Sports fodder for a Friday: Nevada’s Ault remains best-kept secret in college football

Joe Santoro
Sun News Service

Chris Ault has always been The Biggest Little Football Coach in all of college football. The man will be 63 years old in November and he is still the best-kept secret in college football coaching history. Ault is just two victories from career No. 200 and, well, donand#8217;t rule out the possibility of No. 300 someday. We give you this history lesson now in the middle of June because the Pack football team is on the verge of something special. Ault has done exactly what he said he wanted to do when he took over the program for the third time in 2004. Heand#8217;s made the Pack football team meaningful again. Donand#8217;t let the 13-13 record of the past two years fool you. With any sort of defense and luck and#8212; not to mention a more realistic schedule and#8212; those teams would have gone 20-6. The next two Pack teams will indeed win 20 games. And the reason is Ault.

OK, we get it. Everyone except ESPN is sick of Brett Favre and his annual offseason on-again off-again retirement party ritual. Never has so much fuss been made over an aging, overrated quarterback in the history of the NFL. But I have a confession to make. Iand#8217;m actually catching Favre Fever. Favre as a New York Jet never made any sense. There was never anything interesting about Favre as a Jet. But Favre as a Minnesota Viking is great theater. There will be two games against the Green Bay Packers. There will be games against his old rivals in Chicago and Detroit. The Vikings have Adrian Peterson. Yes, Iand#8217;ve finally been brainwashed by ESPN.

If you are the Washington Nationals, do you give top draft pick Stephen Strasburg a $50 million deal? Of course not. What has Strasburg done in his career? He dominated the Mountain West Conference. Thatand#8217;s worth $50 million? Nick Melino of the Wolf Pack had two hits off Strasburg in March. Whatand#8217;s that worth? A couple million? The money major league baseball now throws at kids who have done absolutely nothing in their careers is ridiculous. And you wonder why it costs two months worth of paychecks to sit behind home plate at the new Yankee Stadium.

Hereand#8217;s hoping Chad Ochocinco has started a new trend in sports. Imagine, if you will, the Wolf Pack starting lineup this fall. According to the English-to-Chad Johnson translation dictionary, starting at quarterback for the Chris Ault pistola offense would be Colin Unocero, at defensive end youand#8217;ll have Dontay Cincocinco and Kevin Nuevenueve and at running back Vai Tresquatro. Ault would have been Chris Unodos in his playing career. Manny Ramirez would have been Manny Idiota. And you thought taking high school Spanish was a waste of time.

Is Phil Jackson the greatest coach in NBA history? He clearly is in the conversation. Yes, the winner of Dancing With the Stars or Project Runway could have coached a title or two with Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille Oand#8217;Neal. But what coach has won multiple titles without a superstar or two on his roster? So donand#8217;t hold that against Jackson. Coaching in the NBA is about getting the most out of your egomaniac, spoiled, selfish superstars. Nobody has done it better than Jackson in NBA history.

Speaking of greatest coaches, the question must be asked now before we forget. Is Mark Fox the greatest coach in Wolf Pack menand#8217;s basketball history? Well, even Fox and#8212; and current Pack coach David Carter and#8212; would probably nominate Trent Johnson for the title. But Fox clearly deserves the honor. Five 20-win seasons in five years. Five postseason tournaments. Two NCAA Tournament victories. Three consecutive seasons with Top-25 rankings. Four conference titles. A .741 winning percentage. Start sculpting the Fox statue for Legacy Hall and#8212; but postpone the dedication ceremony until Carter leaves for USC or UCLA in four or five years

Joe Montanaand#8217;s son Nick, a Southern California prep star, announced this week that he will enroll at the University of Washington next fall. Perfect. The Wolf Pack plays at Washington in the 2012 season when the younger Montana will be a junior.

The annual Sparks Sertoma prep football all-star game will be next Friday, June 19 at Mackay Stadium. We have a suggestion to beef up interest in the game. Now that they are both retired, how about naming Ken Dalton and Joe Sellers as the permanent head coaches of the two teams? It would be the best game of the year. Every year.

and#8212; Joe Santoro writes a weekly column for the Sierra Nevada Media Group.

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