Friday, January 1, 2010

College Football Coach has Deaf Roots

Houston Nutt's Ole Miss football team plays tomorrow in the Cotton Bowl. Many watching the University of Mississippi Rebels may not know that Nutt grew up playing and communicating with deaf children. His parents taught at the Arkansas School for the Deaf. The 50-year-old Nutt took over at the University of Mississippi after resigning from Arkansas, where he spent a decade coaching the Razorbacks. During his tenure there, he led the team to three Southeastern Conference Western Division titles and was 2006 SEC coach of the year.

His father, Houston Nutt Sr., grew up with a slight hearing impairment in a deaf household. At the Arkansas School for the Deaf, the elder Nutt served as dean of students, teacher, coach, groundskeeper, athletic director. Perhaps most importantly, he served as father figure to children who would leave home at the age of 4 or 5 to live at the school.