OXFORD, Miss. – In order to give something back to a place that has come to mean so much to him, University of Mississippi football coach Houston Nutt, along with his wife, Diana, has committed $100,000 to Ole Miss.
“This is something we’ve always wanted to do,” Nutt said. “Diana and I have been talking about this since we moved to Mississippi. We wanted to give back because both the university and Oxford have been so good to us. We have felt so welcome and just love it here.”
Half of the gift will create scholarships for deserving student-athletes.
“It is refreshing to see coaches give back to a university,” said UM Athletics Director Pete Boone. “Houston Nutt’s contribution to our scholarship program will help ensure the athletics department’s ability to continue to provide opportunities for young men and women to achieve their goals in life.”
The other half of the gift will be used toward the university’s Indoor Practice Facility.
“The Indoor Practice Facility is a building I go to work in every day,” Nutt said. “I’m so appreciative to have it for our athletes and staff. It’s a place I use, but more than that, it’s a building very much used by the community. Every day, in addition to athletics events, there are community meetings or science fairs taking place. It’s a place for everyone.”
The 150,000-square-foot facility, which opened in 2004, was made possible by UM’s Commitment to Excellence in Athletics Campaign, a $35 million initiative to upgrade the university’s athletics programs.
Nutt joined the Ole Miss family in Nov. 2007, when he was hired as the head coach for the Rebels. Under Nutt’s direction last season, his first, Ole Miss defeated the eighth-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders in the AT&T Cotton Bowl and finished 9-4 overall with a No. 14 national ranking.
To make a gift to the UMAA, visit www.umaafoundation.com.
Story by Sonia Thompson