Extensive coaching history includes stops at Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, UCLA; In NFL with Oakland Raiders, Indianapolis Colts
The University of Nevada introduced Jay Norvell as its next football coach on Friday afternoon in a press conference held in Mackay Stadium’s Basin Street Club.
Norvell, 53, brings a 31-year coaching career featuring stops at some of the nation’s top programs and the game’s biggest stages to Nevada, where is the 26th head coach in program history. He was selected following a national search process, beating out presumptive favorite Beau Baldwin, the head coach at Eastern Washington University of the FCS.
Norvell takes the place of Brian Polian. Polian and Nevada “mutually agreed to part ways” after a 5-7 finish this year. Polian was 23-27 in four seasons at Nevada.
“I want to thank University president Marc Johnson and (Athletic Director) Doug Knuth for this tremendous opportunity,” Norvell said. “Our family is humbled and honored to lead the Nevada football program. It is our charge to make this the flagship program of the Mountain West Conference.”
An All-Big 10 defensive back during a stellar playing career at Iowa, Norvell has made his coaching mark on the other side of the ball, coordinating offensive schematics at UCLA, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and, most recently, Arizona State. He’s tutored a number of top players, including NFL wide receivers Kenny Stills and Sterling Shepherd, as well Ryan Broyles, who left Oklahoma as the NCAA’s all-time receptions leader.
“I am thrilled to hire Jay Norvell to serve as our head football coach,” Knuth said. “Coach Norvell is known throughout college and NFL football as a man of great character and integrity. He is highly respected for his knowledge of the game and ability to teach his players. He has incredible relationships and an army of friends in high school, college and professional football. Lastly, and importantly, Coach Norvell is known for his passion and love for his players. He will set a very high standard for excellence and work tirelessly to achieve our goals academically and athletically. I am excited to watch Coach Norvell build Wolf Pack football into a championship program.”
Norvell coached in the 2009 National Championship game while at Oklahoma. He also has six years of experience in the NFL and coached with the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII. In all, he’s coached in 14 bowl games and five NFL playoff games during his career.
“What became apparent during the search and interview process was Jay’s career-long commitment to many of the values that define our University and Wolf Pack Athletics,” Johnson said. “Jay has a reputation for demanding excellence and accountability from his athletes, and also in providing a supportive, positive atmosphere that helps those coached by him achieve their goals, whether it is playing football or in achieving success in academics and in reaching graduation. He is a passionate, personally dynamic and energetic person who knows how to build strong character in athletes.
“And, through more than three decades of earning a well-deserved reputation nationally as a top-quality coach, Jay knows how to build a successful program that stresses excellence – through performance and through personal integrity. These are qualities that our community will rally around as Wolf Pack football begins an exciting new chapter. We are very excited to have Jay as our football coach, and to welcome Jay and his family to Northern Nevada.”
A 1986 graduate of Iowa, Norvell began his coaching career at his alma mater as a graduate assistant. Along with coaching stints with UCLA, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Oakland Raiders and the Indianapolis Colts, he’s also coached at Iowa State, Wisconsin, Northern Iowa, and Iowa.
Norvell and his wife Kim have a son, Jaden.