After rounds of rumors and speculation UNLV finally made their hire for their next head coach. The decision came down to Montana's Bobby Hauk and former Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione who was busted for selling newsletters about recruits to VIP boosters -- Franchione also coaches at New Mexico, TCU, and Alabama. The Rebels went with Hauk who has had a stellar career at the I-AA level at Montana with a 80-17 record with seven straight playoff and two I-AA tile appearances.
A good question that was brought up elsewhere is this really a better job? Obviously the pay is better then Montana, but UNLV has not put together winning seasons since the mid 80's during the Randal Cunningham years, but those do not even coutn since the wins were stripped from the record due to ineligible players. Not even the legendary USC coach John Robinson could bring success to the Vegas desert. The last bowl game UNLV went to was in 2000.
UNLV has always been said to be a few years away because of their proximity to the great southern California high school recruiting bed plus UNLV has great weather, so it would seem easy to get athletes that are a notch below the Pac-10 schools. For some reason they are are rarely even competitive in the Mountain West even though this year was to be their break through year, but in typical Rebel fashion they rolled over and ended up with only five wins.
Former coach Mike Sanford dropped this bomb on his exit interview last month:
"This is not a coach issue,"This is a system, infrastructure, commitment issue that I am concerned about. There's been more of a football commitment made at Reno from a facility standpoint than there has at UNLV. Our locker room is the worst locker room in college football."
"If people really want to win here, if they're going to hold the football coach and the football coaching staff here to a high standard, they need to put their money where their mouth is. I don't believe that's ever been done here. I don't believe it was done one bit during the time I was here."
The track record of previous Montana coaches who made the jump to I-A football is not all that great. Joe Glenn went to Wyoming and Mick Dennehy went to Utah State. Joe Glenn had minimal success, but never built upon the success after their 2004 Las Vegas Bowl win over UCLA.
Best of wishes to you Bobby Hauk go collect your paycheck and if you get UNLV to a bowl game you will be a legend in Sin City.