After two seasons as Nevada’s head coach, Ken Wilson has been fired as of Friday morning. Chris Murray of Nevada Sports Net confirmed the news this morning.
Nevada athletic director Stephanie Rempe also released a statement, officially ending Wilson’s tenure.
Wilson ends his head coaching career in Nevada with a 4-20 record. He was hired in 2021 after the sudden Jay Norvell departure and began the 2022 season as head coach.
Wilson began his first season 2-0, providing hope that a rebuild would be avoided in Nevada. Those dreams quickly diminished when the Wolf Pack began a 16-game losing streak which carried into the 2023 season.
Nevada finally broke the streak against San Diego State and found themselves winners of two in a row after beating New Mexico. Those back-to-back wins were followed by a four-game losing streak, ending the 2023 season 2-10.
Nevada showed very little growth in a year there should’ve been. With numerous Pac-12 transfers on Nevada’s roster, Wilson was unable to reach more than two wins in a season.
Nevada’s offense was the real killer. The Wolf Pack’s offense was ranked 133rd out of 133 FBS teams. Nevada was outscored by an average of 16.1 points per game.
Wilson’s tenure was filled with uncompetitive losses as well. In nine of its 10 losses, Nevada lost by double digits (a 31-24 loss to Kansas was the only exception.)
The writing had to be on the wall for this one. The athletics department announced at the beginning of a week that a weeklong discussion about Wilson would take place. The biggest reason Nevada most likely waited until Friday was Wilson’s buyout. After today, his buyout dropped from $1.5 million to $1 million.
There were still some arguments to be made for Wilson to stay for a third year. He inherited a terrible team after Norvell gutted it. Most teams also give head coaches about four years when inheriting a rebuild, so there was a chance. Unfortunately, going 4-20 in two seasons with a 2023 team that was improved on paper is too much to overcome.
Nevada will now begin its search for the eighth head coach in its FBS era. The Wolf Pack remains one of three teams in the Mountain West to never reach a conference championship game(the 2010 championship win was in the WAC,) with the others being Colorado State and New Mexico.