The Sunday edition of the Las Vegas Review Journal featured a full page ad supporting Stacey Augmon for taking over as the next head coach of the UNLV Runnin' Rebels. The ad was paid for by "Rebels for Success" and features quotes in support of Augmon by two of the other most famous players in program history. Larry Johnson and Greg Anthony.
Johnson was quoted as saying ""Stacey is an obvious choice. You can't put a value on what Stacey Augmon means to UNLV, but more than that, and more importantly, he knows the game as well as anyone."
While Anthony voiced his support by stating, "No player has had more impact on UNLV basketball than Stacey Augmon. Period. The end. He symbolizes what the program is all about. I have the utmost respect for him as a human being and can't think of a stronger person to go into homes of prospective student-athletes and sell UNLV to parents. More importantly, he knows the game as well as anyone."
Support from both of these players is not surprising. They were both teammates of Augmon on the championship team and they were both very vocal when UNLV passed him over and named Todd Simon as the Interim Head Coach.
And you don't make him your head coach. Stacey Augmon has done more for the program then any other player that ever played there!— Larry Johnson (@TheRealLJ2) January 12, 2016
It really is hard to argue the case against Augmon. He was one of the best college basketball players in UNLV history, was an integral part a championship team, had a 15 year long career as a player in the NBA and then spent four years as an assistant coach under George Karl with the Denver Nuggets before coming back to UNLV to become the lead assistant under Dave Rice. While a great case can be made for Augmon, it might be his long time friend, and former UNLV head coach Dave Rice that prevents him from getting the job.
When the administration hired Dave Rice, they were getting a former player from the championship team, someone who wanted nothing more than to bring the Runnin' Rebels back to national relevance but ultimately failed to live up to the expectations that had been set. This could pose a major setback for Augmon if the administration is leery about hiring another former player and member of the UNLV family. Hopefully the administration isn't that short sighted and gives Augmon a fair shot at the job he desperately wants.
Look for the coaching search to pick up significant steam over the next couple of weeks, as Athletic Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy has stated that "we're hoping by the end of this month we'll have a coach". (Per this article from the Las Vegas Sun)
Some of the candidates that have been mentioned as possibilities are former UCLA & St. John's coach Steve Lavin, Arizona associate head coach Joe Pasternack, New Mexico State coach Marvin Menzies, Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon, Stephen F Austin coach Brad Underwood, and Louisville coach Rick Pitino (not likely a legitimate candidate at this time).