Derrick Nix, one of the best-known players to ever wear a Southern Miss uniform, is coaching the running backs for the second year. Nix began his coaching career in 2003 as the defensive graduate assistant, before moving to the tight end position in 2004.
In 2005, Nix got career-best years from youthful players Larry Thomas and Cody Hull, as both split time in the backfield. Thomas posted three 100-yard rushing performances in 2005 (115 vs. McNeese State, 118 vs. Marshall and 129 vs. UAB). Hull started the final two games of 2005 and recorded the first 100-yard rushing performance of his career in the New Orleans Bowl, with 161 yards on 37 carries, setting the New Orleans Bowl record and the Southern Miss all-time bowl record. His 37 carries tied for the fourth most in school history, matching Nix's 37-carry performance against Nevada in 1998.
As the tight ends coach in 2004, Nix's tight ends, used primarily as blockers in the offensive scheme, were successful. Otho Graves caught six passes, three of them for touchdowns on the season, and Patrick Corbett had four catches on the year, a career-high.
Nix was a record-setting running back throughout his Southern Miss playing days. He was so success-ful that he was named to the Golden Eagle Team of the Century that was announced in 2000 and recent-ly became one of only five players in the history of the football program to become a member of the Southern Miss Legends Club.
His name is prominent in the Southern Miss record book, including becoming the first Golden Eagle player ever to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his freshman and sophomore seasons and the only Southern Miss and Conference USA player ever to rush for 1,000 yards or more in three seasons, finishing just 12 yards short of becoming the all-time leading rusher at Southern Miss and 53 yards short of the C-USA record, despite an injury shortened career that required him to have a kidney transplant in June 2003.
A sprained ankle, along with the kidney problem, forced Nix, a three-time All-Conference USA selection, to sit out a year and a half, before returning to fashion a successful senior season.
Nix, a 2002 Southern Miss graduate with a bachelor's degree in sport administration, is working toward a master's degree in the same field. His older brother, Tyrone, a member of the Southern Miss coaching staff from 1995-2003, was a four-year standout linebacker for Southern Miss and is now the defensive coordinator at South Carolina.
He is the son of Preston and Mary Nix of Attalla, Ala.
The Nix File
Date of Birth: Feb, 22, 1980
Hometown: Attalla, Ala.
Education: Southern Miss, '02 (bachelor's)
Year at Southern Miss: Fourth
Year in Coaching: Fourth
Southern Miss, 2005-06: Running Backs
Southern Miss, 2004: Tight ends
Southern Miss, 2003: Defensive Graduate Assistant
2005: New Orleans Bowl 2004: Wyndham New Orleans Bowl
2003: AXA Liberty Bowl
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