The Wolf Pack's 36-7 home victory over UC-Davis on Saturday night wasn't the only reason for fans to celebrate. The occasion also marked the official dedication of Chris Ault Field at Mackay Stadium. The naming ceremony was in honor of the contributions of former Wolf Pack football coach Chris Ault.
During a 41-year association with the University either as a player, coach or athletic administrator, Ault established an unprecedented record of success.
The winningest coach in school history with a career record of 233-109-1 in 28 seasons, Ault guided Nevada from Division II to I-AA glory in the Big Sky Conference 1980s and early 90s, into I-A and the Big West Conference in 1992 and on to the Western Athletic Conference and the Mountain West Conference. He won 10 conference championships and took the Wolf Pack to postseason play 16 times, including 10 bowl games in 12 FBS seasons. He leaves a lasting legacy of accolades and contributions to the game, perhaps none of which greater than his creation of the Pistol offense in 2005, a scheme now employed by hundreds of teams at every level of football.
The Reno Gazette-Journal's Chris Murray described the scene in his Sunday column:
"Chris Ault didn't simply have the field at Mackay Stadium named in his honor Saturday night.
"He also attended a family reunion, both figuratively and literally.
"Ault was honored before the game, his name fittingly stamped at midfield of Mackay Stadium. Athletic director Doug Knuth loaned his spacious suite to Ault and his family. More than 20 family members were in the suite, including his three children and eight of his 10 grandchildren.
"But Ault's family reunion extended past his blood relatives. On this night, each of the 27,052 fans who watched Nevada beat UC Davis, 36-7, became a member of Ault's family. They gave him a standing ovation, offering a final farewell to the man who lifted Nevada athletics to where it is today."