Thursday, May 12, 2011 | 1:16 p.m.
Stacey Augmon is an extremely loyal human being. For me, the most important criterion in any individual is loyalty.
If you a find a person who is very loyal, that person will be successful. Stacey has that quality inside-out.
He proved that his entire time playing at UNLV and will continue doing so as an assistant coach. Getting another Rebel in there was a great hire by new coach Dave Rice.
Here is a good example of Stacey’s loyalty:
In the offseason after we won the national title, after Stacey, Larry (Johnson) and Greg Anthony had already announced they were coming back for their senior seasons, the NCAA said we would be ineligible to defend our title.
The NCAA held a personal grudge toward me and I figured I would volunteer not to coach in the tournament so the kids would be able to try to win another championship. Assistant coach Tim Grgurich would coach our guys in the tournament. They would be so upset, they would just destroy everyone.
I decided to tell the players my plan before the season started. I told them we would work out some deal to be able to defend our title in the tournament, and told them what I would agree to do. Stacey was the first one to say, “If coach isn’t going, I’m not going.”
Stacey is just a classy guy. He is a lot like Larry Johnson. You aren’t going to find two better people than them. I don’t know anybody who has a bad thing to say about those guys.
Nobody has had to go through what we had to go through during those years at UNLV. It’s hard to believe your own administration would try to sabotage your program. A lot of people still remember those years and are still outraged. Stacey was no different from everyone else.
Stacey played in the NBA for a long time, more than 10 years, and he will bring instant credibility with the players. His role in his most recent job with the Denver Nuggets was as a workout coach, where he would try to improve a player’s individual skill. He’ll bring some of those same training techniques to the younger players at UNLV. It’s something not a lot of young guys have been through.
Dave has done a really good job of picking his staff. I like the hire of the former Wyoming coach, Heath Schroyer. I knew him from when he worked at Fresno State on Steve Cleveland’s staff. Being a former head coach, he’s a real good catch for UNLV.