Polian ignores Nevada’s real tradition
June 20, 2013
Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . .
Nevada Wolf Pack football coach Brian Polian was quoted in an ESPN.com story last week stating "there isn't a lot of tradition here." Not a lot of tradition at Nevada? Wolf Pack football has existed since 1896. The school's greatest coach, Chris Ault, is in the College Football Hall of Fame. The Wolf Pack has been a national innovator on offense since the end of World War II. Dozens of Pack players have gone on to the NFL. The school has a century worth of great moments, players and tradition. Polian, though, for some reason, wants everyone to believe that he is building a program from scratch.
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New athletic director Doug Knuth and Polian need to get on the same page. One of the challenges Ault experienced the last nine years is that his relationship with athletic director Cary Groth was like a pairing of Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia. That needs to end for football to become a true national power at Nevada. The relationship of Boise State athletic director Gene Bleymaier and his coaches was a big key for the Broncos' success. That's never really happened at Nevada the past 60 years other than when Ault was both coach and A.D. Knuth went out of his way to kiss the older boosters' behinds and connect with the Wolf Pack tradition by quickly naming the field at Mackay Stadium after Ault. And now Polian is quoted in a national story as saying there isn't a lot of tradition at Nevada. That's a slap in the face of Ault and every player who ever put on a helmet for him.
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Give Knuth and Polian time to grow into their new jobs. They will stumble along the way. And that's OK. The waters, after all, weren't always calm with Ault in control of either the football program or athletic department or both the past 37 years. Whether they know it or not, neither Knuth or Polian knows a thing about Nevada other than what the first hand-shaking, back-slapping, schmoozing Pack fans to greet them have told them. Also don't forget that Knuth didn't hire Polian. They don't know each other yet. They don't know how each other thinks. Their relationship is key to the success of Pack football the next five years.
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