As first reported by the Las Vegas Review Journal on Tuesday, the UNLV administration has begun the formal process of interviewing for the open head coaching position. The first three interviews: associate head coaches Ryan Miller, Stacey Augmon and interim head coach Todd Simon.
There's really no surprise with Augmon and Simon interviewing. Both have made it known publicly that they want the job. Miller on the other hand, hasn't commented, nor really been mentioned by the media as a contender.
While Miller doesn't have any head coaching experience, he was a coach in the SEC for Auburn before coming to UNLV and prior to that he was at New Mexico, working under current UCLA coach Steve Alford. In addition to the coaching experience, Miller has developed a reputation as a high level recruiter as he has played a vital role in bringing in top talent to UNLV, including the four (now three) recruits that are slated to join the program this fall.
None of the coaches, or the University have made any statements about how the interviews went, but Athletic Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy has made it know that they would like to have a head coach in place by the end of March. Look for the interviews to continue over the next two weeks as other potentials candidates will by vying for what is considered a very desirable head coaching position.
Other potential coaching targets that have been rumored for the job, include Steve Lavin, New Mexico State coach Marvin Menzies, and Brad Underwood who is currently the head coach at Stephen F Austin.
If the University is interested in either Lavin or Menzies, look for them to be interviewing within the next week or two. Lavin isn't currently coaching anywhere and New Mexico State's season ended back on Tuesday so both don't have current commitments that would prevent them from meeting with UNLV. Underwoods Stephen F Austin team made the NCAA tournament, so a potential interview with him will be determined based on when they are eliminated from the field of 64.
It would behoove the administration to get a coach put into place sooner rather than later, as the uncertainty with the coaching situation has likely already cost the University one of its 2016 recruits, as the sharp shooting guard, Christian Vital, has elected to de-commit from UNLV.
This leaves the Rebels with three talented recruits, in Jaylen Fisher, Justin Jackson and Carlos Johnson, for 2016. However, who knows if they will remain committed if this coaching search turns into a long drawn out process.