illinois in 1999.
Cox, a Georgia letterwinner and former quarterback for the Bulldogs, comes to Oxford after spending the last two seasons with the Crimson Tide.  
In 2023, Cox’s tight ends unit was led by Amari Niblack, who tallied 20 receptions for 327 yards and four touchdowns. In his first year, he helped redshirt senior Cameron Latu reach new heights for the Alabama offense with a career-high 30 receptions for 377 yards and four touchdowns. 
Prior to his time in Tuscaloosa, Cox spent one season coaching tight ends for his hometown Charlotte 49ers.
Cox spent the 2020 season coaching wide receivers on Will Muschamp’s staff at South Carolina. USC’s receivers were led by Shi Smith who hauled in 57 receptions for 644 yards and a team-high four touchdowns in only nine games.
Before South Carolina, Cox spent five years at Colorado State on the staff beginning as a graduate assistant in 2015 and then coaching tight ends for three seasons (2016-18) and wide receivers in his final year in Fort Collins in 2019.
Cox helped propel a Rams’ offense that turned in some of the most productive seasons in school history. CSU posted two of the top five scoring seasons in school history (3rd—35.3 in 2016 and 5th—33.4 in 2017) and two of the top four marks for total offense with Cox on the staff, including a school-record 492.5 yards per game in 2017 (4th, 462.5 in 2016).
Cox was part of the coaching staff at Mallard Creek High School in Charlotte, N.C., from 2013-14, helping the school win back-to-back state championships. He joined the Mallard Creek staff in 2013 as quarterbacks coach before being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2014.
As Georgia’s starting quarterback in 2009, Cox completed 185-of-331 pass attempts for 2,584 yards and 24 touchdowns; at the time the second-best single-season total in UGA history. An offensive captain, Cox led the Bulldogs to a record of 8-5, and was named Walter Camp Offensive Player of the Week for his five touchdown, 375-yard performance at Arkansas. For his career, Cox completed 56 percent of his passes for 3,016 yards and 29 touchdowns.
Cox was the 2004 state of North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year and AP Prep Player of the Year, and a Parade Magazine All-American at Independence (N.C.) High School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Georgia (2009).
With the Rebels tabbed as high as No. 5 in the early national rankings for 2024, Ole Miss season tickets are on sale and available for renewal now at OleMissTix.com.
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