Virginia Tech: Hokies hire Tyrone Nix to coach in the Secondary
Virginia Tech has hired Tyrone Nix to coach safeties for the 2018 season. The new Hokies hire was most recently a defensive analyst for Kevin Sumlin at Texas A&M. Nix has been a defensive coordinator at Southern Miss, South Carolina, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State. In 2001, he became the youngest coordinator at the FBS-level when he was promoted to defensive coordinator at Southern Miss.
WHY IS A SEEMINGLY RANDOM HIRE BY VIRGINIA TECH IMPORTANT TO ME?
In 2007, while defensive coordinator at South Carolina, Tyrone Nix did something very special for me. Whether he knew it or not. To tell that story, I must offer some background. My cousin, Dewayne Lavelle, was recruited to play Linebacker at Southern Miss in 1999. In 2000, he sustained an injury that would end his football playing career. Southern Miss allowed him to stay on scholarship by becoming a defensive assistant under new defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix.
Coach Nix and Dewayne became close over this time and remain so to this day. After he took over the defensive coordinator duties at South Carolina, Dewayne set up a trip for us to make to Columbia to watch South Carolina host Kentucky for a Thursday Night football game. I have been a South Carolina fan for nearly thirty years and this remains the only time I have ever seen them play in Columbia.
We arrived at the stadium at 10 am for a 7 pm kickoff. After being greeted by Coach Nix outside of the stadium, he proceeded to tour us around the team facilities. First was a visit to the locker room, then the weight room, and finally other parts of Williams-Brice Stadium. We even got to visit the office of the then head coach Steve Spurrier (he was not there at the time).
After a thorough beating of Kentucky on national television, we met Coach Nix again. This time however it was even more fun. We got to hang out with the entire coaching staff, eat some junk food, and for a brief moment, I even got to meet the Head Ball Coach himself. Can you imagine what this was like for a huge Gamecocks fan like myself? A person who proudly supports the school with a Gamecock tattoo on his right arm. I still think about it to this day. It is the main reason I have never gone back to Columbia for a game. It will never be as good as the first time.
It is because of that experience that I became a Tyrone Nix fan for life. At the end of 2007, Coach Nix resigned to take the same position at Mississippi under Houston Nutt. It was never said publicly but I believe “philosophical” differences led him to leave the Gamecocks program. After Mississippi fired Houston Nutt, Coach Nix joined Rick Stockstill’s Middle Tennessee staff as the DC. When the Southern Miss head coaching job came open two years ago, I really hoped he would get a shot. The Eagles hired Jay Hopson and Coach Nix joined the Aggies staff in College Station as an analyst. But now, he is a Hokie. And for that reason, I will openly pull for Virginia Tech (unless of course, they are playing the Gamecocks).
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