Another Special Life in Christ
These testimony lives are not stories of "role models". Jesus is the
These are lives wonderfully touched & changed by Jesus!
God's game plan included 'Razorbacks' for
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (USA) (from 8 Jan. 1999
Christian Daily News) -- Houston Nutt's sports goals as a youngster didn't revolve around
becoming head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks. From the time he was 10 years old, his dream
was to be a professional football player, basketball player -- or both.
As an All-America high school athlete at Little
Rock Central and a two-sport college player at both Arkansas and Oklahoma State, his goals
appeared to be on track. But God had other ideas.
"The saddest day of my life was the ESPN draft day
in 1981 when my name wasn't called" to play in the NFL, Nutt reflected. "That was so hard for
me. I couldn't believe that for the first time in my life I wasn't going to do what I set out
"I knew I was going to be a coach one day. My
father was a coach. But I wanted to go play in the NFL first and I kinda had a deal worked
out: 'I tell you what, God, I'm going to be a great witness for you in the NFL.' But it
Looking back, Nutt acknowledged, God "didn't see
things quite that way. He had a better plan. It's amazing that if you truly trust God, he has
a plan for you and he knew it all along."
Nutt, who was named head football coach for
Arkansas after the 1997 season, has taken the state by storm as the Razorbacks compiled a 9-2
record, on the heels of two disappointing 4-7 seasons and earned a spot against Michigan in
the Jan. 1 Citrus Bowl, a contest the Hogs lost 45-31.
Noting he "grew up being a Razorback," Nutt said
the first college game his parents took him and his three brothers to see was a Razorback
game. "It was special to see red, calling the Hogs, the tradition," he remarked. "There's
nothing like that and there's nothing like coming back home."
Nutt's coaching career began in 1981 as a graduate
assistant at Oklahoma State. Recalling he initially thought being assigned to live in a dorm
with freshmen players was "the worst job in America," he added, "By the end of the first week
of living with those 17-year olds, I knew I was supposed to be a coach. All of a sudden, that
little bitty job became real big to me.
"I knew I could make a difference by personal
testimony, by witness, by helping a young man's life and still enjoy the thing I love most,
which is football. It wasn't going to be quarterbacking on Sunday in the NFL. But it was
going to be trying to touch a young man's life."
Nutt served as an assistant coach at Oklahoma
State and Arkansas and head coach at Murray State and Boise State before returning to
Arkansas. Affirming "God took hold of my life and said, 'This is the way it's going to be,'"
Nutt declared, "I love coming to work every single day. I feel such an awesome
responsibility. I want to stay here, raise our family and win." …
Noting the majority of student athletes today come
from single-parent homes, Nutt pointed out that for many of his players, "I'm the first male
authority over their life. That, to me, is why I know God wanted me in the profession of
That influence was obvious late in the season when
Nutt suspended star kicker Todd Latourette for one game after he was charged with drunk
driving. Although Nutt faced pressure to allow Latourette to play in a crucial game against
Mississippi State, he explained, "I said, 'Guys, I can't do it. We've been talking about
truth. We've been talking about doing what's right. We can't just sweep it under the carpet
for this game.'"
Insisting his players "genuinely know we care,"
Nutt said, "They know we are going to hold them accountable for doing what's right and that
we're going to expect their best, whether it be in study hall, the weight room or on the
As he looks to the future, Nutt said, "The biggest
reward for me is 15 years from now when players come back and say, 'Hey, Coach, thanks a lot.
I saw the way you treated your son. I saw a Christian father talk with his wife. You made a
difference in my life by being with me for four years. I'm a better father because of it. I'm
a better businessman.' That, to me, is what it's all about. That's the key.
greater feeling than touching somebody's life. It's better than a touchdown."
My Christian minister friend, Diane O'Connell, who lived in Arkansas
and has lived with us since Sept. 2001, testifies that Houston is a strong
***give me your comments about this
(posted 1 December 2002)
You have just read a very brief example of the
powerful, supernatural transformation of a person's life which is possible through the
acceptance of Jesus as your savior. Are you tired of life as it now is for you? He will
accept you just as you are right this second! Consider accepting Jesus now