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Nevada Names Jeff Choate as its New Football Head Coach

Nevada went with head coaching experience.

NCAA Football: Montana State at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

A new football head coach has been named three days after Nevada fired Ken Wilson. Texas co-defensive coordinator Jeff Choate will be the new leader for Wolf Pack football.

The announcement was made official on Monday afternoon via a press conference. Athletic Director Stephanie and President Brian Sandoval welcomed Choate to the program.

Choate interviewed for the position shortly after Texas beat Oklahoma State in the Big 12 championship. He flew into Reno the next day for an in-person interview, which was made official Tuesday.

Choate brings head coaching experience, which Nevada hasn’t looked at in previous head coaching hires. He was the head coach for Montana State from 2016-2020, quickly turning them around.

In his four years with the Bobcats, Choate went 28-22 overall and 18-14 in the Big Sky. He improved the team's record every year, going from four to five to eight to 11 victories over his four-year span.

Choate went 17-9 in his final two years, leading the Bobcats to back-to-back FCS playoff appearances. In his final year, he led the team to a semifinal berth in which they were ranked fourth in the nation.

He stepped down to take the co-defensive coordinator job with Texas, mainly working with the linebackers. With the Longhorns set to face Washington in the Sugar Bowl, Choate said he’s still committed to helping the Longhorns.

Choate will be in Reno with the Wolf Pack until Dec. 15, when Texas begins practicing for the Sugar Bowl.

With the transfer portal officially opening on Monday, the timing of the hire couldn’t have been any better.

As I mentioned before, this is the first time in a while Nevada has gone with someone with head coaching experience. Since the infamous Chris Ault hire in 1976, only one other head coach hire (Chris Tormey) was hired with experience. The other six head coaching hires since then, including Wilson, were first-year head coaches.

Although he’s another defensive-minded coach, this is going to be a great hire. Nevada was never going to land a big-money name being one of the worst schools in the nation, but Choate brings plenty of high-quality experience.

He took over a rebuilding Montana State and took them deep into the playoffs two out of his four years. Now, he’s been working with one of the top schools in the nation in Texas, with a shot of winning the national championship.

There’s plenty to be excited about. It’ll be a long offseason until we see what Choate fully brings, but Wolf Pack fans should have their head up with this hire.