Monday, January 7, 2013
Brian Polian agrees with Nevada
ESPN.com news services
RENO, Nev. -- Nevada athletic officials reached an agreement with Texas A&M assistant Brian Polian to become the Wolf Pack's next football coach under a five-year deal that will pay him $475,000 in annual base pay plus incentives if it is formally approved this week by the state Board of Regents, school officials said Monday.
Polian, 38, the Aggies' tight ends coach and special teams coordinator, also has coached at Stanford, Notre Dame, UCF and Buffalo. He said in a joint statement with the university that he is looking forward to the "incredible opportunity" to replace Chris Ault, who recently announced his retirement after 28 seasons at Nevada.
"I cannot express how excited I am to lead the Nevada football program into what will be a very bright future," said Polian, who joined the Aggies in capping an 11-2 season with a victory over Oklahoma in the AT&T Cotton Bowl last week.
The regents last week had placed the contract matter on their agenda for this Friday's meeting scheduled in Las Vegas and are expected to formalize the deal at that time, school officials said.
"Brian brings terrific energy and enthusiasm, an impressive and well-grounded coaching philosophy and a tremendous reputation as a recruiter and coach," Nevada president Marc Johnson said.
Before Texas A&M, Polian spent two years at Stanford as special teams and recruiting coordinator while also coaching safeties. He also coached mostly defense five seasons at Notre Dame before that. He primarily coached running backs at Central Florida and Buffalo. He said his mentors include Marv Levy, Tony Dungy, Nick Saban, Charlie Weis and Jim Harbaugh.
Under his watch this season, the Aggies ranked in the top 25 nationally in four special teams categories: punt returns (14th), kickoff return yardage defense (14th), net punting (15th) and punt return yardage defense (22nd).
Polian, who is the son of former longtime NFL executive Bill Polian, has coached in four BCS bowls in his career, two at Stanford and two at Notre Dame.
After the announcement, Polian posted a note of gratitude to Aggies fans from his Twitter account:
"Aggieland - thank you for everything! It was an incredible experience for myself and my family. A great year and a great community! Gig'em," Polian said.
Nevada athletic director Cary Groth, who also is stepping down later this year, said she's impressed by his resume and his vision for the future.
"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," she said.
Nevada made its eighth consecutive trip to a bowl game this past season, it's first in the Mountain West Conference, losing to Arizona 49-48 in the New Mexico Bowl.
Polian is the second A&M assistant coach to take a head coaching job in as many months. Former offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury accepted the Texas Tech head coaching job in December.
ESPN.com's Sam Khan Jr. contributed to this report.