The Nevada Wolf Pack have hired Eric Musselman to be their next head basketball coach. The Nevada Board of Regents will vote on Thursday to approve the hiring of Musselman and if the board approves, Musselman will be 18th head coach in Nevada Wolf Pack basketball history.
The 50-year-old Musselman has been a head coach in the CBA, USBL, NBDL (with the Reno Bighorns), the NBA (with the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors) and also has coach the Dominican Republic and Venezuelan national teams. In 2012, Musselman became a college assistant coach when he joined the Arizona State staff and after two years there, he was named an associate head coach at LSU this season.
Musselman takes over for David Carter who was fired two weeks ago after going 98-97 in five years as the Wolf Pack head coach. During the final three years under Carter, the Wolf Pack saw their win totals go from 12 to 15 and nine which was the Wolf Pack's lowest win total since 1999-2000.
Musselman's task is to return Nevada to the salad days of the 2000s when the program was regularly making the postseason and winning 20 games a year under Trent Johnson and Mark Fox. Musselman must make the Wolf Pack competitive in the Mountain West, a conference they have struggled in since making the move to the conference. But Musselman sees potential in Nevada believes he can succeed.
"I think there's so much upside." Musselman said while appearing on the Jim Rome radio show shortly after Nevada announced his hiring. "The foundation has been set by some great coaches dating back to Sonny Allen and Mark Fox and Trent Johnson and David Carter. All of those guys have done a phenomenal job. They've proven that they can win at Nevada"
Musselman has been instrumental in developing current NBA players such as Jeremy Lin and Gerald Green to name a few. Coaches, players and NBA insiders have nothing but praise for Musselman as a coach and took to praising his when it was announced of his hiring by Nevada. ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz tweeted this response to the hiring.
Eric Musselman is back as a head coach. Nevada needed an infusion and a fresh look. Mountain West may be even more competitive now.— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) March 25, 2015
Former Sun Devils center Jordan Bachynski tweeted praise about his former coach being hired by Nevada.
Congrats @EricPMusselman 4 landing the head coach job @NevadaHoops you guys are gonna LOVE playing for one of my all time favorite coaches— Jordan Bachynski (@BLOCKchynski) March 25, 2015
Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said of Musselman and the Nevada hire that "the University of Nevada has made an incredible hire" and Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calilpari said that Musselman is "one of the best in our sport."
Finally, Wolf Pack great Nick Fazekas is very happy of the Wolf Pack's hiring of Musselman. Fazekas, who is Nevada's all-time leading scorer was coached by Musselman when he was with the Reno Bighorns said that he is a "great basketball mind" and "excited to see him work with the guys and get the ball rolling".
For the Wolf Pack fans, they hope is Musselman can get the ball rolling and get the Wolf Pack back to relevance.