Rumor Mill: Is Nix in the Mix as the Next OLB Coach at Ole Miss?

From an Ole Miss beat writer and contributor to Rebel Magazine, Jim Shute.

Having trouble finding more sources beyond this, but it could be a topic for conversation.

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.


And the countdown of everyone expecting a Splash Hire but to be disappointed with a small ripple begins

If this turns out to be true and it happens, it will certainly be someone from inside the Fuente circle, specifically someone that worked with him at Murray State or Illinois State. Book it!

Or the people expecting us to hire a former player just because they played for us once upon a time, not even considering things like, you know, proven coaching ability and experience.

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

The rumors I've seen are that Nix was pushed out and Justin Hamilton is filling his spot.

I have not heard anything (I have been in Orlando for a conference all week.) However, if true:

1) Hamilton earned rave reviews from recruit nights for his terrific presence. We already know he had the football savvy to start at three wildly different positions in P5 football.

2) Hamilton understands what Bud Foster needs his safeties to do. I was harshly critical of Floyd and Deablo all season. However, I struggle to believe that Floyd and Deablo suddenly forgot how to play. You have to place some of that blame on Nix.

3) Based on what I know about Justin Hamilton, and based on all the feedback, I think VT would be getting a dynamic, youthful presence who can teach the game, can enthuse and inspire young men, and can recruit. To me, this would be a huge win. He isn't some unproven commodity in the coaching business like some of the other former VT player names which get thrown around. He does the work.

If this is true, I believe it is a huge win.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

J Ham is probably one of the best options

Recruit Prosim

This is a great take. J Ham played multiple positions, including wide receiver, which is a huge bonus when coaching dbacks. A good coach knows multiple positions and he was taught all these positions by some great coaches (hite, ball, ward). He obviously knows Foster's system, so that is a huge plus. He was drafted into the NFL after changing multiple positions, so it gives him a little more credibilty when coaching up these guys and recruiting. He has also been on the recruiting trail recently taking bud's spot due to bud's injury, so he's already been making contact with the kids we're in on.

Most of all, the guy is one of the most personable people you will ever meet and has never met a stranger. I have no doubt he'd be a top notch recruiter.

If the Nix rumor is true and j ham doesn't get the job, I would be shocked and utterly disappointed.

💯 J Ham says hi to Mom's

Tyrod did it Mikey, Tyrod did it!!

Not too concerned that Ole Miss will be using Bud's defensive backfield concepts.

If Nix left for Ole Miss, I'd expect Fuente to promote J Ham which I imagine would be a popular decision from the TKP peanut gallery...if Fuente brought in Loren Johnson to fill J Ham's old position, that'd be a bingo.

..if Fuente brought in Loren Johnson

I didn't know who this is, so after a quick Google search I can say that she's very well qualified.

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

I bet she can recruit

Twitter me

I've heard talk of this sequence in multiple places, so could be some fire to that smoke.

In summary: Nix leaves, J Ham takes his spot, Loren Johnson takes J Ham's spot.


The rumor I heard was switch D Tapp for Loren Johnson.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Reminder that if we brought Loren Johnson into a support role we would not be able to recruit anyone from Highland Springs for I think it's 2 years. This would include safety Malcolm Greene who was recently featured in an article on here and is a Top 5 player in VA for 2020

is that just for on-field coaching staff or does it apply to support staff too?

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Support staff. If you hired him as one of your 10 assistants then you could recruit the school. Like UMD with the Dematha coach.

The idea being if you're willing to pay him for a "real" job on the staff, it probably isn't just for recruits, like an ambiguous quality control position would.

thanks. i had it backwards in my head.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

if we brought Loren Johnson into a support role we would not be able to recruit anyone from Highland Springs

Second Choice (currently serving as a GA for us):

What if Greene were to commit before Johnson was hired?

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

He would probably need to sign first.

I was lucky enough to have Coach J coach me in high school (albeit briefly). Granted coaching D1 football isn't the same as coaching in high school, but he made everyone on the team markedly better. To this day, I'd still run through a brick wall for than man. Would LOVE to see what he could do coaching at VT.

Also, apologists already jotting down D backfield excuses because new hire "doesn't know the system yet"

Hope he doesn't get into trouble with any Hotty Toddys

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

Would not be surprised if Nix made a move back the SEC like this. He was a patch option for us after the unexpected Galen Scott situation. I do think Nix has some value on the recruiting trail, but there has been a lot of discussion about his coaching of the safeties within our system, though I do think it's a little unfair to throw that exclusively on him given that he didn't even have a full offseason with the team.

Maybe this opens the door for Jham or Tapp to find a place on our staff?

Honestly if he does move on then I wish him the best, he helped us do a lot of what we needed in the offseason (juco's). If that was the plan all along then it worked, if this is just and opportunity to get back to the SEC then we just sent two coaches to the SEC. If he isnt leaving then great we get tit see what he can do with a full offseason.

No matter what thank you Mr. Nix.

"we get tit"

That wasn't a winning strategy for Galen.

Has DTapp been coaching?

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Did a GA year at CMU this past year.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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Bring in Tapp in Hamilton's role and hopefully get Danna to transfer with him.

Justin Hamilton

It's high time to bring Jeron Gouveia-Winslow* home!

*assuming Theron Norman and Holland Fisher aren't available

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

If we hire Drew Harris, will he finally show up on campus?


Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

Sidebar: Andy Bitter actually interviewed him for an article in the Athletic. Was very interesting read.

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That is a very good article.

Edited to remove link. I didn't realize this would be considered a pay-walled site when you can read in the app for free.

Can't link to paywalled sites - you may want to edit/remove.

Twitter me

Kam Chancellor is just out there unemployed...


We put the K in Kwality

Dwayne Lawson FTW.

Is Brent Venables available? I would give him a co DC title.

Yeah, now that Gregg Williams is off the market, Venables would be my second choice. Anyone else would be a profound disappointment.

Not the bagman VT deserves, but the bagman VT needs right now.

I think Belichick could probably use a new challenge.

Hokies United l Ut Prosim

Jesus have you seen his recurits? All 3 stars or lower!

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Worst part is every year he has 5 stars knocking on his door and takes two 3 stars instead! A real OKG coach.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about


We need to open up our checkbooks and make a big time hire.

Venables checks all the boxes - hes a proven coordinator, hes shown promise as a recruiter, and he has experience at a high level program.

I dont see any realistic reason why this shouldnt be our top choice, and if we miss out, something needs to change in the program.

Ehh, Venables would be a good hire, but at this point, I am Saban or bust- although I could be talked into settling with Dabo Swinney.

I think we should resurrect Vince Lombardi otherwise more guys will transfer.

Seriously though, if we hired Dabo Swinney as co-defensive coordinator I don't think I would be especially happy with the hire for that position.

...but only because he never played a down at Virginia Tech.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

Why would we hire Dabo? I mean he's never been a coordinator. I think we are a big enough program to merit some one with experience as a coordinator for our OC and DC positions.

Dabo would never take a lateral move to be an assistant position coach here at this point in his career. why even talk about it?

Chick Patty w/ Cheese

whats all the fuss about Dabo anyways, if you want to make a splash hire and bring in a proven coach we should go after the TE coach at OU. #soonerboomer /s

#Bapn ain't EZ

Wanna win put boobie in! Let boobie spin coach!


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Reading this, I believe you are the one who this GIF belongs to, my good sir. (Unless there is an edit that I missed)

Edit: Don't edit your whoosh gif! Now I looks dumb(er than normal)

I can think of a great candidate for the Safeties coach. He's a proven recruiter, worked with Bud in the past and understands the system, played DB at Tech, AND has prior coaching experience. As a bonus, he is well respected in the game at multiple levels. Somebody needs to get Frank Beamer on the phone and see if he's available.

He's probly just down at the QuickE Mart.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Getting pedicures, eating shakes.

Click here to destroy wall.

I just heard a rumor Frank Beamer is rejoining the VT coaching staff as safeties coach.

Paging Shane Beamer....

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009


1-0 every week

Hot Take: J Ham will be our next head coach

And maybe after Buzz leaves (after winning at least a couple championships) J Rob will coach the basketball team so we have coach J Ham and coach J Rob. Or Whit (yes, he will still be around) will call J Rob coach 5 because we already have a Justin on staff.

I like the balance on Alabama's coaching staff, they give importance to the offense and Defense. :

5 coaches for offense and 5 for Defense.

I feel our staff is not setup right, with 10 Assistant coaches we should be focusing on the positions more. The balance is not there on the hokies team.

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

What position needs a coach?

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This comment wreaks of inspired pot stirring. Our staff is as balanced as any other - nonsense.

What position needs a coach?


That was Galen Scott's job.

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

Exactly, we haven't hired anyone to fill the hole Galen Scott left

Ouch, just ouch.

Wasn't his problem that he was filling too many holes....

On a scale from Torrian Gray to Galen Scott in saying hi to moms, you need to be somewhere in the middle.

You need a coach for that?

Using /s is for cowards.

Leg for you! That's some grade A investigative work.

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Could be that he was just the person there representing the Safeties for that meeting, but I'm sure we will find out soon enough.


But Vice "liking" my tweet mentioning this would be weird.

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Has there been any confirmation from Ole Miss?

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.

I personally would be fine with any defensive coach not named Bud or Wiles leaving for a different job after last year. See ya. College football is a tough, big business. Coaches need to be held accountable for bad performance. Bud and Charlie have proven they can coach. The others, not so much. Peace out.

I may be in the minority here, but I'm a fan of the job Mitchell has done. Stroman, Facyson, and Alexander were all on 53-man rosters as rookies. A couple players that he coached at WVU are also on 53-man rosters. Had the secondary looked like what we thought it was going to look like (i.e. Webb, Alexander, and Mook), our secondary wouldn't have been such a train wreck this season. Farley hardly played any defense in high school, and we beat out Rutgers for Watts. Neither of those guys should have been starting so early.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

I can't say I am a fan but I am not calling for him to be fired either. I agree he did not have the talent to work with this year as he, and all of us, were expecting. I think a big issue was the lack of basic fundamentals our CBs showed. Tackling was terrible. Some of that is young players who lack experience and aren't physically ready to be ACC starters, but some of it was technique. Opposing QBs also had all day to throw it which hurts any CB in the country.

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

Watts was essentially a skeleton, and Farley hardly played any defense in high school. Give Watts an off-season to put on some muscle and give Farley off-season to learn more about tackling technique, and I think they'll be okay. Quillen is a great tackler and happens to be one of the veterans of the group. You're definitely right about quarterbacks having all day to throw. Once Hill was gone and Walker was injured, our defensive line might as well have just not been there.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

I'm sure JHam can teach them how to tackle

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

That's fair, but it's concerning that the young guys played all year with little improvement.

Watts broke his arm and played with that the 2nd half of the season which I am sure did not help someone already undersized.

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

Did anyone on the defense improve though? Everyone got worse or stayed the same with the exception of Dax. I think it was a classic case of learned helplessness. Once these guys got it in their head that they weren't a good defense, they couldn't shake it. Stroman was a major liability for all of 2015. Facyson took a step back to due injury after 2013 but eventually made it back to good form. Players not improving during the season doesn't worry me that much as long as they make strides during the off-season.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

I'm not sure Dax is a good example of someone who really improved. He was hitting the wrong gap regularly in the bowl game. I love Dax, and I think he will be a great LB for us, but whether it was just too little time in the system or playing the wrong position (Backer), he definitely was guessing a lot on where he needed to be.

I think the much maligned Caleb Farley actually did improve throughout the year, along with Garbutt. Farley was honestly very good in coverage and was almost never penalized, but if he gave up a slant (like every corner on earth does sometimes), the Farley complainers would explode into laments about how he is garbage. Overall, he was quite reliable in coverage, and flashed better tackling at times throughout the year, I expect him to make bigger strides in tackling with this full offseason at corner.

arley was honestly very good in coverage and was almost never penalized

YES! His supposed lack of technique would preclude this. If you watch Farley closely on pass breakups his technique is nearly flawless. He's tight on the receiver and get's his arms through their arms as the ball arrives. That is textbook VT DB play (and I'm sure other places as well).

Farley's tackling issue is mostly his head tying up his legs when trying to judge when lunge. Every extra step he takes in trying to figure it out puts in him an even worse position.

I agree that he'll be fine and probably way better than fine.

Farley also over runs the play in runs support, which is a part of tackling, but tracking the ball and breaking up in man he looked a lot better later in the season.

I see this type of comment pretty often but have come to realize that the expectation for players to dramatically improve during a season is not very realistic unless health is the main issue and that improves over the season.

College athletes are limited in their time allowed with coaches and much of that time is spent communicating the game plan for the next opponent. The coaches can spend a practice or two on fundamentals (and I'm sure that happened this year) but a team that was already struggling with some of the basics is now going to be less familiar with their opponent's scheme and tendencies. That doesn't bode well for the results game day either, as you have players who needed extra time on basics facing an opponent they aren't fully prepared for.

Ultimately I think player development and growth is much more likely to occur outside of the season. The coaches aren't preparing for a specific team and can work on specific fundamentals or installing concepts/packages as they see fit. It also helps when the coaches have seen the players in game action to get an idea of where they need . As everyone knows, we had a rough offseason with player losses last year and then we continued to lose expected contributors from an already thin roster during the season. A lot of the players didn't look prepared because they weren't supposed to be on the field yet. I believe if we don't see progress between last season and this season, there will be substantially more cause for concern.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

I agree with this with the caveat that if their fundamentals were sound at the beginning of the season their overall performance can improve dramatically by the end of the season.

As has been mentioned previously, Hamilton has a ton of experience in the scheme at multiple positions. He knows how Bud wants his safeties to play. I really think this will lead to a huge improvement in safety positioning and play.

247 now reporting JHam is expected to be the new safties coach. I think this is a good move and wish him the best - great guy and seems to be doing a solid job.

Hokies expected to promote Justin Hamilton

News broken here first by EddieVT.

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LA and BAG don't have *$(@ on me

I expect him to become the next Torrian Grey. Someone who Hokie fans will want to take over as a the new defensive coordinator in a few years.


I want him to take over the first missed tackle for a 60-yard TD!


We put the K in Kwality

News below, give Q the legs

VB born, class of '14

Missed it by that much (26 seconds). What'll u have, QQ?

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

Q actually beats me since I made an edit, so throw em some legs

VB born, class of '14

Any excuse to day drink, eh?


When mine posted, it had the same time stamp in seconds as yours did pre-edit. I was sad when you made the edit and that changed.

Got too fancy for myself I guess

VB born, class of '14

Loren Johnson is a person I would love to have on the staff in the future. Not only was he a great player but the articles I have read on him leave me very impressed in the person he has become. Edit: here is one of the articles.

And to toss another name out there, has anyone seen who is coaching for Texas A&M Commerce?

Holy thread resurrection!!!! But isn't A&M Commerce where Mook was before his apartment burned down and he turned his focus to the draft? Wonder if the Adibi connection is why...

Yes that's the same place.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I don't think the Adibi connection is why he went there. I thought it was because his brother was there, and they shared an apartment.

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

The thread is from just over a month ago. Much older have been resurrected before.

Adibi is a super nice person. I was bummed something at the next level never really happened for him.


You may get your wish on LJ

LJ replacing Mitchell or taking a support staff role? If support staff we'd have to stop recruiting Greene and anyone else from HS correct?

Support staff. Someone on 247 mentioned talk of him potentially getting a waiver to recruit HS after he's hired (if he gets hired) but I haven't heard anything like that from my side nor do I even know if that is a real thing

He would be a phenomenal recruiter IMO. Highly respected by VHSL coaches and parents alike.

Is it basketball season yet?

Would go a long ways with Greene and the '21 DE, that's for sure

Didn't FSU get denied a similar waiver just recently under more favorable circumstances? Doesn't seem like the NCAA is inclined to grant them.

when dealing with the NCAA you just gotta throw it out there and see what sticks. if damon hazelton had transferred today from ball he probably could have gotten a hardship waiver with the tate martell reasoning but because he was 2 years to early he had to sit a year.

#Bapn ain't EZ

Wanna win put boobie in! Let boobie spin coach!

I was covering a Stonewall Jackson football game in the mid 2000s, and they had traditionally been a doormat of a program in previous years, but they won the game with a couple of dynamic running backs (a senior and a freshman) and some big special teams plays.

When I asked the coach after the game about his team's special teams play he said, "That's where I learned that, right there," and pointed to my shirt. I looked down and realized I was wearing a VT shirt, and then I looked at the game program to see the name of the coach. It took me about 2 seconds, and then I looked up at him and he was grinning when I said, "Weren't you the one who-?" and he was like "Yep, that was me!"

When I interviewed the Stonewall players, I made sure they knew their coach had made what I still consider to be the most important play in Virginia Tech history to beat Miami in '95. Now Google tells me that Loren Johnson went on to win 4 state titles at Highland Springs. Amazing!

(ps-That freshman running back was Ryan Williams)

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

in a completely unrelated news topic. (kind of but still VT maybe future coaching prospect) I ran into garnell wilds last weekend at IMG for a 7on7 tournament (he coaches a team from tampa, his hometown) and had a nice little talk with him. real cool dude, exchanged contact info and going to keep in touch with him. hes not super active on social media but maybe hes a guy that can do a TKP Q&A he played safety at tech from 00-03 and played in the NFL for a short stint with the redskins and panthers.

#Bapn ain't EZ

Wanna win put boobie in! Let boobie spin coach!