The Ole Miss Rebels have a familiar name returning to the coaching staff this season as Tyrone Nix heads back to Oxford to become a part of head football coach Matt Luke’s staff.
Nix is the newest assistant coach for the red and blue after safeties coach Jason Jones was relieved of his job earlier this month. On Wednesday Luke announced Nix will be coaching the linebackers for the Rebels next season.
“We are continuing to add invaluable experience to our staff with the addition of Coach Nix to our defense,” Luke said. “His tough-minded approach, along with his familiarity with our program and the state of Mississippi, make him a perfect fit for our program and an asset on the recruiting front.”
Nix first arrived in Oxford as a part of former head coach Houston Nutt’s staff from 2008-2011. After Nix left he had a stop at Middle Tennessee from 2012-14 and in 2017 he spent the season in College Station as a defensive analyst prior to going to Virginia Tech in 2018.
Virginia Tech’s head coach Justin Fuente released a statement on Monday confirming his departure:
“Our staff wishes Coach Nix and his family the very best as he returns to the state of Mississippi, a place where his family owns very deep ties,” the statement read. “I certainly understand his desire to return to a place he considers home, as well as the opportunity to once again coach with his brother at Ole Miss.”
A collegiate linebacker at Southern Miss, Nix embarked on his coaching career at his alma mater as defensive tackles coach in 1995, beginning a decade-long run that also saw him coach outside linebackers (1996-99) and defensive backs (2000). He was elevated to defensive coordinator/inside linebackers coach — a position he held from 2001-04.
From 2001-03, Southern Miss ranked in the top 15 in the nation in both scoring defenses and pass efficiency defense each season. In his 10-year period at Southern Miss, he mentored 12 All-Conference USA selections, four Conference USA Defensive Players of the Year and six All-America selections, while also being named a finalist for Broyles Award in 2003. Southern Miss also enjoyed team success, winning four Conference USA titles and earning seven postseason bowl berths. His many notable pupils coached in Hattiesburg included a pair of future NFL Pro Bowl performers in CB Patrick Surtain and LB Adalius Thomas.
Nix enjoyed his initial stint as a defensive coordinator in the Southeastern Conference, serving in that role and also coaching linebackers for head coach Steve Spurrier at South Carolina (2005-07). A pair of Gamecocks, CB Johnathan Joseph and S Ko Simpson, were selected in the NFL Draft.
Ole Miss opens the 2019 season Aug. 31 as they take on the Memphis Tigers.
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