Brian Polian
Brian  Polian

Head Coach

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


Nevada, Polian have mutually decided to part ways

Polian will not be retained as head football coach.


Polians lead the way for Denim Drive and National Adoption Awareness Month

Wolf Pack to celebrate Heroes Day on Saturday as well.


Blitz Luncheons return next week with new location and schedule

Luncheons move to the Eldorado this year


The Wolf Pack Coaches Show returns this week

Ryan Radtke breaks down the games with head coaches.


Dobrich named MW Scholar Athlete of the Year

Three-time team captain is Nevada's first winner of prestigious conference award.


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.


Notre Dame 39, Nevada 10

The Wolf Pack fall to Notre Dame, on September 10, 2016.


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.

After guiding Nevada football to consecutive bowl games and unheralded academic honors, head coach Brian Polian’s blueprint for the program continues to yield positive results both on and off the field. Polian enters his fourth season at the helm with optimism for the future and a drive to bring a Mountain West championship to Reno.

Polian has guided Nevada to back-to-back bowl games, continuing the Wolf Pack’s elite bowl streak; Nevada is one of 18 teams in the FBS, and one of just four teams from outside the Power Five, to play in 10 bowl games in the past 11 seasons. Nevada won the inaugural 2015 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl in thrilling fashion last season, as Polian guided the team to its fifth all-time bowl win in program history. In three seasons at the helm, Polian has led Nevada to 18 wins, two bowl appearances and 21 individual All-Mountain West honors.

Nevada’s academic prestige under Polian’s guidance has been just as noteworthy. After the bowl victory, Nevada had a program-record 21 student-athletes earn Academic All-Mountain West honors for the 2015 season. Senior Jordan Dobrich was inducted to the 2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, which is the most prestigious scholar-athlete award in college football. Nevada also earned a team GPA of 3.05 in the 2015 spring semester, setting a new team record. Polian has helped guide Nevada to 41 Academic All-MW honors in his tenure.

Excitement surrounds the program for the upcoming 2016 season, which will mark Polian’s fourth year at the helm. Nevada will be playing at a newly renovated Mackay Stadium while also returning a talented and veteran squad. Returning from last year’s bowl victory are 15 starters and five All-MW players.

The Polian era of Nevada football was ushered in on Jan. 11, 2013 as he became the 25th head coach in program history. At 41 years old, 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 an 18-year coaching career.

In his third season at Nevada, Polian earned his first bowl victory as a head coach, leading the Wolf Pack to a title in the inaugural 2015 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl. It marked Nevada’s fifth bowl victory in program history and its first since 2011, while Polian became the fourth Nevada coach all-time to win a bowl game.

Nevada posted a 7-6 overall record with a 4-4 mark in Mountain West play in 2015, marking consecutive seasons Polian has led Nevada to a winning record and bowl appearance. Nevada notched nonconference wins against Buffalo and UC Davis before defeating New Mexico, Hawai’i, Fresno State and San Jose State in MW play. Among the season’s most memorable highlights were a thrilling Senior Day victory against the Spartans in overtime and a game-winning touchdown with just 66 seconds remaining to win the Arizona Bowl.

Polian led a lethal ground-and-pound offense in 2015, as sophomore James Butler and senior Don Jackson each eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing. Nevada was one of just three teams in the nation with a pair of 1,000-yard rushers, while the Wolf Pack ranked 25th in FBS with 211 rushing yards per game. On defense, Nevada lowered its points allowed average for the second straight season. Senior Ian Seau earned first team All-MW honors, was named MVP of the Arizona Bowl and led the conference with 10 sacks on the season. Polian’s decision to play true freshman DB Dameon Baber also paid dividends, as Baber ranked seventh in the nation with six interceptions and earned second team All-MW accolades.

In the 2014 season, Polian turned the tide from year one to year two of his tenure as the program reached new heights on and off the field. Nevada posted a 7-6 record and returned to a bowl game for the ninth time in the past 10 seasons, playing in the 2014 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. The Wolf Pack defeated Pac-12 foe Washington State, scored impressive road wins at BYU, Hawai’i and San Jose State, and capped the regular season with a dominating win at UNLV.

Polian also helped guide nine student-athletes to 2014 All-Mountain West honors, including senior Cody Fajardo, who become just the second player in NCAA history to pass for 9,000 yards and rush for 3,000 yards in a career.

A treacherous schedule in 2013 led to a 4-8 record in Polian’s first year with the program. Polian helped guide five players to All-MW honors, while Joel Bitonio and Brock Hekking earned first team accolades. Bitonio went on to be selected in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns.

In the classroom, Polian’s guidance has led Nevada to 41 Academic All-MW honors, two NFF Hampshire Honor Society members and a NFF National Scholar-Athlete. Polian’s Pack teams have also eclipsed a 3.00 GPA while raising its APR score – a metric used by the NCAA to chart academic success.

On the field, Polian has led the Wolf Pack to 18 victories and two bowl appearances, while also helping Nevada tally 21 All-Mountain West accolades and send nearly 10 players onto NFL rosters or into training camps.

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. 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 21st year as a college coach in 2016, Polian has been part of eight 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); 2012 Cotton Bowl (Texas A&M); 2014 New Orleans Bowl (Nevada); 2015 Arizona Bowl (Nevada).

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 (7), and a daughter, Charlotte (4).

The File on Brian Polian
Born: Dec. 22, 1974.
Hometown: Buffalo, N.Y.
Family: Wife - Laura; Son - Aidan; 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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