The Nevada-UNLV rivalry on the basketball court got a little bit more interesting.
On Monday, it was announced that former UNLV head coach Dave Rice will be hired as an assistant at Nevada per multiple sources. The school will make the announcement of the Rice hire official on Wednesday.
Rice, who played on UNLV's 1990 NCAA title team, was the head coach at UNLV from 2011-2016 and posted a 98-54 overall record before being fired on January 10th after UNLV lost their first three Mountain West Conference games which dropped their record to 9-7.
Rice is a native of Pomona, California and after playing for UNLV, he became a graduate assistant under legendary head coach Jerry Tarkanian from 1991 to 1992 and became a full time assistant for three different UNLV head coaches from 1994-2004.
Rice left UNLV in 2004 and became an assistant at Utah State for a year and in 2005, joined the BYU staff where he stayed until 2011 when he was hired as UNLV's head coach.
While at UNLV, Rice regularly recruited top-25 talent but the recruiting success did not translate into sustained success in terms of wins. The Rebels saw their win's total drop from 26 to 25 to 20 to 18 wins in four years under Rice and the slow start in conference play this year led to Rice being fired in January.
Rice will replace former assistant Doug Stewart who left Nevada to take the associate head coaching position at Tulane. Rice will join head coach Eric Musselman's newly rebuilt staff along with two new assistants in former LSU assistant Ronald Dupree and Yann Hufnagel, who was fired from Cal after being accused of sexually harassing a female beat reporter for the basketball team in March.
The hiring of Rice by Nevada would be the first time in the history of both Nevada and UNLV' s basketball programs that a coach would have been on staff at both schools.
Rice's hire is a big one for Nevada as his calm manner will be a good contrast to Musselman's fiery approach but still this is a big hire for the Wolf Pack program as they look to build on the momentum of winning the CBI championship and look to compete in the Mountain West next season.