Assistant Coach – Running Backs
A former Arkansas quarterback who began his coaching career as a UA graduate assistant, Danny Nutt continues helping the Razorback program produce talented running backs.
Nutt assisted his oldest brother, Houston Nutt, for 13 years since joining his staff at Murray State for the 1994 season and the Arkansas staff on Dec. 11, 1997.
In his 10th year on brother Houston Nutt’s staff and his ninth year at Arkansas, his backs helped Arkansas lead the Southeastern Conference in rushing for the fourth time in five years in 2006 and ranked No. 4 in the nation with 228.5 yards per game.
Darren McFadden’s sophomore campaign was just as outstanding as his freshman season. The Doak Walker Award winner and the Heisman Trophy runner-up led the SEC and ranked No. 10 nationally in rushing with 117.64 yards per game and accumulated 1,647 yards of offense. He also ranked No. 3 in the SEC in scoring with 7.0 points per game. Named the Associated Press and Coaches SEC Offensive Player of the Year, McFadden was named to numerous first-team All-America lists and was also a finalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award and the Associated Press National Player of the Year Award.
Felix Jones also posted a banner season in 2006, tallying 1,168 yards rushing. Named to the Associated Press All-SEC second team, Jones ranked second in the league and 34th in the nation in rushing yards with 83.43. He also ranked No. 3 in the league and No. 22 nationally as an all-purpose runner with 130.64 yards per game.
In 2006, McFadden and Jones recorded the 11th and 12th 1,000-yard rushing seasons in school history. In 2005, McFadden ran for 1,113 yards to rank fourth in the league while another freshman All-American, Jones, ran for 626 and ranked 10th.
McFadden was named first-team All-SEC, the SEC Freshman of the Year and a freshman All-American. Jones was named a first-team All-American as a kick returner.
His backs helped Arkansas rank second in the SEC and No. 22 in the nation in 2004 by rushing for 187.4 yards per game. De’Arrius Howard, DeCori Birmingham and Peyton Hillis combined for 1,225 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2004. Birmingham signed with the New England Patriots.
In 2003, tailback Cedric Cobbs led the SEC in rushing with a 110.0 yards per game average to become the first Razorback to lead the SEC in rushing. Cobbs was a fourth-round selection by New England in the 2004 NFL Draft and finished his career as the school’s third-leading rusher with 3,018 yards.
In 2002, under Nutt’s guidance, UA running backs did not have a fumble during the regular season and SEC Championship Game. The Razorbacks also led the SEC in rushing yards per game (218.9) behind All-SEC tailback Fred Talley.
His 2001 rotation of Talley, Cobbs and Brandon Holmes produced a total of 1,279 yards and 14 touchdowns while Birmingham and Mark Pierce added another 166 yards and four TDs.
In 2000, injuries limited UA’s top two tailbacks – Cobbs and Talley – to just 11 games combined, but Nutt directed a backfield that saw Cobbs, Talley and Holmes top the 100-yard mark a total of five times. Holmes came off the bench to rush for 95 yards and two touchdowns in a 17-10 overtime win at Mississippi State and followed with 143 yards in a 14-3 win over LSU to earn the Hogs a bowl bid.
Cobbs, Talley and Birmingham are just the latest in a line of talented backs Nutt has mentored. During his tenure at Murray State, he coached two Racer running backs to 1,000-yard rushing seasons: Derrick Cullors tallied a school-record 1,765 yards on the ground in 1995, followed in 1996 by Anthony Downs’ 1,160-yard rushing season.
Upon his return to Arkansas in 1998, he coached the tailback tandem of Chrys Chukwuma and Madre Hill to a total of five games with 100 or more rushing yards – three by Chukwuma and two by Hill. In 1999, Cobbs, Chukwuma and Michael Jenkins each broke the 100-yard rushing barrier in a game with Cobbs going for 107 yards in the Razorbacks’ 28-24 upset of No. 3 Tennessee.
With 21 years of coaching experience, Nutt developed a reputation as a hard worker both on the recruiting trail and on the practice field. Never was this determination more evident than when he was hospitalized and underwent a delicate surgical procedure to stop bleeding from his brain stem just days before the Razorbacks faced Michigan in the 1999 Comp USA Florida Citrus Bowl. Nutt endured an arduous rehabilitation and a relapse that forced him to miss spring drills in 2000 before returning to the sidelines for 2000 pre-season practice.
Nutt began his coaching career at Arkansas where he helped the Razorbacks to three straight bowl appearances as a graduate assistant during the 1986, 1987 and 1988 seasons. After making his full-time coaching debut as the receivers coach at Appalachian State in 1989, Nutt joined the staff at Arkansas Tech, serving as the quarterbacks, running backs and receivers coach at the Russellville school from 1990 to 1993 before joining his brother’s Murray State staff. Nutt landed his first full-time Division I-A job when he followed Houston to Boise State for the 1997 season before returning to his alma mater for the 1998 season.
An all-state prep quarterback at Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., Nutt was also a member of a state championship basketball team at CHS. Nutt began his career on the college gridiron at Central Arkansas. As a sophomore in 1982, Nutt was the Bears’ starting quarterback and passed for 1,092 yards during UCA’s first season under head coach Harold Horton, who now serves as vice president of The Razorback Foundation, Inc. Nutt later transferred to Arkansas where as a senior in 1984 he passed for 520 yards and four touchdowns while helping the Razorbacks to the 1984 Liberty Bowl.
Nutt is third-born of four brothers (Houston, Dickey and Dennis Nutt), all of whom are collegiate coaches. Nutt’s older brother Dickey is in his 11th season as head basketball coach at Arkansas State while younger brother Dennis is an assistant at Coastal Carolina. Born May 7, 1961, Nutt is married to the former Carla Carlton. The couple has four daughters – Dallas, and triplets Ashley, Brenna and Caylan.
COACHING DUTIES: running backs
BORN: May 7, 1961
FAMILY: wife Carla (Carlton); daughters Dallas (6/1/93), and triplets Ashley, Brenna and Caylan (2/21/96)
Central HS (Little Rock, Ark.) (1980)
Arkansas – B.S. in physical education (1985)
JOINED UA STAFF: Dec. 11, 1997
YEARS OF COLLEGIATE COACHING EXPERIENCE/YEARS AT UA: 21/9
RECRUITING TERRITORY: Central Arkansas; Eastern Arkansas; Tennessee, emphasis on West Tennessee; West Kentucky
1986-88 Arkansas (graduate assistant coach)
1989 Appalachian State (assistant coach – wide receivers)
1990-93 Arkansas Tech (assistant coach – quarterbacks / running backs / receivers)
1994-96 Murray State (assistant coach – running backs)
1997 Boise State (assistant coach – running backs)
1998-06 Arkansas (assistant coach – running backs)
Central Arkansas (quarterback, 1981-82)
Arkansas (quarterback, 1984)
POSTSEASON EXPERIENCE (Div. I only)
1984 Liberty Bowl
* GRADUATE ASSISTANT COACH
1987 Orange Bowl
1987 Liberty Bowl
1989 Cotton Bowl
* ASSISTANT COACH
*1999 Florida Citrus Bowl
2000 Cotton Bowl
2000 Las Vegas Bowl
2002 Cotton Bowl
2002 SEC Championship Game
2002 Music City Bowl
2003 Independence Bowl
2006 SEC Championship Game
2007 Capital One Bowl
*did not coach in game due to medical reasons