As reported on Saturday, coach Tony Sanchez and the UNLV Rebels have agreed to a three year contract extension. The coaches original contract, which was signed in 2014 when he was appointed the position, was set to expire after next season.
Since becoming the Rebels head coach, the team has improved their win total by two each season, finishing 2016 with an overall record of 4-8 and a conference record of 3-5, including a win against the Wyoming Cowboys.
Also, the Rebels have become a top ranked rushing team under Sanchez as he deployed a stable of running backs last year, including Lexington Thomas, that at one point had UNLV ranked as high as fifteen in the nation.
"Obviously, in terms of on the field, we have to win more," Sanchez said. "But off the field we're doing a great job of engaging the community and getting people to buy in and help us build ... There are a lot of people invested in this vision and what we're doing together. I think that's why you've seen the donations. We're going to break ground on the practice facility in March, and when you think about where we were two or three years ago, that's pretty amazing. But we've got to keep going.
"One of the things Len and Tina and myself have been committed to is doing it right," he said. "We didn't go for a quick fix. We built for the long-term. We redshirted guys. We stuck to the plan. When you have time, you don't have to scramble to put a Band-Aid on it. We're getting better, and with the team we have coming back, I really feel like we have a chance to be real good real soon."
In two years, Sanchez’s record is 7-17 with UNLV.