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Virginia Tech makes hiring of Tyrone Nix official

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With summer camp looming closer and closer on the horizon, Justin Fuente has officially filled the lone hole on his Virginia Tech coaching staff.

Following up on reports that surfaced Wednesday, Tech confirmed Thursday that Tyrone Nix has been added as Fuente’s 10th assistant. Specifically, Nix will serve as the Hokies’ safeties coach.

It will mark the first time Nix has overseen anything in that position group since he was the defensive backs coach at Southern Miss in 2000.

“[Defensive coordinator] Bud [Foster] and I both knew we wanted an experienced defensive coach and proven recruiter to fill this position on our staff,” Fuente said in a statement. “We will get that and much more with Tyrone Nix. We’re excited about his proven track record as a coach who can evaluate and develop talent. Just as importantly, we are always looking for individuals who can bring new ideas and concepts to our staff as we continually strive to evolve.

“We are looking forward to Tyrone and his family joining us in Blacksburg. I’m confident that our student-athletes will be challenged by him, while he seeks to develop their full potential on a daily basis. Tyrone is a well-rounded, veteran football coach who will help make us better.”

Nix replaces Galen Scott, who resigned as safeties coach/co-defensive coordinator in April as the result of an extramarital affair.

During a coaching career that stretches back to 1995, Nix has spent time as a defensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee State (2015-16), Ole Miss (2008-11) and his alma mater Southern Miss (2001-04), and served as co-defensive coordinator at South Carolina (2005-07) and MTSU (2012-14). This past season, he was a defensive analyst at Texas A&M.

Alabama blocking GRAD TRANSFER Brandon Kennedy from SEC schools

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Ridiculous, asinine, petty, you name it.  Again.

After leaving Alabama as a graduate transfer in June of 2016, Maurice Smith‘s intended transfer to Georgia was initially blocked by UA before both the school and the SEC relented. Fast-forward nearly two years, and Brandon Kennedy, who earlier this month decided to take the grad transfer route out of ‘Bama, is being barred by his former university from transferring to any school in the conference, is reporting

Specifically, the website reported that the offensive lineman is interested in a transfer to rivals Auburn and Tennessee. Kennedy, who received his bachelor’s degree from the university last December, is appealing the inane restrictions.

In addition to the intra-conference restrictions placed on the graduate transfer, Kennedy, who has two years of eligibility remaining, is also barred from transferring to seven of the eight schools on UA’s non-conference schedule the next two years — Arkansas State, Duke, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisville, New Mexico State, Southern Miss and The Citadel. Kennedy will be allowed, for whatever reason, to play for FCS Western Carolina, which is nice.

In granting Smith’s 2016 request for a waiver, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey noted that, “among other contributing factors, that a student-athlete who graduates in three years and exhibits a strong commitment to his or her academic future provides compelling motivation to help them achieve their goals on and off the field.”

Kennedy enrolled in classes at UA in the summer of 2016 and graduated a little over three years later.

Since last summer, two players have transferred within the SEC. In June of 2017, running back David Williams moved from South Carolina to Arkansas. Earlier this month, defensive back Nick Harvey left Texas A&M and chose South Carolina over, among others, Auburn and Tennessee.

Both Williams and Harvey left their former schools as graduate transfers.

And then there’s this: Chris Black, who announced his decision to transfer from Alabama in December of 2016, landed at Missouri as a graduate transfer in February of 2017 — without Nick Saban or the university blocking his move to the SEC East school.

Report: Alabama adds future games with Western Kentucky, Southern Miss — at $1.9 million a pop

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The cost of doing non-conference scheduling business, especially for Alabama, is going up and up.

Last week, it was reported that the defending national champions had reached a scheduling agreement in which the Mountain West school would receive a whopping $1.9 million guarantee.  Wednesday, reported that Alabama has also reached agreements on future games with Southern Miss and Western Kentucky.

The cost for scheduling those two Conference USA schools?  $1.9 million.  Each.

The Crimson Tide will play the Golden Eagles Sept. 21, 2019, while they’ll face the Hilltoppers Sept. 25, 2021.  Obviously, both of those games will be played within the friendly confines of Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Alabama and WKU have met three times previously, the first coming in 2008 and the last 2016.  UA won all three games by a combined score of 114-17.  ‘Bama and Southern Miss, meanwhile, have played 33 times between 1966-2014.  The Golden Eagles’ three wins in the series came in 2000, 1990 and 1982.  There was also one tie, a 13-all sister-kisser in Birmingham during the 1981 season.

Lane Kiffin set to hire Southern Miss DC for same job at FAU

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In replacing his brother, Lane Kiffin has apparently turned to a fellow Conference USA school.

While there’s been no official announcement from Florida Atlantic, first reported that FAU is set to hire Southern Miss defensive coordinator Tony Pecoraro for the same job with the Owls.  The Sun-Sentinel subsequently confirmed the initial report.

Pecoraro would take over for Chris Kiffin, who left FAU for a job with the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers last month.

Pecoraro has been with the Golden Eagles the past two seasons.  In his first season, they were 18th nationally in yards per game allowed (331) and 79th in scoring defense (30.3 points per game). In 2017, they were 17th (322 ypg) in the former category while they improved to tied for 39th (23) in the latter.

This past season, FAU gave up 408 yards per game (77th) and allowed 24.2 points per game (44th).

Report: Les Koenning one of two coaches expected to be hired by Southern Miss

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Les Koenning wasn’t out of a job for very long.

In early January, it was reported that Koenning would not be returning to his post as the offensive coordinator at UAB. Two months later, the Hattiesburg American is reporting that Koenning is expected to be added to Jay Hopson‘s Southern Miss coaching staff.

In what capacity Koenning would serve is unclear.

Koenning had spent the past two seasons as the coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Blazers. In addition to his time in Birmingham, he’s also served as a coordinator at Alabama (2001-02), Texas A&M (2003-07) and Mississippi State (2009-13).

In addition to Koenning’s impending hiring, the American also reports that Hopson is expected to add Brock Hays to his 10-man on-field staff. Hays spent the past two seasons as running backs coach at FCS Nicholls State.

As is the case with Koenning, Hay’s responsibilities are unknown.