David Lee Joins Ole Miss Football Staff

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Photo Courtesy Miami Dolphins
Photo Courtesy Miami Dolphins

Jan. 10, 2011

BLOG: Lee Proven QB Developer


OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt announced here Monday that David Lee is joining the Rebel football staff as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. The appointment is pending approval of the Board of Trustees, State Institutions of Higher Learning.

This marks Lee’s second term on the Ole Miss coaching staff, as he was the Rebels’ quarterbacks coach from 1978-82. Under head coach Steve Sloan, Lee tutored record-setting QBs Kent Austin and John Fourcade, who rank third and fourth, respectively, on the all-time Ole Miss passing list.

Lee reunites with Nutt for the third time in his coaching career, having twice served on his staffs at Arkansas, most recently in 2007 when the team advanced to a Cotton Bowl berth in Nutt’s final season in Fayetteville. Lee spent the past three seasons in the NFL as the Miami Dolphins’ quarterbacks coach and played a vital role in reintroducing and transforming the Wildcat offense at the pro level.

"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with David again,” Nutt said. “With his great offensive mind and ability to develop quarterbacks, we plan to recreate the success we had together at Arkansas."

As offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2007, Lee presided over a Razorbacks offense that averaged 38.8 points per game and 457.4 yards per contest in the regular season, figures that ranked 12th and 18th nationally, respectively, and were school records. The running game in 2007 ranked fourth nationally, while as a team, Arkansas threw 24 touchdown passes and only 10 interceptions.

Nutt also hired Lee as his quarterbacks coach in 2001, where he spent two seasons and contributed to a team that won the 2002 SEC Western Division Championship and advanced to the SEC Championship Game.

Lee left Arkansas to join the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, where he helped develop Tony Romo from an undrafted college free agent in 2003 to a Pro Bowl selection in 2006. In Lee’s four years in Dallas, three different Cowboys signal-callers threw for 3,000 yards in a single season.

The 35-year coaching veteran served seven seasons at Rice University (1994-2000) as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Upon his arrival at Rice, he helped lead the Owls to a share of the Southwest Conference title in 1994 and their first win over Texas since 1965. During his tenure, Rice racked up six of the school’s top rushing totals, including a school-record 332.7 yards-per-game average in 1997. Rice ranked in the top 10 nationally in rushing three times during his stay.

From 1989-93, he was the head coach at Texas-El Paso before moving on to Rice as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 1994.

Lee’s first stint with Arkansas was during a successful run in the late 1980s. As UA’s quarterbacks coach, Lee helped direct Razorback teams that sported a 45-15-1 record with five consecutive bowl appearances.

Included in that run was the 1986 season in which Arkansas quarterbacks threw just two interceptions (a SWC record) while helping the Hogs to a 10-2 record and an Orange Bowl appearance.

Promoted to offensive coordinator in 1988, Lee helped engineer the Hogs’ first Southwest Conference championship in nine years and first outright league title since 1965. The 1988 offensive unit committed just 11 turnovers in 11 games and led the nation in turnover ratio while featuring a pair of All-SWC sophomores, quarterback Quinn Grovey and fullback Barry Foster.

Lee began his coaching career in 1975 at Tennessee-Martin where he tutored quarterbacks and receivers for two seasons while organizing the first Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter in the school’s history.

He spent the 1977 season as quarterbacks coach at his alma mater Vanderbilt before his first tenure at Ole Miss. In 1983, Lee served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at New Mexico.

Lee has seen six of his quarterbacks drafted or sign free-agent deals following their collegiate careers.

A three-year letterman at Vanderbilt, Lee served as team captain and was named the team’s most valuable player in 1974 after quarterbacking the Commodores to a 7-3-2 record, including a 24-10 upset of No. 5 Florida. Lee was voted SEC Player of the Week by the Associated Press after leading Vanderbilt to its first win over the Gators in 15 years.

Lee went on to lead the SEC in passing and guided his team to a 6-6 tie with Texas Tech in the Peach Bowl. That same season, Lee served as president of Vanderbilt’s FCA chapter.

A native of Dexter, Mo., Lee prepped at Woodham High School in Pensacola, Fla., where he graduated in 1971. Lee earned an undergraduate degree in history from Vanderbilt in 1975.

Born July 2, 1953, Lee is married to the former Lynne Kazanowski. The couple has four children – daughters Dana and Shannon, and sons Brian and Jordan.

It was also announced Monday that assistant coach Dave Rader will not return to Ole Miss in 2011.

"I really appreciate Coach Rader being a part of our staff,” said Nutt. “He did a great job with a challenging situation, and I wish him nothing but the best."

In addition, Rebel assistant coach Mike Markuson’s title will return to running game coordinator/offensive line coach.

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