Nix Inducted Into Southern Miss M-Club Hall Of Fame
Oct. 10, 2013
By Austin Miller, OleMissSports.com
OXFORD, Miss. -- A record-setting running back throughout his Southern Miss playing days, Ole Miss running backs coach Derrick Nix was inducted into the University of Southern Mississippi M-Club Alumni Association Hall of Fame on Friday.
In team meetings before the Auburn game on Saturday, offensive coordinator Dan Werner announced the honor to the offensive unit, and they all gave Nix a well-deserved round of applause.
"It's a great honor," Nix said. "It made me feel that the things I did as a player back at Southern Miss didn't go unnoticed. It made my preparation worthwhile and verified my career there as a player.
"It's something you don't play for when you're a player, but after your days are over, you start thinking about all the things you did in the past. I wanted to go somewhere where I could make a difference, and I feel like I did that there."
Nicknamed the "Baby Bull," Nix played for the Golden Eagles from 1998 to 2002 and finished his career with 768 carries for 3,584 yards and 30 touchdowns. He was named to the USM "Team of the Century" and has been inducted into 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 Conference USA player ever to rush for 1,000 yards or more in three seasons.
"I take away a lot of great times, playing for championships and playing in bowl games," Nix said. "I remember getting a chance to play and win games against teams like Alabama, building life-long relationships, playing with a lot of future NFL players and playing for great coaches.
"I remember playing and beating Illinois at home my senior year. I think about my sophomore year going and beating Louisville for the C-USA Championship in 1999. I remember just going out there and putting on the black and gold jersey."
A three-time all-conference selection, 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 his senior season in 2002, when he rushed a career-high 1,194 yards and earned an invitation to the Senior Bowl.
Nix remained at Southern Miss, where he began his coaching career as a defensive graduate assistant in 2003, then later served as tight ends coach and running backs coach.
After a year as an offensive assistant and quality control coach for the Atlanta Falcons in 2007, he arrived at Ole Miss in 2008 and is in his sixth year as running backs coach and second as a member of Hugh Freeze's staff.
"The result on Saturday didn't just come by showing up, but the things you did during the week to prepare, on and off the field -- those are the things that flashed back into my mind," Nix said.
"We used to pride ourselves at Southern Miss of doing the most with less. Those types of values are what got me started to where I am today."
Austin Miller is a writer and blogger for OleMissSports.com. He joined the staff in June 2013 after serving as sports editor of the Daily Mississippian. Follow him on Twitter @austinkmiller
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