Tyrone Nix, who earned the reputation of building outstanding defenses in his four seasons as defensive coordinator at Southern Miss, begins his third campaign at South Carolina. He took over as sole defensive coordinator in 2006 and works with the inside linebackers.
During the 2006 season, the Gamecock defense was sixth in the SEC and 29th in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 18.7 points per game, 4.5 points per game fewer than in 2005 despite returning just one starter. Junior college transfer Jasper Brinkley led the team in tackles and earned first team All-SEC accolades at middle linebacker.
In his first year in Columbia, Nix served as co-defensive coordinator and tutored the defensive line. Under his watch, a pair of Gamecocks, cornerback Johnathan Joseph and safety Ko Simpson were selected in the NFL Draft. In addition, Simpson earned All-America accolades.
Nix has risen quickly through the coaching ranks. At just 34 years of age, he is the one of the youngest defensive coordinators in Division I college football.
During his 10 years on the Southern Miss staff, Nix coached every position on defense. In his last four seasons, he served as the Golden Eagles' defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach. In that 10-year period, he mentored 12 All-Conference USA selections, four C-USA Defensive Players of the Year and six All-America selections. USM also enjoyed team success, winning four C-USA championships and earning seven post-season bowl berths.
Nix's Southern Miss defenses ranked among the nation's toughest during his final years in Hattiesburg. In 2003, they ranked No. 5 in the nation in pass defense, No. 13 in pass efficiency defense, No. 14 in scoring defense and No. 23 in total defense. Nix's coaching efforts were recognized as he was a finalist for the Broyles Award, given to the nation's outstanding assistant coach.
In 2002, Southern Miss ranked No. 4 nationally in pass efficiency defense, No. 10 in pass defense, and No. 15 in scoring defense.
Entering the 2001 season, Nix had the distinction of being the youngest coordinator in the country at 29 years of age. Despite losing seven defensive starters from the 2000 squad, Nix's 2001 USM defense ranked among the nation's leaders in scoring defense (8th), total defense (11th), pass efficiency defense (12th), rushing defense (13th) and turnover margin (21st).
Nix earned his bachelor's degree from Southern Miss in 1995 after being a standout linebacker and team captain.
Nix and his wife, Toya, have one son, Tyvari, and one daughter, Tiah.