Arkansas Tech Football names Jo Nixon as assistant coach

From Arkansas Tech University

Arkansas Tech Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Steve Mullins has announced the addition of Jo Nixon as an assistant coach on his staff for the coming season.

Nixon, who began his duties at Tech on Friday, comes to Tech with an extensive background that includes nearly 13 years of coaching at various levels, including 10 years working in the collegiate ranks. Nixon replaces former Wonder Boy assistant Ryan Wallace, who recently accepted the defensive coordinator position at Hot Springs (Ark.) High School.

"I am excited about the experience and enthusiasm that Jo will add to our staff," said Mullins, who is entering his 15th season at the helm of the Wonder Boys this coming fall.

Prior to coming to Tech, Nixon spent last season (2010) as the linebacker coach and recruiting coordinator at Stillman College, an NCAA Division II school in Tuscaloosa, Ala. In addition to Stillman, Nixon, who played linebacker and defensive end at both Hinds Community College (1991-92) and Florida State University (1993-95), spent the 2009 season as the defensive coordinator and safeties coach at Alabama State University, an NCAA D-I FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) school in Montgomery, Ala. While at Alabama State, Nixon's defensive unit ranked third in the SWAC in total defense, scoring defense and led the league in rushing defense.

Nixon, who will work with the defensive secondary at Tech, began his collegiate coaching career in 1998 as a student assistant coach working with the secondary at Jacksonville State University. After working at Jacksonville State, Nixon spent two seasons (2001-02) as a defensive line coach at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in Miami, Okla. While with the Norse, Nixon helped lead the team to 17-6 record over two seasons and the 2002 SWJCFC Championship and a championship in the Red River Bowl. Additionally, he coached Michael Pruitt, who was named a 2002 NJCAA All-American and the NJCAA Defensive Player of the Year, coached eight NCAA Division I football players and three future NFL Draft picks.

"I am looking forward to being a part of the Arkansas Tech program and the new Great American Conference," Nixon said. "I look forward to doing great things here."

After his two years at NEO, Nixon, who is a native of St. Petersburg, Fla., spent two years (2003-04) as the defensive line coach at Central Oklahoma University in Edmond, Okla. With the Bronchos, Nixon coached four All-Conference players in the Lone Star Conference and was part of UCO's 2003 NCAA Division II Playoff team that finished 9-3. Following his stint at UCO, Nixon spent three seasons (2006-08) as the defensive coordinator, secondary coach, special teams coordinator and assistant head coach at Langston University in Langston, Okla. In his tenure at Langston, Nixon helped lead the Lions to a 21-11 record and the quarterfinals of the 2008 NAIA National Playoffs. Nixon's defensive units at Langston finished ranked sixth (2006), fifth (2007) and second (2008) respectively in the NAIA in total defense and he coached 14 All-Conference players, one Conference Player of the Year and one NAIA All-American.

Nixon, who earned his bachelor of arts degree in broadcast and mass communications from Central Oklahoma in 2006 and is currently in the process of earning his master's degree in sports management from the United States Sports Academy, began his coaching career in 1996 as a defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Florida State University High School in Tallahassee, Fla., and then spent one season (2000) as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at St. Petersburg High School in St. Petersburg, Fla.

In addition to his collegiate and high school coaching experiences, Nixon, who is a member of both the AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) and the BCA (Black Coaches Association), produced a video series in 2008 for the AFCA's monthly magazine covering 3-4 defenses, served as a participant in the AFCA Professional Development Series from 2007-10 and coached the linebackers for the West Team in the inaugural Russell Athletic/HBCU Senior Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., in 2009.