Polian tabbed to usher in new era of Nevada Football

Board of Regents approve Polian as Nevada's head football coach

Jan. 11, 2013

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Hometown Bronx, NY
DOB 12-22-74
Education BA History, John Carroll University (1997); MS Education Baylor University (2000)
Playing History 1993-96 John Carroll University (Linebacker)
Family Wife Laura, son Aidan (3) and daughter Charlotte (born July 24, 2012)
  • 1997 Michigan State Graduate Assistant (Offense), Tight Ends, Offensive Line
  • 1998 Buffalo Tight Ends/Assistant Offensive Line
  • 1999-2000 Baylor Graduate Assistant
  • 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
  • 2010-11 Stanford Special Teams Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator/Safeties
  • 2012 Texas A&M Special Team Coordinator/Tight Ends
  • Part of a staff that coached Texas A&M to a 10-2 record in 2012 and a top-10 ranking in both the AP and Coaches Poll
  • Coached Dustin Harris, SEC single-game record holder in punt-return yardage (246 vs. South Carolina State on Sept. 22)
  • Punt, kick-off coverage and punt-return units all finished inside the Top-20 nationally in 2012
  • Contributed to offensive game planning and coached tight ends at A&M, where the unit led the SEC in total offense in 2012
  • Part of two coaching staffs that had teams finish inside the top-10 nationally at season's end (A&M in 2012 and Stanford in 2011)
  • Nominee, AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year in 2008 while at Notre Dame
  • Responsible for recruiting of high-profile areas in California while in South Bend, where he recruited 2012 Heisman Trophy finalist Manti Te'o
  • Coached UCF all-time rushing leader Alex Haynes in 2004
  • Coached under four-time national championship winner Nick Saban at Michigan State in the late 1990's

RENO, Nev. - The University of Nevada entered in a new era on Friday as Brian Polian became the 26th head coach in the 106-year history of the Wolf Pack football program. Polian's five-year contract recommended by University President Marc Johnson and Athletics Director Cary Groth was approved Friday by the state's Board of Regents at a meeting in Las Vegas.

The deal calls for a five-year contract for Polian with a first-year base salary of $475,000 plus incentives. Polian has coached in the collegiate ranks for 16 years with the past eight seasons at BCS schools working alongside some of the top coaches in the nation.

"Brian brings terrific energy and enthusiasm, an impressive and well-grounded coaching philosophy and a tremendous reputation as a recruiter and coach," 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.

Polian, 38, comes to Nevada after a year as the special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Texas A&M, which capped an 11-2 season last week with a win over Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. He 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). He replaces Chris Ault, who stepped down on Dec. 28, 2012 after 28 seasons on the sidelines and more than 40 years at Nevada.

"I would like to thank President Johnson and Cary for the incredible opportunity that they have presented me with," Polian said. "I cannot express how excited I am to lead the Nevada football program into what will be a very bright future. I also want to take a moment to recognize and thank Coach Ault for the incredible foundation he has laid for Wolf Pack football. It is an honor for me to work to continue that legacy.

"It is a dream come true for me to become a head coach, and there have been many mentors and friends that have helped along the way. Marv Levy, Dom Capers, Tony Dungy and Jim Caldwell are all great men that I learned so much from when they allowed me to spend time around their teams and coaching staffs. Coaches like Nick Saban, Jim Hofher, Charlie Weis, Jim Harbaugh and Kevin Sumlin all influenced me a great deal as I had the pleasure of working for them at various stops in my career. I have no doubt that the lessons that I have learned from all of these great teachers, and from others I have encountered along the way, will serve me well as we begin this journey at Nevada," Polian said.

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 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.

"Brian brings to Nevada a solid resume and a great vision for the future of Wolf Pack football," Groth said. "He has been mentored by some of the top football minds in the country and he has great experience in all three phases of the game. We're excited to welcome Brian and his family to the Wolf Pack community."

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 at Michigan State (1997) and at Baylor (1999-2000).

A native of The Bronx, New York, Polian graduated from at St. Francis High School and played 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.

Polian and his wife, Laura, have a son, Aidan (3), and a daughter, Charlotte (born in July, 2012).

"My family and I are looking forward to joining the community very soon and we are excited to establish roots in area," Polian said. "Laura and I, and our family, consider ourselves blessed to be able to call the University of Nevada and Reno our new home."



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