RENO, Nev. (AP) — The president of University of Nevada, Reno says he expects a national search to come up with a successor for retiring coach Chris Ault next week.
The coach's hiring is an agenda item for a meeting Friday of the Board of Regents, which oversees the state's higher education system. A head football coach's hiring at a Nevada university is subject to approval by regents.
"This is a critical hire and with the football recruiting season under way we need to act quickly," President Marc Johnson said in a statement. He would not confirm a CBS Sports report Saturday that Texas A&M special teams/tight ends coach Brian Polian was offered the job.
"We're not quite there yet," Johnson told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "Nothing has been negotiated or signed. Everything could fall apart. And we could have to move on to a No. 2 candidate."
The newspaper reported Polian was among five coaches Johnson and Groth interviewed Thursday in Dallas. Others included two coaches with Nevada ties: Chris Klenakis, who was Arkansas' offensive line coach last season, and Tom Mason, who is SMU's defensive coordinator, the Gazette-Journal reported.
Polian finished his first season at Texas A&M after stints at Stanford and Notre Dame. His father, Bill, was a longtime NFL executive.
Former Nevada assistant football coach Jim Mastro, another top candidate for the Nevada job, told KRNV-TV that he's not interested in leaving as running backs coach at Washington State under coach Mike Leach.
"To end all speculation, I am not interested in the head coaching job at the University of Nevada," Mastro said. "I have a great job with a great friend who I made a commitment to that I intend to keep."
Ault on Dec. 28 announced his retirement after 28 seasons leading the Wolf Pack and changing the way teams play with his pistol offense. He is the winningest coach in school history with a record of 233-109-1. He raised the program from Division II to I-AA and eventually helped it become an I-A winner.