Chris Ault

Last updated
Chris Ault
Ault in September 2009
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1946-11-08) November 8, 1946 (age 72)
San Bernardino, California, U.S.
Alma mater St. Catherine's Academy
University of Nevada, Reno
Playing career
1965–1968 Nevada
Position(s) Quarterback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1968 Fallon (NV) Churchill County HS (assistant)
1969–1971 Reno (NV) Bishop Manogue HS
1972 Reno (NV) HS
1973–1975 UNLV (assistant)
1976–1992 Nevada
2013–2015 Kansas City Chiefs (consultant)
2016–2017 Rhinos Milano
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1986–2004 Nevada
Head coaching record
Overall234–108–1 (college)
Tournaments9–7 (NCAA D-I-AA playoffs)
Accomplishments and honors
4 Big Sky (1983, 1986, 1990–1991)
3 Big West (1992, 1994–1995)
2 WAC (2005, 2010)
Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year (1991)
4x Big Sky Coach of the Year (1983, 1986, 1990–1991)
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2002 (profile)

Christopher Thomas Ault (born November 8, 1946) is a former American football player, coach and athletic director. He served three stints at the head football coach at the University of Nevada, Reno (1976–1992, 1994–1995, and 2004–2012), leading the Nevada Wolf Pack to a record of 234–108–1 over 28 seasons and guiding the program from the NCAA's Division II to Division I-AA in 1978 and then to Division I-A in 1992. Ault was also the athletic director at Nevada from 1986 to 2004. He was the school's starting quarterback from 1965 to 1968. He is a former consultant for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL). Ault was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2002, seven years after his first retirement from coaching in 1995.


Coaching career

After the 2004 season, Ault fired head coach Chris Tormey. He named himself as the replacement three days later, with the approval of school president John Lilley and the Nevada Board of Regents. [1] [2] A member of the university's faculty senate expressed concern at the perceived conflict of interest, especially because the salary of head football coach exceeded that of athletic director. [3]

Ault is credited as the creator of the "Pistol Offense", which he instituted at Nevada in 2004. Since becoming the primary offense for Nevada, the Pistol has been used by other schools across the country. The San Francisco 49ers began employing the pistol offense with the emergence of former Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Since installing the Pistol, Nevada has won shares of two WAC titles—in 2005 (with Boise State) and 2010 (with Boise State and Hawaii).

Ault won his 200th college football game October 9, 2009 when his Wolf Pack beat Louisiana Tech, 37–14.

On December 28, 2012, Ault announced his retirement, effective at the end of the year. In an emotional press conference, Ault said the time had come to pass the program to a new coach. [4] He had spent 41 years―all but seven years of his adult life―at Nevada as a player, coach or administrator.

On September 17, 2015, Rhinos Milano announced Ault as new head coach for the 2016 season. [5] On July 9, 2016, he won his first Italian Football League Italian Bowl after an undefeated season and a 13 games win streak.

Education and family

Ault graduated from St. Catherine's Academy in Anaheim, California, graduated from University of Nevada, Reno with a bachelor's degree in education in 1968 and went on to complete an M.B.A. in 1971. He is married to Kathy Ault and has three children: Lisa, Chris, Jr. and Amy.

Head coaching record

Nevada Wolf Pack (NCAA Division II independent)(1976–1977)
1976 Nevada8–3
1977 Nevada8–3
Nevada Wolf Pack (NCAA Division I-AA independent)(1978)
1978 Nevada11–1L NCAA Division I-AA Semifinal
Nevada Wolf Pack (Big Sky Conference)(1979–1991)
1979 Nevada8–45–22ndL NCAA Division I-AA Semifinal
1980 Nevada6–4–14–3T–2nd
1981 Nevada7–44–3T–4th
1982 Nevada6–53–4T–5th
1983 Nevada9–56–11stL NCAA Division I-AA Semifinal
1984 Nevada7–45–22nd
1985 Nevada11–26–12ndL NCAA Division I-AA Semifinal
1986 Nevada13–17–01stL NCAA Division I-AA Semifinal
1987 Nevada5–64–4T–4th
1988 Nevada7–44–4T–4th
1989 Nevada7–45–3T–3rd
1990 Nevada 13–27–11stL NCAA Division I-AA Championship
1991 Nevada12–18–01stL NCAA Division I-AA Quarterfinal
Nevada Wolf Pack (Big West Conference)(1992)
1992 Nevada7–55–11stL Las Vegas
Nevada Wolf Pack (Big West Conference)(1994–1995)
1994 Nevada9–26–1T–1st
1995 Nevada9–37–01stL Las Vegas
Nevada Wolf Pack (Western Athletic Conference)(2004–2011)
2004 Nevada 5–73–5T–6th
2005 Nevada 9–37–1T–1stW Hawaii
2006 Nevada 8–55–3T–3rdL MPC Computers
2007 Nevada 6–74–4T–4thL New Mexico
2008 Nevada 7–65–3T–2ndL Humanitarian
2009 Nevada 8–57–12ndL Hawaii
2010 Nevada 13–17–1T–1stW Kraft Fight Hunger 1311
2011 Nevada 7–65–2T–2ndL Hawaii
Nevada Wolf Pack (Mountain West Conference)(2012)
2012 Nevada 7–64–45thL New Mexico
      National championship        Conference title        Conference division title or championship game berth

Coaching tree

Head coach under whom Chris Ault has played:

Head coaches under whom Chris Ault has served:

Assistants under Chris Ault who became NCAA or NFL head coaches:

See also


  1. "Nevada AD Ault succeeds Tormey". The Seattle Times . December 4, 2003.
  2. "Ault deserves credit for coaching accomplishments". The Nevada Sagebrush . September 25, 2007. Archived from the original on September 26, 2009.
  3. "2003-04 Faculty Senate minutes". University of Nevada, Reno . December 10, 2003.[ dead link ]
  4. "Nevada coach Chris Ault retires]". ESPN . December 28, 2012.
  5. "Una leggenda alla guida dei Rhinos: Chris Ault!". Rhinos Milano. September 17, 2015.