Brian Polian
Brian  Polian

Head Coach

Alma Mater:
John Carroll '97, Baylor, '00


Wolf Pack football hands out 2015 team awards

Seau is MVP


Nevada football adds five mid-year signees

Five players will join the program in January.


Wolf Pack to honor Jayme King at Saturday’s football game

Former softball player, who passed away in June, was an inpiration to many.


Leaders of Silver State’s universities promote sportsmanship for upcoming Battle for the Fremont Cannon

“Rivals on the field, Nevadans everywhere else”


Nevada Drops 44-27 Contest at Texas A&M

Wolfpack drops their second game of the season


We talk with Coach Polian about the progress in fall camp

We talk with Coach Polian about the progress in fall camp.


Coach Polian talks about fall practice

Coach Polian talks about fall practice after the first full week.


Brian Polian and Doug Knuth visit with fans

Brian Polian and Doug Knuth visit with fans at Somersett Country Club. Upcoming dates include Legacy Hall (May 14), Fallon Pizza Barn (May 29) and Carson City Toyota Scion (May 30).


Brian Polian talks about Spring Ball

Brian Polian talks about the Wolf Pack's first scrimmage and what to expect as we move forward through Spring practices.


Brian Polian talks about Spring ball

Brian Polian talks with us about the first week of Spring drills.


Nevada Wins Arizona Bowl, Edges Colorado St. 28-23

The Wolf Pack emerged victorious in a hotly contested, back-and-forth game.


San Diego State 31, Nevada 14

The Wolf Pack fall on the road to San Diego State, on November 28, 2015.


Nevada vs. San Jose State

Nevada vs. San Jose State


Nevada 30, Fresno State 16

Photos from Nevada @ Fresno State on Nov. 5, 2015.


Texas A&M 44, Nevada 27

Nevada falls 44-27 at Texas A&M.

Brian Polian
Head Coach
Third Year

As Brian Polian enters his third season as the head coach of the Nevada football team, the production of his tenure in Reno continues to emerge.

The spring semester in 2015 produced the first team average of a B or better in the classroom in program history. The Wolf Pack combined for a stellar 3.05 GPA. Nevada football’s APR score – a metric used by the NCAA to chart academic success and promote higher graduation rates – is on the rise with a single-year 958 in the most recent report and projected scores expected to rise into the 970s (1,000 is a perfect score).

Every member of the 2014 senior class has already graduated, or will this year. That from a team that challenged from the West Division title in the Mountain West and went to the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl – the ninth bowl game in the last 10 years for the Wolf Pack program.

In 2015, Polian’s Wolf Pack returns just 13 seniors but has a large junior class emerging and another heralded recruiting class contributing depth to the program. As the new culture of Wolf Pack football continues to grow, Nevada looks to again compete for a Mountain West crown.

The Polian era of Nevada football was ushered in on Jan. 11, 2013 with the hiring of Brian Polian to serve as the 25th head coach in the history of the Wolf Pack program.

At 40 years old and in his third season as a head coach, Polian is still one of the youngest head coaches at the FBS level. He brought to Nevada an impressive football pedigree that includes coaching stops at Notre Dame, Stanford and Texas A&M as part of a 18-year coaching career.

A treacherous schedule in 2013 led to a 4-8 record in Polian’s first year with five Wolf Pack players earning All-Mountain West honors with Joel Bitonio and Brock Hekking named to the first team and Brandon Wimberly, Charles Garrett and Chase Tenpenny earning second-team recognition.

Eight members of Polian’s program earned distinction for the their work in the classroom with Academic All-MW accolades. And four players earned the Mountain West Scholar-Athlete Award for earning a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher during the 2013-14 academic year.

The tide turned from year one to year two as Polian’s program reached new heights on and off the field in 2014. The success on the field was evident with a seven-win season that included a win over Pac-12 foe Washington State at Mackay Stadium. Nevada also scored impressive road wins at BYU, Hawaii and San Jose State and capped the regular season with a dominating win at UNLV, returning the Fremont Cannon to its home in Cashell Fieldhouse.

In Polian’s first two seasons, Nevada also had two players, Joel Bitonio and Nigel Haikins, inducted into the National Football Foundation’s Hampshire Society, which honors significant achievement on the field and in the classroom.

Nevada has also sent nearly 10 players onto NFL rosters or into training camps over the past two seasons under Polian, highlighted by Bitonio’s second-round selection and dominating rookie season, with the Cleveland Browns.

In June of 2015, Polian was selected to represent the Mountain West Conference on the inaugural CFO Competition Committee. The newly formed committee will consist of 12 members from across college football and will be influential in the discussion and implementation of the rules of college football.

Polian came to Nevada after a year as the special teams coordinator and tight ends coach for Kevin Sumlin at Texas A&M, which capped an 11-2 season in 2012 with a win over Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl and an historic Heisman Trophy for then-freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel. Polian has coached on both sides of the ball and earned a reputation as one of the top recruiters in the nation in previous coaching roles at Stanford (2010-11), Notre Dame (2005-09), UCF (2004) and Buffalo (2001-03).

Hired by Jim Harbaugh at Stanford, Polian’s two-year run with the Cardinal was marked by a pair of BCS bowl appearances and two of the top recruiting classes in school history. He served as the special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator while also coaching the safeties at Stanford. Prior to that, Polian spent five seasons with Charlie Weis at Notre Dame, earning a number of honors as one of the top recruiters in the country and was a nominee for the AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) Assistant Coach of the Year in 2008. During that time, Polian’s special teams units set a number of school records and the Fighting Irish went to a pair of BCS bowl games – the Fiesta Bowl following the 2005 season and 2006 Sugar Bowl.

Polian spent one season at Central Florida as the recruiting coordinator and running backs coach and spearheaded recruiting classes that led to the Knights’ bowl appearance in 2005. Prior that, he coordinated special teams and coached running backs at the University of Buffalo for three seasons after a previous tenure (1998) with the Bulls. While at Buffalo, Polian work under Jim Hofher, who is now the assistant head coach for the Wolf Pack.

Polian also worked as a graduate assistant for Nick Saban at Michigan State (1997) and then spent two seasons at as a GA at Baylor (1999-2000).

“Brian brings terrific energy and enthusiasm, an impressive and well-grounded coaching philosophy and a tremendous reputation as a recruiter and coach,” University president Marc Johnson said. “These characteristics are even more impressive when you consider the outstanding programs with which he has been affiliated. I am convinced Brian is the right coach to continue the momentum and lead Wolf Pack Football to new levels of success.”

As he enters his 18th year as a college coach in 2013, Polian has been part of seven bowl games in his career: 1996 Aloha Bowl (Michigan State); 2005 Fiesta Bowl (Notre Dame); 2006 Sugar Bowl (Notre Dame); 2008 Hawai`i Bowl (Notre Dame); 2010 Orange Bowl (Stanford); 2011 Fiesta Bowl (Stanford); and the 2012 Cotton Bowl (Texas A&M).

A native of The Bronx, New York, Polian graduated from at St. Francis High School outside of Buffalo. He went on to play linebacker at John Carroll University from 1993-96. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from John Carroll in 1997 and received his master’s in education from Baylor in 2000.

He comes from a notable football family as his father, Bill, was the general manager who built the Super Bowl teams of the Buffalo Bills in the 1990s and later, as the team’s president, oversaw the Indianapolis Colts’s two Super Bowl appearances and their championship in 2006. In August of 2015, Bill Polian’s career culminated with his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Polian’s two brothers, Chris and Dennis, both work in the NFL.

Polian and his wife, Laura, have a son, Aidan (6), and a daughter, Charlotte (3).

The File on Brian Polian
Born: Dec. 22, 1974.
Hometown: Buffalo, N.Y.
Family: Wife - Laura; Son - Aiden; Daughter, Charlotte.
Bachelor's, History, John Carroll University, 1997.
Master's, Education, Baylor University, 2000.
Playing Experience
John Carroll University: Linebacker (1993-96).
Coaching Experience
1997 Michigan State Graduate Assistant (Offense)
1998 Buffalo Tight Ends/Assistant Offensive Line
1999-2000 Baylor Graduate Assistant (Defense, Special Teams)
2001-03 Buffalo Running Backs/Special Teams Coordinator
2004 Central Florida Running Backs/Recruiting Coordinator
2005 Notre Dame Head Special Teams Coach/Defensive Backs Assistant
2006 Notre Dame Head Special Teams Coach/Linebackers Assistant
2007 Notre Dame Inside Linebackers/Special Teams
2008-09 Notre Dame Special Teams Coordinator
2010 Stanford Special Teams Coordinator/Safeties
2011 Stanford Special Teams Coordinator and Recruiting Coordinator/Safeties
2012 Texas A&M Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends
2013 Nevada Head Coach

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