As first reported by the Las Vegas Review Journal and also discussed here on the Mountain West Connection, there has been speculation that UNLV is interested in Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin. That appears to be more than just speculation now, as UC has granted UNLV permission to speak to their head coach.
Mick Cronin would be the flashy, big name hire that the administration has been rumored to want. He's made it to six straight NCAA tournaments, he's coached under Bob Huggins and also Rick Pitino, and has shown that he can recruit at a high level. However, even with UC granting UNLV the right to interview Cronin, this is still a tough situation to read.
Cronin signed a seven year contract in 2014, and is currently making just north of two million dollars a year. On top of that, over the years he has maintained that he has no interest in any other job and yesterday even the President of the University of Cincinatti chimed in on Twitter, stating: "Great conversation with Mick Cronin today. Made it clear he is a key member of our team here at UC".
However, he followed that up by tweeting "Casinos get boring awfully fast". That tweet has since been deleted, so maybe something has happened which has caused Cincinnati President Ono to feel a little less confident about his conversation with Cronin.
UNLV making a strong push for Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin. Been told UNLV could pay in the $3 million range, plus no state tax.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 22, 2016
Other Candidate News
Before Cronin's name was thrown into the mix, the two most likely (desired) coaching candidates that were rumored for the UNLV job were Jamie Dixon from Pitt and Brad Underwood from Stephen F Austin. UNLV fans can officially cross them both off the candidate list, as Dixon has agreed to coach at his alma mater, TCU, while Underwood will be taking over at Oklahoma State.
The other candidates that still remain in the mix, besides Cronin, are Steve Lavin, New Mexico State head coach Marvin Menzies, and UNLV assistant coaches, Stacey Augmon, Todd Simon and Ryan Miller.
With the administration's goal of having a coach in place by the end of the month, look for news to break anytime between now and then. In regards to Mick Cronin, news could break at any minute given that the University will move very quickly to land him if he shows interest in the job.