With Joe Paterno's ouster as coach of Penn State, a new man has taken the reigns as the dean of college football coaches.
Chris Ault has been head coach at the University of Nevada for the better part of the past 27 years. He began coaching the Wolf Pack at age 29 in 1976, some 26 years after Paterno was hired as an assistant with the Nittany Lions (1950) and 10 years after JoePa became head coach in 1966.
Only 10 major college coaches have been at one school for longer than Ault's 25 years at Nevada. The only active coaches with more wins than Ault are Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer (248) and Mack Brown of Texas at (225). Ault's 224 wins are one behind Brown, and he's got fewer career losses than the Longhorns' coach.
Ault is considered the inventor of what's known as the "Pistol Offense." The scheme combines the shotgun and single-back offenses to create a power running game to supplement the spread formation. Nevada used the Pistol offense to lead the nation in rushing during the 2009 season, behind quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The Wolf Pack became the first school in the history of college football to have three players rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season.
Parts of the Ault-designed Pistol offensive has been run by dozens of colleges including Alabama, Florida and LSU. In addition, the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills have used pieces of it.
During his time at Nevada, Ault has won nine conference championships and helped Engineer the greatest come back in NCAA history (35 points vs. Weber State in 1991)
Following a 1-3 start, the Wolf Pack have won four games in a row, and are fifth in the country in total offense, trailing only Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor and Houston. Nevada plays host to Hawaii this weekend.
Former Redskins DE Charles Mann and current Seahawks WR Nate Burleson, along with Kaepernick -- now a 49ers rookie -- are among the Nevada players coached by Ault who made NFL rosters.
Ault is a member of four different Halls of Fame, including the College Football Hall of Fame.
Coach Chris Ault's creation the "Pistol Offense"
Pittsburgh Steelers running the Pistol with an injured Ben Roethlisberger
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