Nevada crushed rival UNLV 45-10 on Saturday, but that triumph wasn’t enough to save head coach Brian Polian‘s job. The program announced Sunday it is “mutually parting ways” with its 4-year head coach.
“I have respected the way Coach Polian emphasized academic and life achievement among his student-athletes, and I wish Brian and Laura Polian and their family great success in the future,” Nevada president Marc Johnson said in a statement.
The Wolf Pack went 4-8 in Polian’s debut season of 2013, then booked back-to-back 7-6 campaigns in 2014-15 before backsliding to 5-7 this fall.
Though the school didn’t progress as it expected on the field, Nevada highlighted the number of off-the-field gains it made under Polian. From the release:
Polian’s tenure at Nevada did see gains in off-the-field pursuits, including the program’s highest APR (Academic Progress Rate) scores in the program’s history and a team grade-point average of better than 3.0. Last year, linebacker Jordan Dobrich was named a finalist for the Campbell Trophy, the “academic Heisman” and was the program’s first-ever National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete, one of just 12 in the nation.
“I appreciate the opportunity that I was given by President Johnson and the University of Nevada four years ago,” Polian said. “I felt, and continue to feel, that we were building a solid foundation for this program. However, this season was fraught with adversity and in the end, we did not win enough games. Like every coach, I understand that this is a business. I wish we would have produced better results in 2016.”
The son of longtime NFL personnel man Bill Polian, the younger Polian made his name coaching special teams for Notre Dame under Charlie Weis, for Stanford under Jim Harbaugh and for Texas A&M under Kevin Sumlin before landing the Nevada job.