Ole Miss softball coach Mike Smith has resigned from his position, the school announced in an email on Sunday.

Smith was placed on administrative leave in mid-November while the school conducted an “external audit” of the program.

Assistant coach Ruben Felix will serve as interim head coach for the upcoming 2020 season, athletics director Keith Carter said in a statement. Practice will begin next month.

“We are committed to a healthy culture and overall experience for our student-athletes,” said Carter. “Our primary focus is to foster success for everyone involved with our program, on and off the field, while continuing our rise as one of the premier softball programs in the nation. Coach Smith helped establish our softball program as a national contender and we wish him all the best.”

Smith guided the Rebels for the past five seasons with an overall record of 187-112. His teams earned four NCAA Regional berths and twice advanced to Super Regionals. The team captured the program’s first SEC Championship in 2017.

But Smith was suspended for the first weekend of the 2019 season before returning to the team. In November, Carter would not say if the suspension and the audit were related.

Ole Miss finished the season 41-20, 13-10 in SEC play, and was swept by Arizona in the Super Regionals.

Felix was preparing for his sixth season as Smith’s lead assistant. He previously was on the softball staff at Central Florida.

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