Nutt Takes Ole Miss Post

One day, Houston Nutt was leaving Arkansas. The next, he was heading to Mississippi.

Ole Miss will introduce Nutt as its new coach Wednesday, ending a whirlwind hiring that began when he resigned at Arkansas on Monday and agreed to become the Rebels' coach about four hours later.

Mississippi was without a coach for less than three days. Ed Orgeron was fired on Saturday after three losing seasons.

Rebels athletic director Pete Boone said Tuesday he contacted Nutt on Sunday after hearing a rumor the coach would be resigning. Nutt didn't really want to talk then "because he had a job," Boone said. That soon changed.

"This all happened overnight with me," Boone said.

Nutt agreed to a contract Monday night, a four-year deal that will pay him $1.7 million to start and increase by $100,000 each year. He has an option for three more seasons as well, with the opportunity to earn more money with incentives.

"I think we were thorough in our discussions and covered all the things we needed to cover, but I felt like let's get this thing done," Boone said.

Nutt will be introduced at a news conference on campus in Oxford, ending a frenetic 48 hours for the school and its new coach.

"It's human nature not to like change, but I think in this case, change is going to be a good thing," fullback Jason Cook said. "Especially as a player, you get excited when a guy gets hired like coach Nutt. He's more than proven in the SEC and proven as a coach that he can take talent and work with it. We're very excited."

Nutt led Arkansas to an 8-4 record and a likely Cotton Bowl berth while the Rebels stumbled to a 3-9 finish under Orgeron and were winless in the SEC for the first time since 1982.

Ole Miss was searching for a proven winner after years of mediocrity. Nutt neatly fits the description.

He is 111-70 in 15 years as a head coach at Arkansas, Boise State and Murray State, and he's been a winner in the SEC. The Little Rock, Ark., native revived the Arkansas program, going 75-48 since he replaced Danny Ford in 1997. Nutt was 42-38 in conference with one of his biggest wins coming last week when the Razorbacks beat then-No. 1 LSU 50-48 in triple overtime.

While the Razorbacks head into the postseason, Nutt will be going to the homes of recruits attempting to hold together the promising class Orgeron was assembling.


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