OXFORD – Ole Miss athletics director Pete Boone on Monday denied a newspaper report that said Rebels football coach Houston Nutt had discussed the vacancy at Kansas with KU officials.
A Kansas City Star story on its Web site earlier Monday said that Nutt and KU athletics director Lew Perkins have talked about the job, which came open last week when the school fired coach Mark Mangino.
The story also cited an Arkansas radio station that reported interest in the job on Nutt’s part.
Nutt was on the road recruiting Monday and did not return text messages and phone calls seeking comment.
Regarding the report, in a text message response Boone, who was also out of town said, “There’s nothing to it” and that he’s not been contacted about Nutt by anyone representing Kansas.
“It happens this time of year, especially when you have a successful coach, and we have a successful coach,” Boone said.
Nutt, 52, is 17-8 overall, 9-7 in the SEC in two seasons at Ole Miss. In his 17th season as a head coach, Nutt is 128-79 overall, 51-45 in the SEC. He is a three-time SEC coach of the year, including last season when he led Ole Miss to a 9-4 finish and a No. 14 final ranking.
The Rebels went 4-4 in the SEC this season, 8-4 overall, and are preparing for a second consecutive Cotton Bowl appearance.
Nutt received a raise and a contract extension at the end of last season. At Ole Miss Nutt has a base salary of $2.5 million plus incentives.
The Kansas City Star reported Mangino’s salary at $2.3 million.
A wide variety of names have come up as both midwest and national media have speculated about the Kansas vacancy. A report of interest in Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, who just completed his first season in Starkville, was quickly knocked down last week.
ESPN.com reported Monday that a short list of finalists for the job includes Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh and Buffalo’s Turner Gill. Perkins and Gill, a former Nebraska quarterback legend, reportedly met on Sunday.
Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal