By Ole Miss Media Relations
OXFORD Ole Miss Head Football Coach Houston Nutt announced Monday that Dave Rader has joined his staff as co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, while also announcing the promotion of veteran line coach Mike Markuson to co-offensive coordinator.
Rader, 52, fills the coaching slot which became available when offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Kent Austin resigned last month to accept the head coaching position at Cornell.
“I was looking for a person with 10 or more years of coaching quarterbacks, a man with outstanding knowledge of the passing game and a man of great character,” Nutt said. “We found that in Dave Rader. He has experience teaching quarterbacks and helping them with the decision-making process.”
With quarterback Jevan Snead passing up his senior season to enter the NFL Draft, the Rebels will enter spring drills with two inexperienced quarterbacks, sophomore Nathan Stanley and redshirt freshman Raymond Cotton. “Dave will be a tremendous asset as these young quarterbacks continue to develop their skills and decision-making,” Nutt said.
Markuson, who has been a member of Nutt’s staff for 16 years, will take on the added responsibility of co-offensive coordinator after serving last season as running game coordinator and offensive line coach.
“Mike has been helping coordinate the run game and is most deserving of this promotion,” Nutt said. “He’s one of the best in the game and should work well with Dave.”
Rader, who is returning to collegiate coaching after three years in private business, brings a wealth of experience to Nutt’s staff, having served nine years as an assistant coach and 12 years as a head coach. This will be Rader’s fourth stint in the Southeastern Conference, most recently on Mike Shula’s Alabama staff from 2003 to 2006.
Rader was head coach at Tulsa from 1988 to 1999 where he posted a 49-80-1 mark in 12 seasons. He guided the Golden Hurricane to the Independence Bowl in 1989 and the Freedom Bowl in 1991.
His 1991 team was ranked 21st nationally, and he was selected as Kodak Region 4 Coach of the Year and a finalist for National Coach of the Year. While head coach at Tulsa, he produced four All-Americans, three first-team Academic All-Americans and 11 NFL draft picks.
Rader began his coaching career at Alabama, as one of the first coaches hired by Ray Perkins in 1983. The two had been together with the New York Giants when Perkins was head coach and Rader a quarterback. While serving on that staff, the Tide went 22-12-1 and played in the Sun and Aloha Bowls.
Rader then moved to Mississippi State under Rockey Felker where he spent the 1986 season as offensive coordinator and running backs coach.
He moved to Tulsa, his alma mater, in 1987 as assistant head coach in charge of quarterbacks under George Henshaw. A year later he was appointed head coach and spent the next 12 seasons at Tulsa.
Following the 1999 season at Tulsa, Rader worked in private business in Tulsa for four years before returning to Alabama in 2003.
Born in Wichita, Kan., Rader graduated from Rogers High School in Tulsa, where he was a football and baseball standout. He played collegiately at Tulsa and was the Golden Hurricane starting quarterback in 1977 and 1978. He threw for 2,674 career yards and guided Tulsa to a 9-2 record in 1978, passing for 1,683 yards and 14 TDs.
He was selected in the 11th round of the NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers but was later picked up by the Giants.
A former board member of the FCA, Big Brothers & Sisters and Heritage Family Services, Rader has served on the American Football Coaches Association’s Football Issues and Ethics committees. He was inducted into the Independence Bowl Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Will Rogers High School Hall of Fame in 1988.
Rader earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Tulsa in 1980. He and his wife Janet have three children, sons Daniel and Jordan and daughter Kendal.
Markuson, who is considered one of the nation’s top offensive line coaches, has played a key role in the offensive success of the Rebels since Nutt became head coach prior to the 2008 season.
Markuson’s line ranked second in the SEC (14th in the nation) in fewest sacks allowed in 2009 (17) and was fourth in the conference in 2008 (20), after finishing ninth the previous year.
Since his arrival, he has tutored a pair of All-Americans in first team tackle Michael Oher in 2008 and second team guard John Jerry in 2009. Oher became the fifth Rebel to win the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, as the SECs best blocker, and he was taken with the 23rd overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. Jerry played in the recent Senior Bowl and awaits the 2010 NFL Draft.
Dexter McCluster had a record-breaking year running behind Markuson’s line in 2009, posting the second-highest rushing total in school history with 1,169 yards and earning first team All-SEC honors. It marks the ninth time a Markuson line has produced a 1,000-yard rusher. McCluster ranked fifth in rushing in the SEC (89.9 ypg) and sixth in all-purpose yards (132.1 ypg). He also set a pair of school records with 282 yards rushing and 324 all-purpose yards against Tennessee.
Under Markuson’s watch in 2008, the Rebels finished second in the SEC in rushing (186.5 ypg), marking the seventh-straight season a Markuson-coached unit finished in the top three of the SEC in rushing.