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Archie Who? Aspiring Ole Miss coaches dialing wrong number in search of Rebel great

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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Archie_Manning

If you want to be the next head coach at Ole Miss, contacting former Rebels' legend Archie Manning is probably a good start.

Just make sure you have the right phone number.

If not, you might be talking to Byron Guidry, a Houston transplant from New Orleans, who had the unfortunate (or fortunate, depending on your perspective) luck of getting Manning's old cell phone number — and subsequently getting texts and calls from campaigning coaches and enterprising journalists inquiring about the vacancy at Manning's alma mater, where the legendary Rebel quarterback is heading up the search committee to name a successor for fired coach Houston Nutt.

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"I've gotten so many text messages that I've had to delete a lot of them because I was running out of space," Guidry told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. "A lot of these people who call and text, I have no clue who they are. Here's a text that says, 'Archie, I have tremendous love for Ole Miss. I would love to serve as their next head coach. Any consideration would be greatly appreciated.' It's signed, 'Hugh Freeze.' Do you know who he is?"

Freeze is the first-year head coach at Arkansas State — probably better known as the high school coach of former Ole Miss offensive lineman Michael Oher, subject of the best-selling book "The Blind Side," as well as the movie of the same name — whose debut season in Jonesboro has already resulted in a Sun Belt title and the best record at ASU since 1975. Freeze has already refuted one report that he'd been hired as the Rebels' new coach, but didn't deny interest in other jobs this week during his regular Monday press conference.

"Supposedly I've interviewed [at Ole Miss], I've interviewed at Tulane, I've interviewed at this place and that place," Freeze said. "Whether I have an interest in those jobs is for me and my wife to decide what is best for our family."{YSP:MORE}

Guidry said he picked the number randomly three years ago and almost immediately started getting calls from folks looking for "Archie." At one point, he asked who this 'Archie' was that everyone kept trying to reach, and was informed that it was the Ole Miss great: "The guy says, 'He used to be quarterback for the Saints.' I said, 'Archie? Manning? No way.' "

Since then, Guidry has seemingly relished getting calls for Manning and now, of course, being a step ahead in the Ole Miss coaching search. The recent attention is even keeping his family is entertained.

"My 11-year-old son Byron Jr. thinks it's hilarious," Guidry said.

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Graham Watson is on Facebook and Twitter: Follow her @Yahoo_Graham.

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