Scott Boone enters his third season as the defensive coordinator at the University of Nevada. After arriving to Reno with a stellar coaching ledger that includes head coaching experience and a strong run as one of the top coordinators in the FCS, Boone’s tenure with the Wolf Pack has already paid dividends for the program.
Boone has improved Nevada’s scoring defense in his first two seasons on the job, while the Pack is one of just 24 teams in the FBS to have lowered its points allowed margin in two straight years. Boone lowered Nevada’s scoring defense by nearly seven full points to 27.2 in his first season before setting the bar higher with a 26.8 average in year two.
Head coach Brian Polian tabbed Boone as Nevada’s defensive coordinator on Feb. 24, 2014. Boone arrived to Reno after being a finalist for the 2013 FCS Coordinator of the Year Award at William & Mary. Now in his third season with the Wolf Pack, Boone boasts a 33-year coaching career and a reputation for being an elite coordinator in both the FCS and FBS ranks.
Boone immediately had an impact at Nevada in his first year on the job. After averaging 34.4 points and 505.3 yards allowed per game in 2013, Boone’s inaugural Wolf Pack defense improved to 27.2 points and 447.1 yards allowed. Boone set the bar even higher in year two, as Nevada improved to just 405 yards and 26.8 points allowed per game.
Boone’s efforts in the 2015 season culminated with a victory in the inaugural NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl, which marked Nevada’s fifth all-time bowl victory. Behind a veteran and improved defense, Nevada posted a 7-6 record on the season, marking the second straight year Nevada has posted a winning record and reached a bowl game.
Last season, Boone’s defense improved in total defense and scoring defense, and grabbed 13 interceptions and recovered eight fumbles to help Nevada rank 15th in the nation in turnover margin. Boone helped senior DE Ian Seau, who led the conference and ranked 19th in the nation with 10.0 sacks, earn first team All-Mountain West honors. Senior DE Lenny Jones also earned second team All-MW accolades with 47 tackles and seven sacks. Boone’s development of true freshman DB Dameon Baber also made a big impact, as Baber ranked seventh in the nation with six interceptions on the season en route to earning All-MW honors.
In Boone’s first season at Nevada, the team improved statistically in scoring defense, rushing defense, total defense, sacks, tackles for loss, interceptions, fumbles recovered, third down and red zone defense. Part of Boone’s and Nevada’s mantra in 2014 was recovering turnovers as the Pack ranked 11th nationally in turnover margin. Boone’s defense ranked first in the conference in turnover margin and fumbles recovered while ranking fourth in interceptions.
Boone’s defense helped the team post a 7-6 record with a trip to the 2014 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. Boone coached five student-athletes to All-Mountain West honors in 2014. Senior DE Brock Hekking and Seau, who ranked fourth in the MW in sacks per game, were named to the all-conference second team. Senior LB Jonathan McNeal, senior CB Charles Garrett and junior DE Rykeem Yates earned honorable mention honors.
Boone came to Nevada after a successful 10-year tenure at William and Mary, where he was a finalist for the FCS Coordinator of the Year award after guiding the Tribe defense to No. 2 in the nation in scoring defense and No. 8 nationally in total defense along with the 15th spot in third-down defense in the FCS.
A veteran coach with more than 30 years of experience, Boone was William and Mary's defensive coordinator for the past three seasons and the linebackers coach for the past seven years. He also coached defensive backs for three seasons with the Tribe.
In addition to the national rankings, William and Mary led the Colonial Athletic Association in total defense (305.1 ypg), scoring defense (14.0 ppg) and third-down defense (33 percent). The Tribe was second in the Colonial in rushing defense at 117.7 yards per game allowed and also finished second in passing defense at 187.4 yards per game.
Prior to his seven seasons at William and Mary, Boone was the head coach for seven seasons at Randolph-Macon, compiling a record of 37-33, including a 22-18 ledger in conference action. In 1997, Boone guided the Yellow Jackets to a share of the ODAC title, going 4-1 in league play and 8-2 overall, and garnered Richmond Touchdown Club and VaSID Small College Coach of the Year honors.
While at RMC, Boone coached 34 players to First-Team All-ODAC honors in his seven seasons. Also, 14 team and individual school records were broken under Boone. Prior to his stint at RMC, Boone was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind., from 1983 to 1996. In Boone's 14 years as an assistant, Wabash posted an 81-38-2 record.
Boone is a member of the Wabash College Athletic Hall of Fame and was honored in 2011 for his outstanding contribution to the program. In addition to his bachelor's degree from Wabash, Boone holds a Master's of Science - Education in Higher Education Administration from Purdue University, which he received in 1999.
He married to the former Jessica Spadafora in 2010, and the couple resides in Reno with their sons James William Boone and Nicholas Salvatore Boone, who was born the day before Nevada’s game at Arizona in 2014. Boone also has a son, Nathan, 21, and a daughter, Delaney, 15.
The File on Scott Boone
Born: May 9, 1959
Hometown: Veedersburg, Ind.
Family: Wife -- Jessica. Sons, Nathan, James and Nicholas; Daughter -- Delaney.
Education: Bachelor's, Economics, Wabash, 1981. Master's, Science Education, Purdue, 1999.
2014-Current: Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers, Nevada
2011-13: Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers, William and Mary
2007-10: Linebackers, William and Mary
2004-06: Defensive Backs, William and Mary
1997-03: Head Coach, Randolph-Macon
1983-96: Assistant Coach, Wabash
Three-sport starter in football (wide receiver), basketball (guard) and baseball (centerfielder) at Wabash