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UNLV coaching search: Arizona assistant Joe Pasternack is latest candidate

Another candidate has emerged for the UNLV opening.

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The UNLV coaching search has keyed on another candidate to take over for the program, and it is more realistic than Louisville's Rick Pitino. The next name is much more realistic and it is Arizona Wildcats associate head coach Joe Pasternack, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Pasternack has been Sean Miller's second in command since 2011 and has been a key reason for the Wildcats continued success in recruiting which has yielded top 10 classes over the years. He also has been a part of successful NCAA Tournament runs with Arizona and has been bart of a pair of Elite Eight and three Sweet 16 appearances.

Prior to coaching with the Wildcats, he was the head coach at University of New Orleans from 2007-11 and was known there as a great recruiter in the Sun Belt. He also went to Indiana and was a team manager when Bob Knight was the head coach for the Hoosiers.

According to the same Las Vegas Review-Journal article, it is believed that UNLV president Len Jessup is heavily involved in the hiring of the new basketball coach. Part of that has to do with athletics director Tina Kunzer-Murphy's contract being up at the end of the year.

"We have high expectations for UNLV athletics, as strong athletics programs enhance the overall university experience and energize the community," Jessup said in an email to the paper. "I have a great working relationship with Tina and appreciate her passion for UNLV and her commitment to our student-athletes.

"Runnin' Rebels basketball is a brand name in college athletics. Tina and I have had initial conversations about the vacancy and will continue the discussion as we move forward to identify the next head coach of UNLV men's basketball. Simultaneously, we are also focused on this year's team and season."

UNLV has been coached by Todd Simon on an interim basis and so far he has led the Rebels to a 3-0 record and take on rival Nevada Wolf Pack on Saturday night.