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UNLV football coaching candidates

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Here is an early list of what coaches have been connected or at least mentioned as a possible replacement for Bobby Hauck.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The UNLV Rebels are in the market for a new head coach since Bobby Hauck resigned on Friday afternoon. The coaching search is barely underway but the speculation of the Rebels needing a new head coach has spawned what if candidates dating back to the summer when the Rebels were hit with APR penalties. Those sanctions were removed but then poor football led to more speculation on what it would take for Hauck to keep his job.

UNLV athletic director Tina Kunzer-Murphy has already announced that the school will not use a search committee to find its next football coach, and names have surfaced as possibilities in Utah defensive coordinator Kalina Sitake, USC assistant coach Tee Mart and even Bishop Gorman high school head coach Tony Sanchez.

Here are list of more candidates and how they may fit, or not fit, in at UNLV.

Kalani Sitake, Utah defensive coordinator

This has to be the top choice for UNLV as Sitake has been the one bright spot in Utah's transition from the Mountain West to the Pac-12. The only downside for UNLV is that Sitake might have better offers coming his way, but the Rebels should make landing Sitake a priority. There are offensive weapons at UNLV so Sitake could concentrate on defense and fix that side of the ball and that would UNLV be competitive quite quickly.

Tee Martin, USC Wide Receivers Coach/Pass Game Coordinator

This move seems like something UNLV would do in the past, because Martin has only been a position coach and has never been a coordinator. This move seems like a reach and the way UNLV would sell it is that he played at a big time program when he won a national title at Tennessee, he played in the NFL and has ties to the Mountain West when he was the quarterbacks coach for New Mexico back in 2009.

Tony Sanchez, Bishop Gorman High School head coach

This actually would be the most UNLV hire out there. Going from a high school head coach to a collegiate head coach is a gigantic jump. Yes, Sanchez has won five straight Nevada state titles and has had his team ranked in the national polls, but this is still high school. North Texas made a similar move when they plucked Todd Dodge from Southlake Carroll and he too had massive success at the highest level of high school football in Texas. Yet, Dodge was unable to do too much for the Mean Green, and that was when the school was in the Sun Belt.

Sanchez's only collegiate coaching experience comes from his time as an undergraduate assistant at New Mexico State in 1996 working with the wide receivers. If UNLV wants to make any strives they should not name Sanchez its head coach; a coordinator or quarterbacks coach could help with recruiting but nothing above that.

Randy Shannon, Arkansas linebackers/senior associate head coach

This comes from Coaching Search who has eye's on the former Miami Hurricanes head coach as a viable possibility to take over a UNLV program. Shannon also is known to be a very good recruiter and that is definitely something that UNLV needs help with. Being a defensive coach with TCU and Arkansas over the past few years is also a plus. This is likely the second best choice along with Kalani Sitake for UNLV, because of his recruiting prowess and defensive mind.

June Jones, former SMU and Hawaii head coach

This seems like a reach but his name has been mentioned in early November as a name of interest. Not sure why Jones would take this job since he basically quit on SMU just two games into his seventh season, and the UNLV job is not as nice now will pay as much as SMU. This just seems like tossing a name out there to see if there is interested, odds are there is little to none from Jones.

Jim Fassel, former Utah and New York Giants head coach

This is an interesting name since Fassel has coached at West when he was coaching the University of Utah in the late 1980s, he has plenty of NFL coaching experience with the New York Giants and he was the Las Vegas head coach for the UFL. Maybe if Fassel wants to just coach just to coach and in a town he is familiar with this could work. He is a 65-year-old man so he is getting up in age, so there is the possibility if he is the head coach it would not be for long.

Chris Ault, former Nevada coach

Now, this one seems way out there since Ault has been known to not eat ketchup when he was at Nevada just because it was red. If Ault were to somehow jump ship to his longtime rival he is known for rebuilding dormant programs. Just take a look at what he was able to accomplish with his pistol offense at Nevada.

Ault has not just been sitting around doing nothing since he stepped down as the Nevada head coach; he has been an offensive consult to the Kansas City Chiefs for the past two years. This seems highly unlikely that Ault would consider this and even though he is already in the college football Hall of Fame, he could still ruin his legacy with a few bad years in Las Vegas.