From the beginning, Chris Ault has been a Nevada guy. He got both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from there. He became the head football coach there at 29 in 1975 and has been heavily involved with University of Nevada athletics ever since, including as athletic director from 1986 to 2004. After 39 total years at the same university, you’d think the guy feels like they owe him a thing or two.
Nope. Ault just signed a two-year extension that actually gave him a pay cut. The only coach in the top 25 to make less than $1 million for that season is actually taking less money to coach the next season.
This is on the heels of the most successful era in Nevada football’s history with Ault’s pistol offense being run to perfection by Colin Kaepernick and company. Our, especially on my part, love for Colin Kaepernick is fairly well documented and it was Ault who put him in the pistol and let the awesomeness happen.
There’s literally nothing on Chris Ault’s resume that doesn’t scream overqualified. Even before the pistol offense, the man has been an offensive genius (and his defenses have shown it!), running one of the more feared passing attacks in the nation all through the 1990s.
If he weren’t so illogically loyal to Nevada he’d probably have been the head coach at several awesome-er places than Reno, Nevada. But the guy just never left. And now he’s getting paid less to do the same work. It’s crazy.
Okay so $435,119 a year (would have been $476,065 this year) to coach football doesn’t sound all that awful even when compared to Nick Saban’s insane salary at Alabama. There just aren’t very many stories like this in college football. Most of the coaches out there are just climbers who are always looking to move to a better gig somewhere else.
Having lost Kaepernick to graduation, Ault might be trying to get as much good karma as he can for the 2012 season. He just lost a receiver, Brandon Wimberly, to gun violence, so maybe he’s going to have to try even harder.
Either way, this is what passes for a surprising story in college football. Most of the other ones seem to be about illegal benefits, coaches breaking the rules, and player-related crime. Guess we’ll just have to take what we can get.