Former NFL first-round pick to work with Wolf Pack offense
Wolf Pack's season opener is Saturday at newly renovated Memorial Stadium in Berkeley.
Fajardo looks sharp in first scrimmage of camp
Hawai'i '04, New Mexico Highlands `07
One of the top offensive minds in the country, Nick Rolovich returns for year four of his Nevada tenure and possesses all aspects of the offensive control for the Wolf Pack as he serves as the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
In the last four seasons, Rolovich mentored quarterback Cody Fajardo, who was tasked with replacing famed alum and current 49er Colin Kaepernick. Rolovich and Fajardo kept the standard high for a Wolf Pack quarterback as Fajardo added to a rare piece of NCAA history last season, reaching 9,000 yards passing and 3,000 yards rushing in a career. The only other player to do that in NCAA Division I history? Nevada's Kaepernick. With Rolovich's guidance, Fajardo set a program record for career completions while ranking second in total offense and third in passing yards.
Rolovich has coached three quarterbacks who are currently on professional rosters; Hawai’i QBs Bryant Moniz (CFL – Calgary Stampeders) and Shane Austin (AFL – Cleveland Gladiators), and Nevada’s Fajardo (NFL – Oakland Raiders).
Rolovich led an improved Wolf Pack offense in 2014, averaging 29.2 points per game to improve from 11th to fourth in the Mountain West in scoring offense. Rolovich's Pack ground game racked up 2,671 yards as Nevada averaged over 200 rushing yards per game for the seventh time in the past nine seasons. The Pack offense came up clutch numerous times in 2014, ranking second in the nation in fourth quarter scoring.
Rolovich and Nevada posted a 7-6 record and made the program's ninth bowl appearance in the past 10 years with a trip to the 2014 R+L Carrier's New Orleans Bowl. Highlights of the season include a victory over a Pac-12 opponent, a 15-point second-half comeback at BYU and a 49-27 victory at UNLV to return the Fremont Cannon to Reno. Rolovich helped three offensive players earn All-Mountain West honors in 2014; Fajardo, sophomore TE Jarred Gipson and senior center Matt Galas.
Nevada will return five offensive starters for the upcoming 2015 season -- Rolovich's fourth campaign in Reno. Rolovich faces an arduous task in replacing Fajardo at quarterback, but he'll have a pair of quality returning backs, receivers, linemen and tight ends to rely on.
In Rolovich's second season at Nevada -- the first of the Brian Polian era - the Wolf Pack averaged 429 yards per game in 2013. Nevada ranked 45th nationally in total offense and scored over 30 points on five occasions. Two offensive players earned All-MW honors in OL Joel Bitonio -- a current starter at the Cleveland Browns -- and WR Brandon Wimberly.
In 2012, Rolovich helped Cody Fajardo develop into one of the top young quarterbacks in the nation as Fajardo completed 67 percent of his passes while throwing for 2,786 yards and 20 touchdowns and running for 1,121 yards and 12 more scores. He also mentored backup Devin Combs, who stepped in for an injured Fajardo and led Nevada to come-from-behind wins against Wyoming and UNLV in 2012.
Rolovich came to Nevada after a wildly productive four-year run at Hawai`i, where he directed one of the top passing offenses in the nation. He was the quarterbacks coach all four seasons and spent the last two years as the Warriors' offensive coordinator.
For the three years Rolovich had play-calling duties at Hawai`i (2009-2011), the Warriors threw for 13,915 yards - an average of 347.9 yards per game - and 96 touchdowns. That includes the 2010 season in which Hawai'i averaged 394.29 yards per game and led the nation in passing offense while finishing sixth in the nation in total offense. That year, Rolovich guided quarterback Bryant Moniz to the top of the total offense chart and to an eighth-place standing in passing efficiency.
In his first year at Nevada, Rolovich deftly melded his mastery of the passing game with the precision Pistol offense that was developed by former Nevada coach Chris Ault in 2005. Now in year four and under third-year head coach Brian Polian, the offense has fully evolved under Rolovich.
Rolovich, a two-year letterwinner for Hawai`i from 2000-01, was the quarterbacks coach at City College of San Francisco, where he helped guide the Rams to a J.C. Gridwire National Championship in 2007. He also coached all-conference quarterbacks Zak Lee and Jeremiah Masoli, who went on to earn Division I scholarships at Nebraska and Oregon, respectively.
As a player, Rolovich attended CCSF prior to Hawai`i and was a two-time All-American. He directed the school to a national championship in 1999. As a player, Rolovich started the bulk of the 2001 season at Hawai`i, leading the team to an 8-1 record as a starter. During those nine games, he threw for 3,361 yards and 34 touchdowns. In the season-finale against fourth-ranked Brigham Young, Rolovich threw for a then-school record 543 yards and current record eight touchdowns against the Cougars. Rolovich ranked 10th nationally in passing efficiency with a 150.5 rating and broke 19 school passing and eight total offense records. He participated in the 2002 Hula Bowl and was named the game's Most Valuable Player.
Following his UH career, Rolovich participated in the Dallas Cowboys mini-camp before signing with the Denver Broncos. He was released after the team's final preseason game in 2002. The next year, he was allocated to the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe, where he threw for 907 yards and led the Fire to World Bowl XI.
Rolovich returned to Denver in 2003 and was cut following training camp. From there he began a five-year career in the Arena Football League, beginning with the San Jose SaberCats. Serving as veteran Mark Grieb's backup, Rolovich was a member of the Arena Bowl championship team. He then spent time with the Chicago Rush, Arizona Rattlers and Las Vegas Gladiators. While with the Gladiators, he threw for 1,248 yards and 23 touchdowns and had a passer rating of 104.8 in 2007, before retiring and accepting a spot on the Hawai`i coaching staff.
The File on Nick Rolovich
Born: Feb. 16, 1979
Hometown: Novato, Calif.
Family: Wife - Analea, Daughter - Alana, Sons - Daniel, William and Patrick
Bachelor's, Hawai`i, 2004
Master's, New Mexico Highlands, 2007
2012-Current: Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks, Nevada
2010-11: Offensive coordinator, Hawai`i
2008-09: Quarterbacks, Hawai`i
2006-07: Quarterbacks, City College of San Francisco
2003-04: Student Assistant, Hawai`i
2002: Assistant Coach, San Marin (Calif.) High School
City College of San Francisco: Quarterback (1998-99)
Hawai`i: Quarterback (2000-01)
Rhein Fire (NFL Europe): Quarterback (2002-03)
San Jose SaberCats (Arena): Quarterback (2004-05)
Arizona Rattlers (AFL): Quarterback (2006)
Chicago Rush (AFL): Quarterback (2006)
Las Vegas Gladiators (AFL): Quarterback (2007)
Recruiting Areas: Hawai`i, Utah, Colorado and Sacramento