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After being a serious candidate for other head coaching jobs this past season, Polian couldn’t help but feel that he was overdue.

“All of sudden this Nevada thing popped out of thin air,” he said.

Polian replaced Hall of Famer Chris Ault, who retired in December.

Fitzgerald’s advice to his friend Polian and any other young coach is to realize age doesn’t matter and that no amount of experience as an assistant can truly prepare a coach for his first time calling the shots.

“You don’t understand it,” he said, “until you sit in this chair.”