It was much brighter and lighter than the darker jackets Nutt often wore at his previous post. It had a touch of blue, too — the "Ole Miss" logo stitched on the left breast.
"It's a good change," Nutt said, showing off the new threads during an interview with The Morning News in March.
The Rebels' coach was simply talking about the color, of course, but the jacket stood as a symbol for much more.
While Arkansas' new football coach, Bobby Petrino, kicks off his first spring with the Razorbacks today, his predecessor is in the second week on the field at his new job. And what a refreshing change it has been for the 50-year-old.
Nutt said he feels relaxed and rejuvenated in his new surroundings. Ole Miss is swimming in overwhelming optimism over his arrival, hoping the Arkansas native can right a program that struggled under former coach Ed Orgeron.
"These people are starving for a winner," Nutt said of the Rebels, who haven't been bowl eligible since 2003. "It just motivates me. It just pumps blood through my veins so fast of how much you want to please. And these players feel it. They're working like it. ... It reminds me of ‘98 in Fayetteville."
Nutt, of course, led Arkansas to new heights in his first season by winning his first eight games. During his tenure, the Razorbacks played in eight bowls, two SEC Championship Games and, more recently, boasted the career of two-time, Heisman Trophy runner-up Darren McFadden.
But the last two seasons also were loaded with turmoil. The details are well-known: The failed marriage with Springdale High and former offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, the accusations regarding his family life, the grumblings regarding an offense that relied heavily on the run game.
In the end, it led to Nutt's departure. One that Ole Miss feels fortunate about now. In fact, athletic director Pete Boone likened Nutt's arrival to a much-needed makeover last month.
"Houston's personality and the personality he brings with not only himself and the assistants is just really upbeat and positive," Boone said. "It's kind of the rising tides lifting everybody's spirits. ... He brings success."
Nutt admitted it is a little unusual to call himself Ole Miss' football coach. He thought he'd retire at Arkansas.
But when it became obvious that the Hogs' fan base was irreparably split over his tenure, Nutt resigned and considered other options. He had two options on the table, but declined to name which schools. He also considered sitting out a year.
Nutt didn't want that, though. Staying off the field would've given the tumultuous two years at Arkansas time to soak in.
So when Ole Miss fired Orgeron at the end of the season and expressed sincere interest in hiring him, Nutt quickly accepted.
"If I laid low, I think I could've developed a lot of scars," Nutt said. "But my mind is occupied right now with these players, these names, their problems, our problems, what we're going to do to get better. I love coming to work every day."
So Nutt's only thoughts are on making Ole Miss a winner.
He said he always had a healthy respect for the Rebels dating back to his youth in Little Rock. Nutt was 7-3 against Ole Miss, but his job is to help the school beat other SEC teams.
The Rebels haven't done that much lately, going 0-8 in SEC play in 2007. They were 3-21 under Orgeron.
Nutt inherits pockets of talent left behind. The Rebels are loaded at receiver and have promise at quarterback with Texas transfer Jevan Snead. But there are questions and depth problems elsewhere, challenges Nutt welcomes.
"I just think there is tremendous potential here," he said.
Ole Miss players sound like they welcome him just the same.
No doubt, there will be pressure to win, too. It is the SEC after all. Orgeron was only given three years to try to prove himself as a head coach before being shown the door.
But Nutt knows he has found a new home in Oxford, something he discovered during his introduction in November. The school held the news conference at an on-campus auditorium and it didn't take long to fill to capacity. Hundreds had to be turned away and the scene shocked Nutt.
The reception affirmed one thing: Change can be good.
"That day was really special for (his wife) Diana and I after the last two years (at Arkansas)," Nutt said. "They were very tough years. ... So to jump in that stage was very unexpected. It just sent chills down your spine. We just couldn't even sleep that night because of how excited we were.
"Now Ole Miss is our home."