Richard McNutt, who has coached defensive backs at two Mid-American Conference schools, has joined Dave Doeren’s staff at Northern Illinois and will coach the Huskie cornerbacks, Doeren announced Thursday. McNutt fills the final assistant coaching spot on the NIU football staff for 2011.
A former cornerback for Ohio State, McNutt has spent his entire career coaching defensive backs, most recently at Kent State University, where he spent the last two seasons. The Golden Flashes boasted the No. 1 total defense in the MAC in 2010 and ranked second in the league in pass efficiency defense. McNutt also was involved with coaching the special teams units at Kent State.
“I am very pleased to complete the Huskie coaching staff with the addition of Richard McNutt,” Doeren said. “Richard brings in-depth knowledge of the position, coaching experience in the Mid-American Conference and he has worked on the professional level. We are excited to welcome Richard, LaToya, and their children to the Huskie family.”
McNutt spent the 2008 football season on the staff of the Cleveland Browns, where he coached the safeties, assisted with the defensive backs and served as assistant special teams coach. The Browns ranked second in the NFL in interceptions with 23 that season. He went to Cleveland after one season as the secondary coach at the University of Toledo (2007) and spent the previous year as defensive backs coach at Virginia Military Institute (VMI).
A native of Park Forest, McNutt began his coaching career under his collegiate head coach, Jim Tressel, as a student assistant coach at Ohio State in 2003 after completing his playing career for the Buckeyes.
During that time, he assisted with the cornerbacks and special teams and was a member of the staff that led OSU to an 11-2 record and a victory in the Fiesta Bowl.
Immediately after earning his undergraduate degree from Ohio State in 2004, McNutt began his coaching career as varsity defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator for the junior varsity team at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pa.
He helped the Presidents to a 12-1 record and the third round of the NCAA Division III Playoffs in 2004, as Washington & Jefferson ranked second in the nation with 26 interceptions. W&J posted a 9-2 record and advanced to the playoffs in 2005.
As a player, McNutt was on the Buckeyes teams that won the 2002 national championship with a 14-0 record. He was a three-year letterwinner for OSU and played in every game for Ohio State in both the 2000 and 2001 seasons; he started the first six games of 2002 at cornerback before he was sidelined by injury. McNutt signed with Ohio State after a stellar prep career at Rich East High School in Park Forest as he was named one of the top five cornerback prospects in the country that year.
“I am very excited to be here at Northern Illinois,” McNutt said. “I am very happy to return home to Illinois with the opportunity to coach at NIU and recruit in the Chicago area. This is a blessing, to come to a program that already has a rich tradition and history of success. I look forward to helping Northern Illinois continue to uphold those standards.”