The Southern drawl and folksy, homespun caricature that is Houston Nutt coaching an FBS football program in the Northeast? Yes please, sign me up. Now.
A prominent — but unidentified — Connecticut high school football coach told the Connecticut News-Times that, out of the blue recently, Nutt called him recently to get a feel for the players at that level of football in the state. With the UConn job opening up earlier this season — Paul Pasqualoni was fired after two-plus seasons on the job — the fact that Nutt is feeling out to coaches in the state is a rather significant data point amidst rumors and speculation that he’s in line for the job.
“Houston wanted to know about the landscape of football in Connecticut and what kind of players we had, the skill-level, and the hot-beds for talent,” the anonymous coach told the News-Times. “I guess he’s doing his research. I was taken by surprise a little bit. I’m not sure how he got my cell number*.”
(*He’s Houston Nutt; he has his ways)
Houston Nutt, UConn Huskies head coach: that has a helluva ring to it and would open up a whole new world in which to define “culture clashes.”
The Arkansas native has spent the vast majority of his playing and coaching career in and around the South. After playing quarterback at both Oklahoma State and Arkansas, Nutt has held coaching jobs at those two schools as well as Murray State (Kentucky) and Ole Miss. He also spent one (glorious) season as the head coach at Boise State in the late nineties.
Three days after Arkansas beat eventual BCS champion LSU in 2007, Nutt stepped down as the Razorbacks’ head coach after 10 seasons. Literally a few hours after his resignation, he had reached an agreement and signed a contract to become the head coach at Ole Miss.
Toward the end of his fourth season with the Rebels, Nutt was fired in November of 2011; he’s been out of coaching since, spending his football seasons now as a CBS Sports television analyst.
Since then, Nutt’s tracked well beneath the coaching radar. In December of 2012, there were reports that Nutt interviewed for the USF vacancy. A month or so later, it was reported that he had met with the Dallas Cowboys about a potential on that staff.
(Tip O’ the Cap: Jackson Clarion-Ledger)