Nevada Sports Net's G.O.A.T bracket challenge will unveil the greatest sports figure in Northern Nevada's history piece by piece over the next several weeks. Here is a description of the entire project, which is an NCAA Tournament-style bracket of the 64 greatest athletes and coaches from Northern Nevada. Readers will get to vote on one matchup every day with a 24-hour voting period until we crown a champion. You can vote on today's matchup on the Twitter poll linked at the bottom of this article.
Round of 32 matchup: No. 1 Chris Ault vs. No. 9 Frank Hawkins
Chris Ault's bio: Ault was a standout quarterback for the Nevada Wolf Pack from 1965-68. ... He was the head football coach at Bishop Manogue High from 1969-71 and Reno High in 1972 and won a state title with the Miners in 1970. ... Ault was an assistant coach at UNLV from 1973-75 and is a member of the Rebels Hall of Fame. ... He became Nevada's coach in 1976 and had three stints with the Wolf Pack, posting a 234-108-1 overall record and 133-53 conference mark in 28 seasons. ... Ault's Wolf Pack teams won 10 conference titles and he is a seven-time conference coach of the year. ... Ault won the FCS' Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year in 1991. ... He led the Wolf Pack to the FCS title game in 1990. ... Ault was named the Nevada football coach of the century in 1998 and the RGJ's Northern Nevada Coach of the Century in 2000. ... He served as Nevada's athletic director from 1986-2004 and was a driving force behind the school's Title IX implementation and facility improvements ... He helped move the department from Division II to I-AA (Big Sky) to the FBS (Big West, WAC and Mountain West) during his tenures as AD and coach. ... Ault led Nevada to a historic 2010 season in which the team went 13-1 and finished a program-best 11th in the nation. ... Ault helped create college football's overtime rules and was a revolutionary offensive mind who created the wide receiver screen in 1981 and Pistol formation in 2005. ... He is the only FBS head coach to lead the nation in passing offense and rushing offense in separate seasons. ... Ault served as a consultant for the NFL's Chiefs and won an Italian Football League title with the Milan Rhinos in 2016 after an undefeated season. ... He is in four Halls of Fame, including induction into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
Frank Hawkins' bio: A Las Vegas native, Hawkins was a star running back at Western High before being recruited to Nevada by Chris Ault. ... Hawkins played for the Wolf Pack from 1977-80 and was a three-time first-team All-American at the Division I-AA level, twice leading the FCS in rushing yards. ... Hawkins set several Nevada records in his career, including single-season and career marks for rushing yards, rushing touchdowns and rushing attempts and career 100-yard rushing games. ... Hawkins' 5,333 career rushing yards, which remains a Nevada record, ranked third in the NCAA at the time of his graduation (after Tony Dorsett and Charles White). ... He also set the NCAA record with 21 straight games of 100 yards or more. ... He led Nevada to its first No. 1 ranking in the nation during the 1978 season as the Wolf Pack went 11-0 in the regular season and made the FCS playoffs for the first time, a 44-21 loss to UMass. ... Nevada went 33-12-1 in Hawkins' four seasons. ... After his Wolf Pack career, Hawkins was a 10th-round pick by the Raiders with the No. 276 selection of the 1981 draft. ... He played seven seasons in the NFL, appearing in 88 games (34 starts) as a running back/fullback. ... Hawkins was on the Raiders' Super Bowl-winning team for the 1983 season and had five touches for 26 yards in a 38-9 rout of the Redskins. ... Hawkins rushed for 1,659 yards and scored 18 touchdowns in his NFL career. ... He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999, one of only two in Nevada history so honored along with Ault. ... He is a member of the Wolf Pack Hall of Fame and is one of three players in program history with a retired number along with Marion Motley and Dick Trachock. ... He was voted the 14th-greatest athlete in Big Sky history. ... Upon retirement, Hawkins served on the North Las Vegas City Council and was the first elected black official in a Clark County-wide race.
You can vote via the Twitter poll below.