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Nevada elevates Vai Taua to running backs coach

Vai Taua
Vai Taua is the Wolf Pack's new running backs coach. (Nevada athletics)

Vai Taua, a three-time all-conference running back at Nevada, has been elevated to the Wolf Pack's running backs coach.

"We're excited for Vai to move into this role on our coaching staff," head coach Jay Norvell said in a news release. "This is a great opportunity for him, and it's an opportunity that he has earned."

Taua replaces David White, who left for a high school job in Mississippi last week.

Taua is believed to be the only full-time assistant coach at the FBS level who is coaching his brother on the same team. Toa Taua, Vai's younger brother, is coming of a Mountain West Freshman of the Year season for the Wolf Pack after leading the team in rushing during its eight-win 2018 season.

Toa Taua is just part of a strong backfield for the Wolf Pack, which opens spring drills on Tuesday with seniors Kelton Moore and Jaxson Kincaide and sophomore Devonte Lee among the running back corps for the Pack.

"It's always an honor for a former student-athlete to coach at their alma mater," Taua said in a news release. "I'm very excited to have the opportunity to work with such a deep and talented group of running backs."

Vai Taua had a stellar career with the Wolf Pack and was a member of the team that beat Boston College en route to a Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Championship. Taua also helped lead his team to one of the biggest upsets in school history when the Wolf Pack toppled No. 3 Boise State on Nov. 26, 2010. In that game, Taua rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown.

Vai Taua first came to the University of Nevada in 2006 to begin his illustrious career. He would go on to become an All-American and a three-time All-WAC team member. He ended his career with 4,512 career rushing yards and 53 touchdowns, both ranking in the top five in program history. After college he signed as a free agent with the NFL's Buffalo Bills and then again with the Seattle Seahawks in 2011.

Prior to Nevada, Vai Taua spent two years at UCLA on the coaching staff and was the special teams coordinator and running backs coach at East Los Angeles Junior College.

Taua and his wife, Toni, have one son, Tamali'i.

The file on Vai Taua

Born: Oct. 11, 1988

Hometown: Lompoc, Calif.

Family: Wife – Toni; Son – Tamali'i

Education: Bachelor's, University of Nevada, 2010

Coaching Experience

2019: Running Backs, Nevada

2018: Asst. Director of Player Personnel and Recruiting, Nevada

2017: Special Teams Analyst, Nevada

2016: Special Teams/RBs, East Los Angeles College

2015: Defensive Line (quality control), UCLA

2014: Wide Receivers (quality control), UCLA

Playing Experience

Nevada: Running back (2007-10)

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