UNLV is moving swiftly in looking for their next head basketball coach and is moving in the opposite direction of how the University of Utah went about their search. The Rebels have identified their four finalist who will be considered to take over for the departed Lon Kruger.
Here is the press release from the school:
UNLV Athletics Director Jim Livengood announced four finalists for the vacant men's basketball head coaching position on Tuesday. The four individuals that will continue with the interview process are Mike Dunlap, Ernie Kent, Dave Rice and Reggie Theus.
"Over the last several days, we have been involved in an exhaustive and thorough search to find the best person for our vacant men's basketball head coaching position," Livengood said. "The list has been narrowed down to four outstanding candidates and I am looking forward to continuing the interview process. We are looking forward to naming our new head coach very soon."
Dunlap is currently an assistant coach at St. John's. Prior to that, he served as the associate head coach at Oregon (2009-10) and at Arizona (2008-09). Dunlap also has experience coaching in the NBA as he was an assistant with the Denver Nuggets. He won two national championships as a NCAA Division II head coach at Metropolitan State in Denver, Colo.
Kent was most recently the head coach at Oregon, a position he held for 13 seasons from 1997-2010. Prior to that, he was head coach at Saint Mary's from 1991-97.
Rice is currently the associate head coach at BYU, a position he has held since 2008. He was promoted after serving as assistant coach from 2005-08 at the school. Rice was also an assistant coach at Utah State for a season after spending 11 seasons as an assistant at UNLV, his alma mater where he played from 1989-91.
Theus is currently an assistant coach from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Prior to that, he was head coach of the Sacramento Kings. He was also the head coach at New Mexico State from 2005-07 and was an assistant at Louisville before that. Theus is also an alumnus of UNLV, who played at the school from 1976-78.
All are solid choices and are all west coast guys, Dunlap is out east because he joined Steve Lavin as an assistant but prior to that he was at UCLA. Kent seems like a reach but he did do good things at Oregon. It ultimately will come down to Reggie Theus or Dave Rice. Both are great candidates but Rice should have the edge since his brother is the head coach at Bishop Gorman in Vegas, and that school annually produces nationally rated recruit.