RENO, Nev. – Coming off back-to-back winning seasons and bowl game appearances, the University of Nevada has agreed to a new five-year contract with head football coach Jay Norvell, the school announced Tuesday, March 3, 2020.
Norvell has guided the Wolf Pack to 15 wins over the past two seasons, including victories over a pair of Power 5 opponents. The Wolf Pack went 8-5 and beat Arkansas State in the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl in 2018 before recording a seven-win regular season in 2019, which included Nevada’s first-ever road victory over a top-25 team with its win over San Diego State and an appearance in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
“Jay has done a great job guiding our program and developing our student-athletes over the past three seasons. Because of his leadership, there are a great many reasons to be excited about the trajectory of our program as the future of Wolf Pack football is bright,” said athletics director Doug Knuth.
The new five-year contract includes a guaranteed base salary and compensation totaling $625,000 per season plus supplemental compensation bonuses based on athletic and academic program success. The school will also boost the salary pool for the Wolf Pack’s assistant coaches by $250,000 beginning in the 2020 season.
“I am appreciative of the support of the program shown by University president Marc Johnson and athletics director Doug Knuth,” Norvell said. “The commitment of higher compensation for our staff is an important piece of the further growth of our program. My family and I love living in Northern Nevada and I take great pride in being the head football coach at the University of Nevada. I’m excited for the future of our program!”
Norvell, 56, is 18-20 overall in three seasons as Nevada’s head coach and 12-12 in Mountain West play over that span. After a 3-9 season in his first year in 2017, Norvell guided one of the top comeback seasons in the country in 2018, leading Nevada to a 7-5 regular season, including a win over Oregon State from the Pac-12, and the team’s sixth-ever bowl victory. In 2019, the Wolf Pack came from behind to beat the Big Ten’s Purdue and later picked up significant road victories against San Diego State and Fresno State as he had the Pack in the hunt for the West Division title up until the final few weeks of the season.
The new five-year contract will be in effect beginning with the 2020 season and runs through the 2024 season. The supplemental compensation includes performance bonuses for regular season victories, victories over UNLV, victories over power-five opponents, West Division championships and Mountain West championships, bowl game appearances, and coach of the year honors. It also includes performance bonuses for the program’s score in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate and cumulative team grade-point averages. The Wolf Pack football program must hit a minimum score in the APR for any athletic performance bonus to be awarded each year.
Nevada and Norvell agreed in principle to the deal following the conclusion of the 2019 season and the contract was recently finalized.