Longtime Ole Miss assistant Derrick Nix hired as Auburn’s offensive coordinator

Published 12:05 pm Wednesday, January 17, 2024

The longest-tenured coach on Ole Miss’ football staff is leaving the program.

Derrick Nix, who has served in a variety of roles on the Rebels’ staff for 16 seasons, has been hired as the offensive coordinator at Auburn.

Nix will be reunited with Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze, after the two worked together during Freeze’s tenure as Ole Miss’ head coach from 2012-16.

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Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin announced the move on his Twitter/X account Wednesday morning, but Auburn has not publicly announced the hire.

Auburn recently fired offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery after one season. The Tigers ranked 121st of 130 Football Bowl Subdivision offenses in passing in 2023, averaging just 162.2 yards per game.

“Acknowledging the opportunity to become a first-time play-caller with full-time play-calling duties as offensive coordinator at Auburn University, we extend our sincere well-wishes to the Nix family in this new endeavor,” Kiffin said in his Twitter/X post. “We will begin the search for a new wide receivers coach immediately with the objective of finding the best fit to coach the top wide receiver room in America.”

The wording of Kiffin’s statement could potentially matter because Nix’s Ole Miss contract stipulates that he would owe a buyout if he left for a job other than a head coaching or coordinator position with primary play-calling duties.

Freeze, however, said in an interview with ESPN recently that he would take over play-calling duties after firing Montgomery. Freeze called his own plays at previous stops, including Ole Miss, Arkansas State and Liberty.

Freeze was one of four head coaches that Nix worked under during a rare lengthy stay at Ole Miss. Nix spent his first 12 seasons coaching the Rebels’ running backs before becoming the wide receivers coach in Kiffin’s first year in 2020. In 2022, Nix was elevated to an assistant head coach in addition to his duties with the wideouts.

The Rebels were the only SEC team and one of three in the Football Bowl Subdivision with three 700-yard receivers in 2023.