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George Karl is interested in the UNLV opening

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UNLV has lost Chris Beard, but long time NBA head coach George Karl might save the day.

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Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

UNLV is now in a real world of hurt that Chris Beard has elected to take the sudden opening at Texas Tech just after a week of being officially the Rebels head coach.

As soon as Beard left there is another name that has popped as quickly, former NBA head coach George Karl. Most recently Karl was the head coach of the Sacramento Kings before he was fired after the final day of the NBA season, but he still wants to coach.

USA TODAY's Dan Wolken is reporting that Karl has interest in being the next UNLV head coach.

A person with knowledge of the situation, speaking on the condition of anonymity due to the private nature of the coaching search, said Karl has already had initial dialogue with school officials about the job. UNLV initiated that contact Thursday night when it became apparent Chris Beard might leave for Texas Tech.

"Private nature of the coaching search," really!

This coaching search has been public step-by-step through various reporters and also athletics director Tina Kunzer-Murphy ever since the Rebels season was over.

Karl's name being connected to this job is not something all that out of the ordinary. Back in 2004, he was strongly considering a college job after the Milwaukee Bucks fired him, but Karl waited on another NBA job and was ultimately hired by the Denver Nuggets.

Karl just received $7 million from the Kings so it is likely he would not demand a huge salary so that is a plus, as is his style of up-tempo offense and that fact he is a long-time NBA coach. If Karl were to be hired he would have the connections and experience to get Rebel players to the NBA, and if the right assistants were hired for recruiting this could be end up being a great hire for the Rebels.

The concerns are that he is 64 and has never coached at the collegiate level, but coaching is coaching and again if surrounds himself with the right staff a smooth transition could be had.

The other names that UNLV has shown interest in are former assistants Ryan Miller and Stacey Augmon, and New Mexico State head coach Marvin Menzies. Karl is a much bigger name than those three coaches, so losing out on Beard actually could be better for UNLV in the long run.