Monday, November 26, 2007

houston nutt

Houston Nutt, the second-longest tenured football coach in the Southeastern Conference, will not be back at Arkansas next season, sources told on Monday.
Was Houston Nutt treated fairly by Arkansas?

Nutt, second only to the legendary Frank Broyles in victories as Razorbacks coach, will announce his resignation at a news conference scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET, a source involved in the talks said Monday.

Arkansas concluded an 8-4 season Friday with a 50-48, triple-overtime upset of then-No. 1 LSU, and chancellor John A. White responded by offering Nutt an annual salary of $2.4 million annually to remain coach.

However, Razorbacks supporters have been split in their opinion of Nutt since the controversy over the coach's recruiting and use of local stars Mitch Mustain and Damian Williams, the quarterback and wide receiver who transferred to USC after the 2006 season. Not only that, but an Arkansas fan acquired Nutt's cell-phone records through the Freedom of Information Act.

Though support for Nutt has surged since the Razorbacks' upset win Friday in Baton Rouge, Nutt believes the university community won't unite as long as he is the coach, the source told's Ivan Maisel.

Nutt's agent, Jimmy Sexton, and the university administration spent Monday afternoon negotiating how much Nutt will receive of the $3.4 million in annuities due to him in 2009.

Nutt will leave Arkansas with a 10-year record of 75-48 (.610) and three SEC West championships, including two trips to the conference championship game. He is expected to be a candidate for at least three jobs currently open: Baylor, SMU and Ole Miss.

Nutt, White and Broyles, the outgoing athletic director, will be on hand at tonight's news conference.

Nutt, who led the Razorbacks to two SEC championship game appearances, will receive a settlement in the neighborhood of $3.5 million.

Information from's Ivan Maisel and Chris Low and ESPN's Joe Schad was used in this report.Houston Nutt, who will announce his resignation as Arkansas' football coach at a press conference tonight in Fayetteville, has begun negotiating financial terms of a possible agreement to become Ole Miss' next coach, multiple sources told The Commercial Appeal this afternoon.

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Ole Miss fired Ed Orgeron on Saturday after three disappointing seasons, and athletics director Pete Boone hired Chuck Neinas, a well-known college sports consultant, to help assist in the school's coaching search. But there is mutual interest between Nutt and Ole Miss, according to sources, and a deal could be struck early this week.

Nutt is expected to be joined at his press conference tonight by outgoing Arkansas athletics director Frank Broyles and chancellor John White. The announcement will come three days after Nutt led the Razorbacks to a 50-48 victory over then-No. 1 LSU and just one day after Nutt assessed his position at Arkansas as his "dream job."

Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Rick Neuheisel, a former Colorado and Washington coach, surfaced as a potential candidate for the Ole Miss job over the weekend, but Nutt appears to be the firm frontrunner.

Orgeron was fired after he went 10-25 in his three seasons. The Rebels went winless in the Southeastern Conference this season for the first time since 1982.

Houston Nutt
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Houston Nutt
Sport Football
Born October 14, 1957 (1957-10-14) (age 50)
Place of birth Little Rock, Arkansas
Career highlights
Overall 109-70
Coaching stats
College Football DataWarehouse
Playing career
1979-1981 Arkansas
Oklahoma State
Position Quarterback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1998-2007 Murray State
Boise State
University of Arkansas
Houston Dale Nutt, Jr. (born 14 October 1957), is an American football coach. He served as head coach at the University of Arkansas from 1998-2007. He resigned on November 26, 2007.[1][2]

1 Early life and family
2 College athletic career
3 Coaching career
3.1 Assistant coaching
3.2 Murray State
3.3 Boise State
3.4 Arkansas
4 Overall coaching positives and negatives
4.1 Record and bowl games chart
5 Salary
6 References
7 External links

[edit] Early life and family
Houston Dale Nutt (Hootie) was born on 14 October 1957 in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States. He is the son of the late Houston Dale Nutt, Sr., and Emogene Nutt and is the oldest of four children. Nutt graduated from Little Rock Central High School. His parents taught at the Arkansas School for the Deaf at Little Rock, Arkansas for 35 years. His father also served as athletic director and head basketball coach for the school. His father was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.

Houston Nutt is married to his wife, Diana, who also graduated from Oklahoma State University. They have four children together: Houston III (1987-03-11), twins Hailey and Hanna (1988-09-26), and Haven (1991-03-19).

Nutt's brother Dickey Nutt is the head basketball coach at Arkansas State University and his brother Danny Nutt was the running backs coach at Arkansas. Nutt's other brother Dennis Nutt, a former NBA player, is an assistant basketball coach at Coastal Carolina University.

[edit] College athletic career
Nutt was the last player recruited by legendary Arkansas head coach Frank Broyles before his retirement in 1976. Nutt was recruited as a drop-back style quarterback and started four games as a true freshman after starting quarterback Ron Calcagni was sidelined with an injury. Nutt also played that year for the Southwest Conference champion Arkansas basketball team under coach Eddie Sutton which went 26-2 and bulled its way to a 16-0 conference mark.

With the retirement of Frank Broyles, Arkansas hired Lou Holtz as the head football coach. Holtz established an option offense which did not make use of Nutt's passing style and relegated him to the bench as a backup.

Disappointed by his lack of playing time, Nutt transferred to Oklahoma State University and played two years as a backup quarterback. During his time at Oklahoma State he also played for the basketball team. Nutt graduated from Oklahoma State in 1981 with a degree in physical education.

[edit] Coaching career

[edit] Assistant coaching
After graduation Nutt became a graduate assistant for Oklahoma State under head coach Jimmy Johnson. In 1983 Nutt returned to Arkansas and became an assistant coach under his former coach Lou Holtz. In the spring of 1984 Nutt was hired by Arkansas State University as a full-time assistant coach but chose to return to Oklahoma State that summer as a receiver's coach before ever reporting for the Arkansas State job.

Nutt spent six seasons as an assistant coach for receivers and quarterbacks at Oklahoma State and was promoted to offensive coordinator in 1989. During his years at Oklahoma State he coached legendary running backs Barry Sanders and Thurman Thomas.

Coach Nutt before a football game.In 1990 Nutt returned to the University of Arkansas as an assistant under head coach Jack Crowe and established a reputation as an excellent recruiter. Nutt remained with the Razorbacks for three seasons and established relationships with Arkansas high school football coaches that would serve him in good stead in later years.

[edit] Murray State
In 1993 Nutt received his first head coaching position at NCAA Division I-AA Murray State University. The team went 4-7 and 5-6 in Nutt's first two years.

In 1995 his efforts paid off with an 11-1 record and an Ohio Valley Conference championship after reeling off an 8-0 conference mark. Nutt received Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year honors and was recognized with the Eddie Robinson National Division I-AA Coach of the Year Award.

Nutt repeated his success for the 1996 season with an 11-2 record and another undefeated run through his Ohio Valley Conference schedule. Murray State won its first round Division I-AA playoff appearance, earning Nutt the OVC Coach of the Year honors and regional Coach of the Year honors.

[edit] Boise State
Nutt made the step up to NCAA Division I-A the next year when Boise State hired him to take over their program, which was the lowest ranked of 112 Division I-A schools and had posted a 2-10 record the year before. Boise State had just made the jump to Division I-A football and was looking for a recruiter and motivator to jump start their program.

Nutt's team earned a 4-7 record in 1997 playing at the Division I-A level with its Division I-AA players. Nutt's team beat rival Idaho and almost pulled off an upset against Big Ten Conference program Wisconsin.

[edit] Arkansas
Nutt became the head coach of the Razorbacks on December 10, 1997, succeeding head coach Danny Ford. Nutt, during his first press conference as coach, immediately mentioned a "National Championship" as his goal and felt that Arkansas had the program to win one. The Razorback team had suffered through a long low period under a succession for head coaches in the previous years, having only received two bowl game bids in the eight seasons prior to Nutt's arrival.

Nutt's Razorbacks were picked to finish last in the Southeastern Conference Western Division in 1998 but ended up with a 9-3 record and a share of the division title. The Razorbacks lost to the soon-to-be National Champion University of Tennessee on its home field after Arkansas quarterback Clint Stoerner fumbled while trying to run out the clock. For their efforts the Razorbacks received their first-ever invitation to the Citrus Bowl and ended the season ranked 16th after losing to the University of Michigan. Nutt was selected as the Football News' National Coach of the Year.

In 1999 Nutt's Razorbacks were picked to win the SEC Western Division but suffered a series of setbacks during the season but recovered to defeat nationally ranked Tennessee and Mississippi State University to earn a Cotton Bowl bid versus arch-rival Texas. The Razorbacks defeated Texas 27-6, becoming the first team to ever hold Texas to negative rushing yards in a game. The Cotton Bowl victory propelled them into the Top 20 rankings to end the season.

For the 2000 season the Razorbacks lost the core of their team and suffered a string of injuries including season-ending injuries to all of the starting running backs. The Razorbacks struggled through the season as a question mark until the final two games when he defeated ranked Mississippi State and LSU teams to pull out another winning record and another bowl appearance.

In the 2001 season the Nutt started off with three straight losses in SEC play. They then came back to win six of the last seven including ranked South Carolina and Auburn teams. Based on this performance the Razorbacks were selected to return to the Cotton Bowl to face the defending National Champion Oklahoma Sooners, which they lost.

In 2002 Nutt's Razorbacks stumbled midway through the season but pulled together five straight wins, including a last second touchdown pass against LSU, often referred to as the "Miracle on Markham" to pull out a share of a Western Division Title. The title was defaulted to the Razorbacks due to the ineligibility of division-leading Alabama. Arkansas was blown out by the Georgia in the SEC Championship Game and ended the season with a another loss to Minnesota in the Music City Bowl.

In 2003 Nutt's team started off with a 4-0 record including a win against #5 Texas on their home field. The early season success raised fans expectations sky-high and put Nutt under intense pressure when the Razorbacks lost their next three games putting them out of contention for the National Championship or even the SEC Western Division crown. The Razorbacks won 4 of their last 5 games and defeated Missouri in the Independence Bowl. After the 2003 season, Nebraska was rumored to be courting Nutt to be their head coach, after the firing of Frank Solich.

The 2004 and 2005 campaigns were widely expected to be rebuilding years, due to very young teams (a "young team" is one that relies heavily on underclassman, such as freshman and sophomores). The 2004 season ended with a 5 win - 6 loss record, and the team ended the year without a bowl invitation for the first time under Coach Nutt (since 1998, 6 straight bowls).

The 2005 season was also a rebuilding year as expected. Tough losses to the USC Trojans (score: 70-17) as well as to Vanderbilt and South Carolina showed that the season had been predicted accurately. The team was ineligible for a bowl for the second season in a row (and the second season overall under coach Nutt). This led to Arkansas Razorback fans calling for coaching changes. After meeting with Frank Broyles (athletic director) at the conclusion of the season, coaching changes were made by Nutt in the offseason, the most notable of which was the addition of Gus Malzahn (previously the head coach at Springdale High School in Springdale, Arkansas) as offensive coordinator. Nutt also signed several highly recruited in-state players, including Springdale High School quarterback Mitch Mustain and wide receiver Damian Williams who eventually transferred to USC because of questionable actions by the coaching staff.

The 2006 season began with the Razorbacks being humiliated 50-14 at a home game in Fayetteville by USC. Following the loss to the Trojans, Nutt announced that Mustain would replace Robert Johnson as the Hogs' starting quarterback. Mustain led Arkansas to 8 straight wins, including wins against 22nd-ranked Alabama at home and second-ranked Auburn at Auburn, before losing the starting job to Casey Dick. Dick had been slotted to start at the beginning of the season but was unable to do so due to a back injury suffered in the spring. Dick led the Razorbacks to two more victories for a total of 10 straight wins, including a win over 13th ranked Tennessee. The Razorbacks moved to No. 7 in the BCS poll. However, the Hogs lost their last regular season game to the 8th ranked LSU Tigers 31-26.

Despite the loss, the Hogs were still Western Division Champions of the SEC, and played the 11-1, 4th ranked Florida Gators for the SEC Championship. Florida won, 38-28. The Razorbacks lost to the 5th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers on New Years' Day, 2007 in Orlando in the Capital One Bowl. Dick finished the season with two wins and three losses as a starter. Mustain played sparingly against Florida and Wisconsin.

A highlight of the season was the second place finish of do-everything tailback Darren McFadden in the Heisman Trophy voting. McFadden set a school season record for rushing, and also had receiving, return and passing touchdowns to his credit during the season. At the conclusion of his sophomore season, he had amassed more rushing yards in two seasons than any SEC back in history excluding Georgia's Herschel Walker.

At the end of the 2006 season, Malzahn left the Razorbacks to take a similar position at the University of Tulsa. Williams and Mustain both transferred to the University of Southern California while another Springdale product from the 2006 Razorback squad, Andrew Norman, decided to join Malzahn at the University of Tulsa.

The 2007 season began with the Razorbacks ranked 21st by the AP. The Hogs opened at home with a victory over Troy. However, early losses to the Kentucky Wildcats and three consecutive SEC losses knocked Arkansas far out of the rankings and made the rest of the SEC schedule an uphill struggle.

On 2007 November 23 in Baton Rouge, Nutt's Razorbacks beat the top-ranked football team in the nation. In a game that lasted into three overtime periods, Arkansas defeated the formidable Louisiana State University Tigers, 50 to 48, returning the Razorbacks to the national Top 25 rankings for the first time in several weeks. "Chancellor John A. White responded by offering Nutt an annual salary of $2.4 million annually to remain coach," yet Nutt, pressured by fans disgruntled over his handling of Malzahn, Mustain, and Williams, declined the offer. [1]

[edit] Overall coaching positives and negatives
Under Nutt, the Razorbacks were one of three SEC schools to play in three New Year's Day bowls in the last five years.

Nutt's teams have been noted for a series of overtime games including the two longest overtime games in NCAA history.

Off the field, some of Nutt's players have been named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll 145 times[3] and he has established a reputation as a responsible coach academically.

Some criticism has come for an SEC win record of below 50% and because he calls his own offensive plays during a game instead of relying on an offensive coordinator.

In his first 6 seasons Nutt led the team to a bowl game each year and averaged 8 wins per season.


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