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Nevada Assistant Football Coach Jeff Tisdel Gets Top Job

May 30, 1996

RENO, Nev. (AP) _ Jeff Tisdel won as a quarterback, won as an assistant and won as a head coach at the collegiate level. Now, it’s his job to maintain a winning tradition at Nevada.

Athletic director Chris Ault tapped Tisdel as his successor on Wednesday, barely a month after Ault stepped down as coach to devote his energy to running the athletic department.

``This person will reflect our colorful and storied past because he was a part of it, as well as our present because he was a part of it and will carry it on into the future,″ Ault said in introducing his new coach.

Tisdel, 40, was quarterback when Ault arrived in 1976, and Tisdel returned to Nevada in 1988 to coach running backs. He has been assistant head coach for the past two seasons under Ault.

``I think tradition is earned over the years through hard work,″ Tisdel said. ``I played here, I coached here. I look at the University of Nevada as a family. We’re going be a team out on that football field in more ways than one.″

As Ault’s successor, Tisdel will follow the fifth winningest active coach in I-A football. Ault was 163-63-1 in 19 seasons, nine postseason appearances and seven conference titles.

The Wolf Pack won five straight conference titles under Ault, three in the Big Sky and the last two seasons in the Big West. Nevada was 9-2 in the regular season last year and 6-0 in conference play.

``Our main goal will be to win the league championship every year,″ Tisdel said. ``Believe me, we want to win every game on the schedule. I hope at the end of the season, you appreciate me as much as you do now,″ he told team supporters who crowded the room.

Ault became the only Division I coach also serving as athletic director in July 1986.

He retired as coach in 1993, then returned the following year when his chosen successor, Jeff Horton, defected to UNLV.

Ault follows only Tom Osborne of Nebraska, Joe Paterno at Penn State, Florida State’s Bobby Bowden and LaVell Edwards of Brigham Young in I-A victories. They also are the only active coaches with more seasons.

Tisdel served as a graduate assistant at Nevada in 1978, then moved 60 miles east to Fallon as assistant coach at Churchill County High School. He returned to his alma mater, Christian Brothers High in Sacramento, before moving to St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif.

He served one year as an assistant at Nevada, then coached Sacramento City College for five seasons before returning to Reno in 1994.

He was quarterback for a team that was 3-8 in 1975 and lost its annual game with the alumni, then posted 8-3 records the two years after Ault came on board. Tisdel is 77-27-1 in the collegiate ranks without a losing season.

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