'Canes hire Nix as offensive coach Nix named Miami offensive coordinator


Published: Saturday, January 20, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 20, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

MIAMI — Patrick Nix was hired Friday as Miami's new offensive coordinator, the first major personnel move for the program since Randy Shannon took over as head coach.

Nix spent the last five seasons at Georgia Tech, the last three of those as offensive coordinator.

"I am honored to be the new offensive coordinator," Nix said Friday night in a statement released by the school. "It's a great opportunity to coach at one of the top college football programs in the country."

Nix took over all playcalling duties at Georgia Tech this past season, during which the Yellow Jackets scored 45 touchdowns and averaged 332.1 yards per game — good for only 67th nationally.

"I look forward to working with Coach Shannon, the rest of the staff and the players, and to being part of the Miami family," said Nix, a former Auburn quarterback.

But those numbers were much better than what Miami managed.

; the Hurricanes scored 31 touchdowns and averaged 313.5 yards per game during their 7-6 season, one that led to the firing of coach Larry Coker and the departure of offensive coordinator Rich Olson.

"I look forward to working with Coach Shannon, the rest of the staff and the players, and to being part of the Miami family," said Nix, a former Auburn quarterback. "One thing that really impressed me when I was dealing with everybody, from President Shalala on down, was their love for the University of Miami. I'm excited to be part of it."

Shannon said he was impressed with the way Nix's Georgia Tech offense played against his Miami defense this past season. The Yellow Jackets rallied from a 10-0 deficit to beat the Hurricanes 30-23, on the way to winning the Atlantic Coast Conference's Coastal Division title.

"You always judge a coach on what they present," Shannon said. "Patrick Nix did a great job against us last year adjusting to what we did as a defense. And, as we adjusted on defense, he adjusted on offense again to keep us off-balance. Imagine what he'll do against other defenses."

Nix will have many returning starters to work with at Miami, including quarterbacks Kyle Wright and Kirby Freeman — who figure to enter spring practice vying for the No. 1 job. Running back Javarris James, the team's best runner in 2006, will be only a sophomore, and most of the team's receiving corps also return.

Before going to Georgia Tech, Nix spent one year as wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at Samford. He was the head coach at Division II's Henderson State in 1999 and 2000, and was an offensive assistant at Jacksonville State from 1996 through 1998.

PUNTER FACES MURDER CHARGE

A judge ordered a former Northern Colorado backup punter accused of stabbing the starter to stand trial on attempted first-degree murder charges.

Mitch Cozad of Wheatland, Wyo. is accused of stabbing Rafael Mendoza, who suffered a 3- to 5-inch deep knife wound in his kicking leg when he was ambushed Sept. 11 in a dimly lit parking lot at his apartment complex.

During Friday's hearing before Weld County District Judge Marcelo Kopcow, Kevin Aussprung, who lived in the same dorm as Cozad, testified Cozad offered to pay him to do him a favor: take care of the car while he took care of "some business" at an apartment complex. The favor also required Aussprung to wear a black hooded sweat shirt, black sweat pants and black shoes, provided by Cozad, according to unsealed court documents.

"I never saw any money," said Aussprung, who, according to court documents, was promised $100 for the favor. "I didn't want any."

Aussprung testified he kept asking what was going to happen but reached a point where "I didn't want to know."

Two days before the Sept. 11 attack, Aussprung told detectives, according to an arrest affidavit, that he and Cozad drove through a parking lot of an apartment complex. Cozad told Aussprung that was the location where "another punter" lived and was where he was going to do "his business."

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