Ole Miss hires former Arkansas head coach Nutt

JACKSON, Miss. -- 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 hours later.

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

Nutt agreed to a contract late Monday night. He 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.

• Sonny Lubick is out as Colorado State coach and hasn't decided whether to accept the school's offer to stay on as a fundraiser and goodwill ambassador.

"I have no plans right now. It's too early to speculate," Lubick said at a news conference.

Athletic director Paul Kowalczyk said Lubick has a job as associate athletic director available to him "if and when he wants it."

• Virginia started the year with a performance that only fueled speculation on Al Groh's future at his alma mater. The Cavaliers spent the rest of the season making their coach look pretty good.

Groh's team bounced back from a humbling loss to Wyoming to win seven straight games, carrying the Cavaliers to the brink of a division championship. Now, with his team heading to a bowl game for the fifth time in six seasons, Groh was named the Atlantic Coast Conference coach of the year.

For winning the coaching award, Groh will collect a $25,000 bonus under terms of the six-year contract he signed with Virginia in 2005. The school also has exercised an option to add a year onto his contract.

• A Wake Forest program that relies on patient redshirting and fifth-year seniors has suddenly produced two consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference rookies of the year.

Running back Josh Adams is the latest freshman standout for the Demon Deacons, joining last year's winner, quarterback Riley Skinner, in a backfield that could have coach Jim Grobe's misdirection offense clicking for years to come.

• NFL -- A judge on Tuesday scheduled an April 2 trial date for jailed Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick on two state felony dogfighting charges.

Vick's lawyer, Lawrence Woodward, requested a jury trial during the 5-minute session.

The suspended NFL star did not attend the hearing in Surry County Circuit Court. Vick is being held at a Warsaw, Va., jail after surrendering on Nov. 19 to begin serving time for a federal dogfighting conspiracy conviction.

Vick faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 10 in the federal case.

• COLLEGE BASKETBALL -- Two people said Texas Tech basketball coach Bob Knight or his hunting companion hit them with birdshot on two occasions last month.

Neither person was injured or required medical treatment, and no criminal charges were filed against Knight.

Mary Ann Chumley said Tuesday she was struck on the foot by a stray pellet on Oct. 20 in an incident she characterized as an accident. She said Knight apologized for hunting too close to her barn, and she forgave him.

Another resident near the dove field said the coach and another hunter returned the next day, and one of them intentionally fired a shotgun in his direction.


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