AULT, COHEN AND SAYLER NAMED TO
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF SELECTION COMMITTEE;
NC STATE A.D. CORRIGAN EXTENDED AS CHAIR
IRVING, Texas – The College Football Playoff (CFP) Management Committee has appointed Chris Ault, longtime head coach and athletics director at the University of Nevada; Jennifer Cohen, athletics director at the University of Washington and David Sayler, athletics director at Miami University (OH), to the CFP Selection Committee, it was announced today by Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the CFP.
The new members will begin three-year terms starting this spring. They will replace Tom Burman, Rick George and John Urschel, whose terms have expired.
Hancock also announced that the management committee has extended the term of NC State Athletics Director Boo Corrigan as selection committee chair for a second year through the 2023 football season.
“We are excited to have Chris, Jennifer and David join the selection committee as we enter our tenth season,” Hancock said. “Their expertise, understanding and character, along with their passion for college football, will allow them to make the transition seamlessly with the returning members.”
“We are pleased that Boo will return as chair,” Hancock added. “He did an outstanding job leading the committee last year, serving as an efficient manager inside the room and an effective spokesperson to the media and fans.”
“It was a privilege to serve as the committee chair last year,” Corrigan said. “I thoroughly enjoyed working alongside an outstanding group of individuals who are deeply committed to college football, and I am honored to be asked to return to that role again for the 2023 season.”
Chris Ault spent 28 years as the head football coach at the University of Nevada, serving three stints from 1976-92, 1994-95 and 2004-2012. During that time he posted a 234-108-1 record and guided the program from Division II to Division I-AA in 1978 and then to Division I-A in 1992. Ault also served at the athletics director at Nevada from 1986-2004. Following his retirement from Nevada in 2012, Ault spent two seasons as consultant with the Kansas City Chiefs and then two years coaching in the Italian Football League.
During his time as head coach, Nevada captured or shared 10 conference championships across the Big Sky, Big West and WAC. He was a six-time conference coach of the year, the 1978 NCAA Division I-AA Coach of the Year, and the 1991 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year. Ault is credited as the creator of the “Pistol Offense,” which he instituted at Nevada in 2005. In 2002 Ault was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Ault spent the first five years of his coaching career at the high school level in Nevada before landing an assistant coaching position at UNLV. In 1976 he returned to his alma mater, the University of Nevada, as head coach. The starting quarterback at Nevada as a student-athlete, Ault earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree during his time on campus.
Jennifer Cohen has served as athletics director at the University of Washington since 2016 and has been with the institution for 24 years. In seven years under her watch the Huskies have won 18 Pac-12 championships, made three New Year’s Six bowl appearances, and qualified for the College Football Playoff in 2016. In the classroom the Huskies most recently posted their highest-ever, department-wide NCAA Graduation Success Rate of 92.
Cohen was named a finalist for Sport Business Journal’s Athletic Director of the Year in 2019 and in the spring of 2020 SBJ recognized her as part of their All In: Leaders in Diversity and Inclusive Hiring series that highlighted men and women across pro and college sports. Additionally, in the fall of 2020 she was recognized by Sports Illustrated as one of the most powerful, influential and outstanding women in sports. Cohen has signed the Collegiate Coaching Diversity Pledge and is a member of the National Coalition of Minority Football Coaches. Cohen also served a two-year stint on the Division I Baseball Committee.
Cohen joined the athletic department staff in 1998 as an assistant director of development before moving to the university’s development office. She later returned to athletics to oversee the department’s major gifts program. Prior to her time at Washington, Cohen spent time at Pacific Lutheran, the University of Puget Sound and Texas Tech University. A 1991 graduate of San Diego State University, Cohen earned her master’s degree in physical education, from Pacific Lutheran University in 1994.
David Sayler has been Miami University’s athletic director since Jan. 2, 2013. During his tenure, Miami has been a three-time winner of the Cartwright Award, recognizing the best Athletics Department in the Mid-American Conference in the areas of academics, community service and competitive results.
Miami has won 56 conference championships since Sayler arrived on campus, and in 2015 the men’s hockey team made the NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed. Much of that success comes directly from Miami’s Graduating Champions fundraising campaign, which resulted in the addition of the Athletic Performance Center and the David and Anita Dauch Indoor Sports Center. Miami has continued to excel academically as well with each program posting a 3.0 GPA or better for the 2020-21 academic year.
Prior to joining Miami, Sayler served as the Director of Athletics at South Dakota for two years. He has also spent time at Rice, Oregon State, Bowling Green, Houston, Hartford, Georgia and UConn. A graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting, Sayler worked three years in the private sector, spending time with Ernst & Young in Cleveland and Peterson Consulting in Chicago before entering college athletics.
Boo Corrigan has served as athletics director at NC State since April 2019, and the Wolfpack has enjoyed unprecedented success under his leadership. NC State has posted back-to-back top-25 finishes in the Learfield Directors’ Cup, including finishing the last academic year at No. 17, marking the second-highest finish in school history. The Wolfpack had an enormously successful 2021-22 campaign with four programs finishing in the top-five in the nation in their respective polls and a total of 11 teams finishing in the top 25 of their sport’s national rankings. The Wolfpack has captured back-to-back NCAA women’s cross country national championships in 2021 and 2022. The 2021 national title was the first NCAA title ever by a Wolfpack women’s team and the school’s first national title in any sport since 1983.
Corrigan was named Athletic Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics in 2022 and 2017.
Previously, Corrigan served eight years as director of athletics at West Point. Under his leadership, Army claimed 20 Patriot League regular season or tournament championships and sent 14 teams to the NCAA postseason. Before joining Army, Corrigan worked for three years in the athletic department at Duke, serving as senior associate athletics director for external affairs. Corrigan also served five years as associate athletics director for marketing at the University of Notre Dame and three years as associate athletics director for marketing at the U.S. Naval Academy. He was the assistant director of marketing at Florida State University from 1992 to 1996.
Corrigan received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Notre Dame in 1990 and a master’s degree in education from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2013.
The CFP selection committee is responsible for selecting the top four teams in the playoff and assigning them to semifinal games, as well as ranking the other top 25 teams. The committee meets in-person beginning late in the football season and produces a ranking of the top 25 teams each week leading up to its final selections. The other returning selection committee members are Mitch Barnhart (athletics director, University of Kentucky), Boo Corrigan (athletics director, NC State University), Chet Gladchuk (athletics director, U.S. Naval Academy), Jim Grobe (longtime head coach at Ohio University, Wake Forest and Baylor), Warde Manuel (athletics director, University of Michigan), Will Shields (former All-American offensive lineman, University of Nebraska), Gene Taylor (athletics director, Kansas State University), Joe Taylor (Vice President for Athletics and Community Wellness, Virginia Union University), Rod West (group president Entergy Corporation and former linebacker at the University of Notre Dame) and Kelly Whiteside (longtime sportswriter for USA Today, Sports Illustrated and Newsday).
For more information on the selection committee, visit www.collegefootballplayoff.com.