Senior College Football Columnist

Chris Ault, Godfather of the Pistol, retiring at Nevada

Ault, 66, steps down with a career record of 233-109-1 in 28 seasons as a head coach. (Getty)

The Godfather of the Pistol Offense, Hall of Famer Chris Ault, is retiring as the head football coach at Nevada, a source told CBSSports.com Friday.

The 66-year-old coach steps down after 28 seasons as a head coach with a career record of 233-109-1 and has led the Pack to five consecutive winning seasons, including a 7-6 mark this year. Nevada lost four games by six points or fewer in 2012, including a 49-48 game against Arizona in the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 15.

In 2010, Nevada went 13-1 and finished No. 11 in the nation. That was his sixth season with at least 10 wins. Under Ault, the Pack had one losing season in conference play since 1982.

Even more impressive is the legacy Ault leaves behind in football. A former quarterback at Nevada in the mid-60s, Ault is best known as the creator of the unique Pistol offense that has spread all over college football in recent years and this fall has even made a huge impact in the NFL.

Despite the fact that more and more teams are utilizing the Pistol, opponents still have had fits trying to slow down the Nevada offense. In the past four seasons, the Pack has ranked in the top 10 national in total offense each year.

In addition, the current overtime format in college football was introduced by Ault via the Big Sky Conference in 1980 (although the original rule gave each team the ball at the 15-yard line instead of the 25-yard line.) Many also credit Ault with devising the middle screen or "jailbreak screen" which he unveiled at Nevada back in 1981.


Bruce Feldman is a senior writer for CBSSports.com and college football commentator for CBS Sports Network. He is a New York Times Bestselling author, who has written books including Swing Your Sword, Meat Market and Cane Mutiny. Prior to joining CBS, Feldman spent 17 years at ESPN.
 
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