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Nevada coach Chris Ault retires

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Nevada coach Chris Ault retires

RENO, Nevada (AP) Chris Ault raised Nevada football. After 28 years as coach, he felt he had taken the Wolf Pack as far as he could.

Ault announced Friday he was stepping down, leaving as the winningest coach in school history, already a Hall of Famer, and having changed the way teams play offense nationwide.

Under Ault, the Wolf Pack went from Division II to I-AA to I-A, winning at every level with some of the most prolific and innovative offenses in the country.

The 66-year-old won 10 conference championships and took the Wolf Pack to the postseason 16 times, including 10 bowl games in 12 FBS seasons. He finished with a record of 233-109-1.

``It's with great humility and mixed emotions I've decided it's time for me to step down and move on,'' a tearful Ault said at a news conference. ``Wolf Pack football firmly established a blueprint for success that can be sustained.''

Perhaps his most famous contribution came late in his career, when he invented the Pistol offense in 2005, a scheme now employed by hundreds of teams at every level of football.

The Pistol formation has the quarterback in a short shot-gun formation with a running back lined up directly behind him.

``I'm proud that our offense has broadened the landscape of football. That's exciting,'' Ault said. ``It's here to stay, unlike the wishbone (offense).''

He said he reached the decision to step down after consulting with his wife, Kathy, and Nevada President Marc Johnson. He informed his staff and players of the decision Friday morning.

Ault first broached the subject after Arizona rallied to defeat Nevada, 49-48, in the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 15. The loss dropped Ault's bowl record to 2-8 and Nevada's season record to 7-6, including losses in five of its final six games.

With most of the Wolf Pack's offensive starters and entire defensive front returning next season, Ault said, the timing was right to turn the program over to a new coach.

``I have focused on leaving the program in the best shape.'' he said. ``I'm sure it'll be a sought-after position.''

While he has no plans to return as coach or athletic director at Nevada, he didn't rule out coaching elsewhere. Nevada athletic director Cary Groth is also retiring after this school year.

Ault agreed to a two-year contract extension last February that would have brought his salary to $535,000 by 2015. That's about half the average salary in the Mountain West Conference where he coached this season.

The overall budget of Nevada's football program also is far less than other major football programs, and ranks near the bottom of the Mountain West, Groth said.

Asked whether the limited revenue and loss of coaches were factors in his decision, Ault replied. ``All of that plays into the decision ... I want to be a Top 25 program and we have that opportunity, but there are so many intangibles that I had to deal with.''

Ault was the only active Division I coach in the College Football Hall of Fame. This season, he passed Bear Bryant for most wins by a coach at his alma mater.

His 40-year career with Nevada began when he played quarterback for the Wolf Pack from 1965-67. He became coach there in 1976 at the age of 29, then the youngest college coach in the nation.

His best season was in 2010 when he led his team to a 13-1 record and a win against Boston College in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. The Wolf Pack, with Colin Kaepernick at quarterback, was ranked No. 13 after upsetting Boise State to win a Western Athletic Conference championship.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., issued a statement hailing Ault as ``one of the greatest coaches in college football history.''

``Year after year there may have been more highly recruited players in the NCAA, but Coach Ault created a team and taught his players to work together,'' Reid said. ``This philosophy brought the program great success.''

Groth, said she never ``worked with a finer man'' than Ault and would welcome his advice on his successor.

Johnson called Ault's decision ``bittersweet.'' He said he was ``really surprised'' when Ault told him that he was retiring and he gave him more time to consider the decision.

Ault not only achieved success on the field, but off the field with a high graduation rate for his players and no NCCA problems, Johnson said.

Johnson said he and Groth would work together to find a new coach. A national search firm will be hired to come up with candidates, he said, and the Board of Regents will take final action.

``We want to be competitive, but Nevada isn't in the money game,'' Johnson said. ``We're not a million-dollar-plus place for a coach.''

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7 stats that define John Wall's history-making career (so far)

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7 stats that define John Wall's history-making career (so far)

This week is Wall Week at NBC Sports Washington. We are rolling out content each day centering around the Wizards' five-time All-Star point guard. Today, we take a deep dive into the numbers to illustrate Wall's career in Washington so far...

**Wall's career averages of 19.0 points and 9.2 assists put him in elite company. Only three other players in league history have averaged at least 19 and nine with at least 500 games played; Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson and Isiah Thomas. Only Johnson and Robertson have also averaged at least four rebounds in addition, like Wall has.

**Wall is already well-represented on the Wizards/Bullets franchise's all-time leaderboards. He is first in career assists (5,282) and steals (976), second in free throws (2,456), third in points (10,879) and minutes played (20,545) and fourth in threes made (539). He is already third all-time in VORP (value over replacement player), a cumulative stat similar to WAR (wins above replacement) in baseball. Only Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes accrued more while in Washington.

**Wall has also put up some of the best individual seasons in franchise history. He has the No. 1, 3, 4 and 7 highest assist totals with his best year the 2016-17 season when he dished out 831. 

**Wall's 2016-17 campaign was also the only season in franchise history where a player averaged 20-plus points and 10-plus assists. He has 111 20-point, 10-assist games in his career which is by far the most in franchise history. Second on the list is Rod Strickland with 43. Gilbert Arenas is third with 24.

**Wall has 396 career blocks. Only six guards in NBA history have recorded more. Those six are Dwayne Wade (885), Clyde Drexler (719), Dennis Johnson (675), Jason Kidd (450), Kendall Gill (432) and Latrell Sprewell (399). Only Johnson and Kidd played most of their time at point guard, so Wall is third all-time at his position.

**Wall's 5,282 career assists are fifth among active players. Only Chris Paul (9,181), LeBron James (8,662), Rajon Rondo (6,975) and Russell Westbrook (5,701) have more.

**Unfortunately, injuries have significantly affected Wall's last two seasons. He has played a combined 73 regular season games the past two years. For context, he has played the same amount of games as Gordon Hayward, who appeared in just one game in 2017-18. And DeMarcus Cousins, despite going through a full rehab from a torn Achilles during that time, played in more games (78) than Wall.

NBA.com and Basketball Reference were used in this research

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Washington Nationals Roundup: Joe Ross exits game with leg injury

Washington Nationals Roundup: Joe Ross exits game with leg injury

A massive hot streak has the Nationals trending in the right direction with a month left in the regular season. They scored another 13 runs against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday in an all-around impressive offensive showing for the Nats. 

Player Notes:

SP Joe Ross exited Monday's game early in the fourth after being struck by a grounder on his right leg. Before the injury, he continued his incredible stretch of starts as he was through 3.1 innings with three hits and no runs. His last four starts have resulted in four wins for the Nationals and in the process, he's only yielded one run. His performance was so strong that he was making the case to be the team's fifth starter when Max Scherzer comes back later this week.

OF Juan Soto had a perfect night at the plate against the Pirates. Finishing 4-for-4 with two doubles, a walk and four runs scored he's continued his incredible sophomore campaign. In this outing, his OBP went up a whole six points to .404.

3B Asdrubal Cabrera had himself a career day with the Nationals in their 13-0 win over Pittsburgh. A two-run home run, a double and a sac fly supplied five of the Nats 13 runs. Those five RBIs were a new personal best for Cabrera, according to MASN. He's been a great add for the Nationals with an 11-for-29 plate performance in his nine games. 

INF Adrian Sanchez was recalled from Double-A Harrisburg to give some infield depth with the temporary absence of Brian Dozier. In 24 MLB games this year he is 6-for-27.

2B Brian Dozier placed on the paternity list and is expected to miss part of the Nats' series in Pittsburgh. He and his wife are expecting their first child.

Injuries:

2B Brian Dozier: Healthy, Paternity leave, day-to-day

SP Max Scherzer: Back, 10-Day IL, maybe back August 22

RP Roenis Elias: Hamstring, 10-Day IL, maybe back in mid-August

1B Ryan Zimmerman: Foot, 10-Day IL, maybe back in late-August

SP Austin Voth: Shoulder, 10-Day IL, maybe back in late-August

RP Sean Doolittle: Knee, 10-Day-IL, out indefinitely 

RP Jonny Venters: Shoulder, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely

SP Jeremy Hellickson: Shoulder, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely

RP Koda Glover: Elbow, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely

RP Austen Williams: Shoulder, 10-Day IL, out indefinitely

Coming Up:

Tuesday 8/20: Nationals @ Pirates, 7:05 p.m., PNC Park
Wednesday 8/21: Nationals @ Pirates, 7:05 p.m., PNC Park 
Thursday 8/22: Nationals @ Pirates, 7:05 p.m., PNC Park

via Rotoworld

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