by Neil Patrick Healy
For the first time in his life, former Nevada head football coach Chris Ault is going abroad.
Coaching at Nevada for 28 seasons, amassing 233 career wins, working as an NFL consultant with the Kansas City Chiefs and inventing the pistol offense wasn’t enough to satisfy “the Little General” and he has set his sights to Europe. Ault has agreed to a deal to become the head coach of the Italian Football League team Rhinos Milano in Milan, Italy early on Thursday.
Ault has never left the borders of the United States and he looks at coaching in the IFL as a new challenge to spread American football in Europe. The league is an armature league where Ault says they play for Pizza, but he looks to that as a positive.
“These guys are playing the game for the right reason,” Ault said in an interview with the Reno Gazette Journal on Thursday. “They love it. They go to work all day. They practice at night. They raise their family. They don’t get paid. They actually play for pizza. They just play football for the love of the game and the passion of it.”
The IFL has 12 teams, the practices are late in the evenings (9-11 p.m.) and since the league was founded in 2008, the league is still in its infancy. Ault looks to go back to coaching football from a more basic level while instituting new features to his pistol offense.
“It’s certainly Football 101,” Ault said. “The thing I’m excited about is coaching the Pistol and adding some things to the offense and having a chance to experience the Pistol from the ground floor again.”
Ault makes the trip to Italy in January for training camp and he and his family will get to experience Europe while he gets to be coaching on the sidelines. As Ault said, the situation is the best of both worlds.
Neil Patrick Healy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NeilTheJuiceMan