Ouachita Baptist Wastes No Time In Hiring Dennis Nutt As Basketball Coach

by Tre Baker  on Wednesday, May. 18, 2011 11:00 am  

Dennis Nutt returns to the state of Arkansas, becoming the head coach of Ouachita Baptist's men's basketball team effective June 1. (Photo by Ouachita Baptist University Media)

This story is from the archives of ArkansasSports360.com.

It's the shortest vacancy we can recall in recent memory: At 2:10 Tuesday afternoon, Ouachita Baptist University sent out a press release announcing the resignation of Mark Price, the school's men's basketball coach. Price, who finished the 2010-11 season with an 11-15 record after an 8-19 record the year before, has accepted an assistant coaching position at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. OBU Athletic Director David Sharp lauded how Price's teams always had "great enthusiasm" and wished him well.

ArkansasSports360.com publshed the released statement at 2:15 and for the moment, that was that. Nothing was mentioned about any potential search committees to fill the open position, but hey, it's the middle of May. What's the rush?

In less time than it takes to watch an episode of "Days of Our Lives" on a DVR, even fast-forwarding through the commercials, Ouachita Baptist sent out a second press release. At 2:31 p.m., the Tigers announced that there was no longer a vacancy in the men's basketball program. Dennis Nutt had accepted OBU's offer and will officially become the Tigers' new coach on June 1.

Dennis Nutt is of course the youngest brother of Houston, Danny and Dickey Nutt. Dennis Nutt certainly brings experience to his new role, having been the head coach at Texas State from 2000 to 2006, scouted for the Charlotte Bobcats most recently and even played professional basketball in the mid-1980s with the Dallas Mavericks. (He appeared in 25 games for the Mavs, averaging 2.3 points per game, according to MavsWiki.)

Nutt fits all the requirements there were to succeed Price. He's an Arkansas native who's familiar with the recruiting circles of the state. His entrance marks the first time in three years that Arkansas has had a Nutt coaching within its borders. If OBU officials were out to get a qualified candidate with statewide name recognition, they certainly got their man.

It's just that in sports, timing is everything and the fact that Price's resignation and Nutt's hiring were both announced in a shorter time span than a washing machine's spin cycle seems... unusual.

“There are opportunities when a man and the times come together,” OBU President Dr. Rex Horne noted in the press release. “I think this is true concerning Coach Nutt and Ouachita. I know our young men, our student body and the Tiger Nation will embrace the Nutt family as they come to lead our men’s basketball program to great years of success.”




Please read our comments policy before commenting.