Nevada to hire Ken Wilson as next football head coach

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An old friend of the Wolf Pack who has spent more than two decades in the silver and rookie could be close to being Nevada’s next head coach.

The Wolf Pack are close to making a deal to hire Ken Wilson, according to Football Scoop, who reports Nevada will meet Wilson on Thursday and could close a deal soon.

Wilson spent 23 seasons with the Wolf Pack before moving to Washington state in 2013, where he coached for six seasons. He has spent the past three years in Oregon and was promoted to the Ducks’ co-defensive coordinator for the 2021 season. Football Scoop also reported Thursday that new Miami head coach Mario Cristobal, who has led Oregon this season, was trying to bring Wilson with him to be an assistant coach for the Hurricanes.

Hardly any candidate for this cycle’s Wolf Pack job would know Nevada better than Wilson, whose first full-time college assistant job came in Nevada, who hired him in 1989 to coach outside linebackers. of the team. Wilson spent the next 10 seasons on this staff, becoming defensive coordinator for the 1996-98 campaigns. In 1996, Wilson was the youngest FBS defensive coordinator in the country.

Wilson served in the sports administration in Nevada from 1999 to 2003 as the right-hand man to then-athletic director Chris Ault, one of his closest friends and a man who was influential in both Nevada’s latest hiring cycles for its head football coach. As an administrator in Nevada, Wilson served as Assistant Athletic Director / Athletic Services and oversaw football, men’s basketball, baseball, track and field, and tennis while coordinating grants for all student-athletes in the Wolf Pack.

He returned as an assistant coach on the field in 2004 after Ault returned to training, first as an assistant head coach and linebacker coach. He remained on the staff for the next nine seasons, all under Ault’s direction, becoming an associate head coach from 2008 to 2012. He was the defensive coordinator of the Wolf Pack in 2007. Wilson’s son Tyler, graduated from Spanish Springs High, walked Nevada, and was a long snapper for the wolf pack from 2012 to 2014.

Following Ault’s resignation after the 2012 season, Wilson was not selected by head coach Brian Polian, who asked Wilson to transition from his role as field coach to that of director of operations at the Nevada.

“I have spent over two decades at the University of Nevada and I will always be grateful for all that this university and the northern Nevada community did for me and for my family,” Wilson said at the time. . “I want to thank Chris Ault and all of the administrators, coaches and staff that I have had the privilege to work with over the years. My family and I are truly excited for this next chapter in our lives, but Reno and the University of Nevada will always have a special place in our hearts.

Instead of accepting off-court work in Nevada, Wilson was hired by Washington State, serving as a linebacker coach for the Cougars from 2013 to 2018. He moved to Oregon in 2019 and was the l ‘linebacker coach for two years before being elevated to defensive coordinator this season. Prior to coming to Nevada, Wilson was a graduate assistant in New Mexico from 1987 to 1988 and at North Central College (Illinois) in 1986.

During his coaching career, Wilson won 11 conference championships, including nine in Nevada (1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2005 and 2010). He won the Pac-12 titles in Oregon in 2019-20. He coached 18 boules, including 11 in Nevada, and was on Wolf Pack’s staff for the FCS playoff teams in 1990 and 1991, with the 1990 team reaching the national title game. Wilson has coached and / or recruited 17 NFL players, seven of whom were drafted.

Wilson was a top contender for Montana state head coach last season, a position he ultimately turned down to stay in Oregon, where he received a raise and promotion to coordinator. defensive.

Wilson signed a three-year contract with Oregon last March that paid him $ 465,000 a year. If hired by Nevada, Wilson would replace Jay Norvell, who accepted the position of Colorado state manager on Monday on a five-year, $ 9 million contract, making him the best coach. paid from Mountain West. Norvell earned $ 625,000 a year in Nevada last season, though the Wolf Pack are willing to offer him $ 1 million a season to stay before opting to transfer to conference.

This is breaking news and will be updated.

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