Three days after ex-head coach Jay Norvell departed to in-conference foe Colorado State, the Nevada Wolf Pack are “closing in” on hiring current Oregon co-defensive coordinator Ken Wilson as their next head coach, Football Scoop reported Thursday.
Wilson had two stints — 19 years in total — as a Wolf Pack defensive assistant (1989-1998; 2004-12). While at Nevada, he coached the defensive line, linebackers and safeties, as well as spending four seasons as the defensive coordinator (1996-98, 2007) and five as the associate head coach (2008-12).
Wilson was Oregon’s co-defensive coordinator — along with former Fresno State head coach Tim DeRuyter — in 2021, as well coaching the team’s inside linebackers after serving as just its linebackers coach in 2019-20. The Ducks rank No. 58 in the country in total defense (370.8 ypg), No. 60 in scoring defense (25.5 ppg), No. 79 in tackles-for-loss (67.0) and T-84 in sacks (24) through 13 contests in 2021.
He also spent six seasons (2013-18) at Washington State as its linebackers coach. Wilson does not have any head coaching experience, but has coached in 18 bowl games, including 15 of his last 16 seasons.
According to ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, Wilson interviewed with the Wolf Pack on Thursday and has, “strong support” from longtime head coach Chris Ault, who “is very influential in this process.”
If he’s hired, Wilson will be Nevada’s third straight head coach (Brian Polian, Norvell) without any previous head coaching experience, though he has 30 years of previous collegiate coaching experience.
This a breaking news story. Stay tuned for updates.
Per source, #Oregon co-defensive coordinator Ken Wilson interviewed today with #Nevada. He spent 19 years on Nevada's staff and has strong support from longtime Nevada coach and program architect Chris Ault, who is very influential in this process. https://t.co/RCMkQMV2ud— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) December 9, 2021
Sources: Nevada closing in on a hire https://t.co/bh4ZILTUee— FootballScoop (@FootballScoop) December 9, 2021
After the 2012 season, following almost 25 years at Nevada, Wilson was going to be demoted from assistant coach to director of football ops by Brian Polian. He took at job at Washington State instead, eventually rising to Oregon co-DC. And now he could be Nevada's head coach.— Chris Murray (@ByChrisMurray) December 9, 2021