Derrick Nix Returns With Rebel Football Staff

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM (Photo by Matthew Sharpe)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
(Photo by Matthew Sharpe)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Jan. 2, 2012

OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss’ running backs coach for the past four years, Derrick Nix will return in that post under new head coach Hugh Freeze, it was announced Monday.

“Derrick’s abilities as a coach and recruiter are tremendous, and his obvious familiarity with our players is a huge plus for the staff,” said Freeze. “Derrick is very well respected around the state. He and I share the same core values, and I’m excited to work with him.”

In his time in Oxford, Nix has tutored two of the most productive backs in school history, while the Rebels have ranked top-three in the SEC in rushing twice.

The Nix backfield stable helped Ole Miss register the third-best ground game in the SEC in 2010, while Brandon Bolden ranked No. 5 in the league in rushing. A Nix pupil for the duration of his career, Bolden finished second in school history in both total touchdowns and rushing TDs, third in all-purpose yards and fourth in rushing yards.

In 2009, Dexter McCluster became the first player in SEC history with 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in the same season. The first-team All-American recorded the second-highest rushing total in school history and went on to be drafted in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.

In his first season with the Rebels, Nix helped construct a running attack that ranked second in the SEC. Using a balanced attack, the Rebels featured three rushers that piled up at least 500 rushing yards in McCluster (655), Cordera Eason (647) and Bolden (542). McCluster was also named a second team All-SEC selection as an all-purpose player.

As a recruiter, Nix played a key role in Ole Miss assembling top-20 signing classes each of the past three seasons, including a No. 15 ranked group in 2010. With the bulk of his focus on in-state talent, Nix helped ink a 2011 class that included Mississippi’s top five recruits and a record eight of the "Dandy Dozen."

Before arriving in Oxford, Nix spent 2007 in the NFL as offensive assistant and quality control coach for Bobby Petrino's Atlanta Falcons.

Nix, one of the best-known players to ever wear a Southern Miss uniform, began his four-year stint on the Golden Eagles sidelines as a defensive graduate assistant in 2003. The following year, Nix was promoted to tight ends coach before being appointed to the running backs coaching position, where he spent two years.

In 2006 under Nix's direction, the USM running backs ran for 2,378 yards and scored 23 touchdowns, the first time the Golden Eagles ran for over 2,000 yards since 1987. True freshman Damion Fletcher, who earned first-team All-Conference USA honors and Freshman All-American honors, ran for 1,388 yards and scored 11 touchdowns, the second most yards in a season in school history. Fletcher set the freshman rushing record at Southern Miss and for Conference USA, and he was also named a finalist for the Conerly Trophy, signifying the top player in the state of Mississippi.

In 2005, Nix got career-best years from youthful players Larry Thomas and Cody Hull. Thomas posted three 100-yard rushing performances, while Hull started the final two games of the year and recorded his first 100-yard rushing outing in the New Orleans Bowl with 161 yards on 37 carries, setting the Bowl record and the Southern Miss all-time bowl record. Hull's 37 carries tied for the fourth most in school history, matching Nix's own 37-carry performance against Nevada in 1998.

A three-time all-conference selection, Nix was a record-setting running back throughout his Southern Miss playing days and was named to the USM "Team of the Century." He recently became one of only five players in the history of the football program to become a member of the Southern Miss Legends Club.

Nix was the first Golden Eagle ever to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his freshman and sophomore campaigns and the only Southern Miss and C-USA player ever to rush for 1,000 yards or more in three seasons. His career achievements at Southern Miss also included being the C-USA Freshman of the Year and a first team Freshman All-American in 1998.

A sprained ankle, along with a kidney problem, forced Nix to sit out a year and a half, before returning for a successful senior season in 2002, which earned him an invitation to the Senior Bowl. After successful kidney transplant surgery in June 2003, Nix began his coaching career as a graduate assistant for the Golden Eagles.

The Attalla, Ala., native was born February 22, 1980 and is a 2002 Southern Miss graduate with a bachelor's degree in sports administration. Nix is married to the former Allison Story of Frankfort, Ky., who also attended USM and played forward on the women's basketball team.

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    • Loading Tweets...
      1 second ago
    Blog
    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Jan. 25

      Sunday, January 25, 2015 - Athletics

      Classes started on the Ole Miss campus this past week, as the men's and women's basketball teams enter the heart of Southeastern Conference play. Some of the spring sports have started their 2015 seasons, while others are gearing up for... read more

    • Prewitt Caps Impressive Week at Senior Bowl

      Sunday, January 25, 2015 - Football

      Former Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt capped an impressive week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, with a game-high five tackles in the game itself Saturday. His former teammate, cornerback Senquez Golson sat out the game with a hamstring... read more

    • VIDEO: Home is Ole Miss

      Friday, January 23, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss Football: Home is Ole Miss from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Baseball Omaha Challenge

      Friday, January 23, 2015 - Baseball

      The Season: Ole Miss Baseball: Omaha Challenge 2014 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Rivalry Game with NCAA Tournament Implications

      Thursday, January 22, 2015 - Women's Basketball

      Ole Miss closes out a three-game stretch in which they will have faced three consecutive ranked opponents when they welcome No. 18 Mississippi State on Thursday night. The Rebels are 1-1 through the first two games of the stretch, having... read more

    • Prewitt, Golson Impress at Senior Bowl Practices

      Thursday, January 22, 2015 - Football

       Photo GalleryCody Prewitt and Senquez Golson will represent Ole Miss in the Senior Bowl, which will take place Saturday at 3 p.m. CT from Mobile, Alabama, and will be televised by the NFL Network. The duo have already had a busy... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Jan. 13-19, 2015)

      Monday, January 19, 2015 - Athletics

      Men's Basketball - Ole Miss thrashed No. 19 Arkansas 96-82 on Saturday. The Rebels picked up their first true road win over a ranked opponent since 2003 and scored the second-most points ever by an opponent in Bud Walton Arena.... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Jan. 18

      Sunday, January 18, 2015 - Athletics

      The Ole Miss men's and women's basketball teams both made some history, while the men's and women's tennis teams started their spring seasons. National Signing Day (Feb. 4) and the start of baseball season (Feb. 13) are less than a... read more

    • Key Stretch Starts with Tough Test in LSU

      Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      After an up-and-down non-conference slate that included wins over Creighton, Cincinnati and Oregon, all away from home, and losses to Charleston Southern and Western Kentucky, both at home, Ole Miss learned a lot about itself in the first week of... read more

    • Way-Too-Early Preseason Top 25 Rankings

      Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss football finished the 2014 football season with a 9-4 record and a top-20 final national rankings in both polls. The Rebels come in at No. 17 in the Associated Press poll and No. 19 in the Amway Coach... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Jan. 6-12, 2015)

      Monday, January 12, 2015 - Athletics

      Women's Basketball - Ole Miss went 2-0 on the week with a road win at Florida and a win at home against Alabama, moving to 13-4 overall and 3-1 in SEC action while winning back-to-back SEC games for the first... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Jan. 11

      Sunday, January 11, 2015 - Athletics

      The Ole Miss men's basketball team opened SEC play, while the Ole Miss women's basketball team continued SEC play, as we enter the heart of college basketball season. Over the weekend, the men's and women's teams posted wire-to-wire wins on... read more

    • Rebels to Open SEC Play ' in Grand Fashion'

      Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Ole Miss looks to reverse history, as the Rebels (9-4) travel to No. 1 Kentucky tonight (6 p.m., SEC Network), the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams. Ole Miss is 0-15 all-time against the nation's top ranked team, last playing... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Dec. 29, 2014-Jan. 5, 2015)

      Monday, January 5, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 29, 2014-Jan. 5, 2015Football- The No. 9 Ole Miss football team finished the 2014 football season with a 9-4 record, its best since 2009, after a 42-3 defeat to No. 6 TCU in the... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Jan. 4

      Sunday, January 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Observations from the Best Seat in the House is back, having taken a week off for the Christmas holidays and traveled to Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. The football team finished the season in a "New Year's Six" bowl,... read more