Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2009 | 2:20 a.m.
- UNLV AD candidate Johnson comes through clean at public forum (12-11-2009)
- Smatresk: AD decision should come Tuesday (12-9-2009)
- Former chancellor backs Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood (12-8-2009)
- UNLV president denies reports of Livengood as new athletic director (12-4-2009)
- Search committee to narrow UNLV athletic director list (12-1-2009)
- Franchione emerges as potential early candidate for UNLV football post (11-19-2008)
The ranch in Valley Ford, Wash., won't go anywhere.
But Bill Moos wouldn't mind turning it into a nice getaway spot as opposed to a permanent residence, which is what it currently serves as.
Moos, the second of three remaining candidates for the vacant UNLV athletic director post to visit campus for a final interview, sent that message Monday afternoon in his turn to answer questions from the public at the Student Union ballroom.
Moos, who will turn 59 on Jan. 3, became an athletic director in 1990, taking over the position at Montana. He made a name for himself, however, at Oregon, where the athletic budget grew from $18 million to more than $42 million under his watch from 1995 to 2007.
"I retired in 2007, my wife says I was too young and wants me to get back to work," he said. "The first thing I've always believed is someone who comes right in, starts breaking up the furniture, (saying) 'You're no good here, there,' they're usually looking for the next job. And I'm not looking for the next job because this, I hope, is my next job and my last one."
As was the case when Washington State senior associate AD John Johnson met the public and the media Friday afternoon, several questions directed toward Moos on Monday were regarding the Rebels' football program.
To be more specific, people wanted some scoop on who Moos would target as the new head coach in the wake of Mike Sanford's November firing.
"It's the first question every place I've been today, so I don't know why this should be an exception," he joked. "We've got to get a good, quality coach, pay him, pay the assistants and fill the stadium. Then you're not talking about $100,000 here, because you make that $100,000 on hot dog sales if the stadium's filled. You've got to think big.
"You want a first-rate football coach? Then you've got to make this a destination, not a stepping stone. Does that next coach want to come in here, win seven games two years in a row and then be off to Minnesota? Or do you want to pay him and a staff so they can build something here that's special?"
While Johnson on Friday rattled off a few names — such as Dennis Franchione, Idaho's Robb Akey and Montana's Bobby Hauck — Moos took a vow of silence.
One thing he stressed, however, was the idea of, more than anything, putting the football program on solid ground.
Moos said that three quarters of that $42 million budget he left behind at Oregon in 2007 was revenue generated through football.
"We need to get a great show here," he said. "Lon (Kruger) has got a good show here, there's been good shows here before. We've got to get that football stadium full."
That all hinges on the Rebels winning, plain and simple. Moos said that he believes the program could be turned around from where it is right now in a year or two.
That's including taking into consideration UNLV's current facilities.
One thing Oregon is noted for is its incredible athletic facilities. Nike founder and Chairman Phil Knight contributed plenty of money in Moos's time to help improve those, including Autzen Stadium, which today is regarded as one of the finest football stadiums in the West.
"Autzen Stadium is off-campus," he said when asked about Sam Boyd Stadium. "When we built the indoor (practice) facility, two beautiful sand-based practice fields and a sand-based grass soccer stadium, it was a $16 million project. And my vice president said 'Boy, we're going to lose a lot of parking,' because we were taking about half the parking. And he goes 'Where are these people going to park?' And I said 'Dan, I learned a long time ago, if you're good, they'll find a way to get there. And if we're not, what we'll end up with will probably be sufficient.'
"People love a winner. People will go to Sam Boyd Stadium. If you beat TCU, BYU and Utah, and are bringing some schools in here that create a buzz, they'll get there."
That said, not lost on Moos is how important the upcoming coaching hire is for the future of the program.
He said he has a short list of between five and seven names of potential candidates and would look for someone with a successful head coaching background.
Cost appears to be of little concern. He said he's already made phone calls to those on his list, and said that if he got the job, it could be filled within seven days, including some assistants.
"You're going to get what you pay for, and that means assistants, too," he said. "I have a saying that I believe in the big picture, and I'm a risk-taker. I've taken plenty of risks and most of the time they've worked out. But my thing is, don't step over the dollars to get the nickels."
Another quality Johnson displayed in his public forum session Friday, which Moos matched, was warm hospitality.
About three times as many people who showed up to meet Johnson welcomed Moos, and not only did he offer some jokes while confidently fielding each question for nearly 50 minutes, but he took opportunities to sell himself to those in attendance without coming across as desperate or overbearing.
"You've got to build the plan of where you want to be," he said, recalling a message delivered to the department's coaches earlier in the day. "You worry about today and tomorrow, I'll worry about five years, 10 years down the road.
"What I believe in is reinvesting in your success."
The final candidate — Arizona AD Jim Livengood — will wrap up the series of public forums Tuesday morning in the Student Union's first floor theater at 9:30 a.m.
A decision on the school's new AD is expected from President Neal Smatresk either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.