UNLV introduces Jim Livengood as athletic director

64-year-old former Arizona AD displays hunger for new challenge

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Steve Marcus

Jim Livengood, right, former University of Arizona athletic director, shakes hands with UNLV president Neal Smatresk during a news conference at UNLV announcing Livengood as the new UNLV athletic director Thursday, December 17, 2009.

Updated Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009 | 5:22 p.m.

Jim Livengood: New UNLV Athletic Director

UNLV officially ended its search for a new athletic director at 2:30 p.m. with an on-campus press conference introducing now-former Arizona AD Jim Livengood. UNLV President Neal Smatresk and head basketball coach Lon Kruger welcomed Livengood at the event.

Livengood UNLV Introduction

Jim Livengood, center, former University of Arizona athletic director, sits between Regent Mark Alden, left, and Mark Fine, chair of the UNLV Foundation, after being announced as the new UNLV athletic director during a news conference at UNLV Thursday, December 17, 2009. Launch slideshow »

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The time zone will change, but Linda Livengood will still expect to see her husband Jim waking up each day at 4 a.m. and heading off to the office about two hours later.

At his introductory press conference Thursday afternoon, new UNLV athletic director Jim Livengood, 64, answered numerous questions regarding his hunger for the new challenge after serving as the AD at Arizona for 16 years.

His wife, who knows him better than anyone else in attendance at the crowded Tam Alumni Center, provided the best insight.

"He still likes the challenge, he still feels like he has something to give," she said. "He plays golf, but he's not going to be a golfer.

"He is a person who spends a lot of time at the office, and I'm used to that. I don't think he's ready to retire. I always said 'Before you retire, Jim, you need to start going in a little later than 6 or 6:30 in the morning. Maybe 7 or 7:30. You need to slow down a little bit.' But he's never been able to do that."

That's exactly what UNLV needs at this point, and nothing less.

Livengood, whose contract was set to expire at U of A on June 30, accepted the job offer from UNLV President Neal Smatresk on Wednesday night, boarded a plane for Las Vegas on Thursday morning, then was full of energy as he was welcomed in front of department staff, coaches, selection committee members, media and others.

Terms of his deal at UNLV are still being ironed out, though he said at a public forum at the student union Tuesday that he could see himself working another 7-10 years before becoming, well, a golfer.

He wasted no time, either, in discussing the most pressing issue facing him from go — finding the football program's 10th head coach.

Not wanting to put an exact timeline to the hire, Livengood said he hopes to have one in place before the end of next week.

"The most important thing right now, just from an immediacy standpoint, is to have a head football coach hired yesterday," he said. "Not today, not tomorrow, not by Tuesday, but yesterday. That has to happen immediately, and we're working on it right now."

The hiring of a football coach won't follow the same blueprint used to hire Livengood — a process which stretched over months.

Instead, Livengood will rely on contacts he's made, contacts made by Smatresk and also the groundwork laid by interim athletic director Jerry Koloskie, who somewhat moved forward with the coaching search before the AD post was permanently filled.

"Any consensus you try to build right now in a short period of time just doesn't happen," Livengood said. "And you know what? What's amazing about coaching searches is that if they turn out great, everyone in the free world takes credit. When they don't work out, you can't find someone who was on that committee. The timing of this dictates that it needs to be done right now."

Consistent rumors recently have swirled involving the potential hiring of Arizona offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes for the opening at UNLV.

Of course, his name only came up after speculation of U of A defensive coordinator Mark Stoops — younger brother of Wildcats head coach Mike Stoops — ended with the younger Stoops taking the defensive coordinator position at Florida State last week.

Still, based on indications from Livengood, Dykes won't be his man at UNLV.

"Sonny is going to be a great head coach," Livengood said. "I think at this point, (prior head coaching experience) has to be (a prerequisite). I think in terms of where we are right now, I think that's probably better served by someone who's been in that seat, from a hiring standpoint, recruiting and so on.

"It's probably not the right place right now to try to learn about the job."

Some names which have floated around of late as serious candidates include former Texas A&M/Alabama/TCU/New Mexico head coach Dennis Franchione, Idaho coach Robb Akey, Montana coach Bobby Hauck and Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, who formerly held head-coaching posts at both Arizona State and Boise State.

The football job and program, however, wasn't the lone topic tossed around in Livengood's first meeting as athletic director with the local media and UNLV supporters.

One of many to get up on front of the room and welcome Livengood to the UNLV family was Rebels basketball coach Lon Kruger.

Livengood, who formerly was the chair of the NCAA Division I men's basketball Selection Committee, could use his weight and connections with those currently on the committee to help UNLV's hoops program come March.

"Jim's credibility nationally is of the highest level, so whatever opportunity he has to make contact with people, his voice is going to be heard, he's going to be listened to," Kruger said. "Obviously, people are always going to make decisions for the right reasons, but it's always nice to have someone with Jim's character and integrity and national credibility pushing the envelope for each of our programs, basketball being one of them."

Smatresk made sure to point out that Livengood is primed to help UNLV in another key area — raising funds.

It's been pointed out several times this week that Livengood kept Arizona's athletic department in the black during his entire tenure in Tucson, including nine consecutive years with a losing football program — Where most school's rely heavily for revenue. He did so without any state funds being needed, too.

"Certainly it's no secret we've had some recent challenges in football," Smatresk said. "We also are facing very tough economic conditions. Under these circumstances, what we want is a seasoned, tried and true athletic director. Someone who's been there, someone who's done that. Someone who can bring credibility, a network, connections and can also be a mentor and a positive influence within athletics to help us develop talent here locally, and to develop our athletic programs."

Amid all the speculation behind Livengood's emerging from out of the blue to get the job at UNLV, he came across as confident and genuine Thursday. He continued to state that former university system Chancellor — and close friend — Jim Rogers was not a driving force behind this hire.

And he knows that nothing short of pure results will prove that he was a better option than his two co-finalists — Washington State senior associate AD John Johnson and former Oregon AD Bill Moos.

After working deep into the night on Thursday to officially begin his coaching search, that mission to prove doubters wrong will resume bright and early on Friday.

Probably around 6 a.m., as it always has.

"I think anything I say verbally is only going to be words," Livengood said. "I have to prove that. I have to prove that this was about coming here, that I am making a difference. Anything else is just wordsmithing."

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  1. AWFUL!!!

  2. Hey...Rogers gets his man. Open up your check book Mr. Rogers like I'm sure you promised if you got your way.

  3. Rogers and Livengood will both get who they wanted all along when they announce Sonny Dykes the next Head Football Coach at UNLV next week.

  4. Big surprise.

  5. Don't be so quick to judge, Livengood is a good pick. Rogers doesn't run the University, no matter how it may be portrayed. Give the man a chance.

  6. Bit puzzled by this one. Moos seemed far and away the best pick.

  7. I don't know where the idea is coming from that Sonny Dykes will automatically be the next head coach. Most conspiracy theorists were thinking Mark Stoops as soon as Livengood's name came up as a candidate, then as soon as he took off to Florida State, it was assumed that Sonny was the guy. Could he end up getting the job? Well, anything's possible. But, trust me, Livengood has enough interested, qualified candidates with successful head coaching experience that jumping to conclusions doesn't make a lot of sense ...

  8. I hope Sonny Dykes is not a done deal. Admittedly, I know nothing about the guy other than he was an offensive coordinator at a mediocre Pac-10 school. But I'm hesitant about UNLV gambling on another coordinator. UNLV really needs to get this hire right.

  9. Moos was the first choice! Oregon wouldn't let him out of his non compete. That is what took so long making the announcement.

  10. Rebelz hit the nail on the head. Contractual issues.

    Maybe Moos didnt like the offer enough to drop OR. I dunno. Big waste of time and money for him and for UNLV.

  11. "Do I think he's a good football coach? Yes," Livengood said of Dykes. "He's done a remarkable job at Arizona. But, I also said I think in some context, this job MIGHT require head coaching experience."

    Might is the key word there......this is a cordinator who almost individualy saved Mike Stoops from being fired by implementing an offensive staff. Look at their offensive production over the last three years. Pretty impressive.

    Secondly, Dykes runs the spread wich wouldnt require a total "overhaul" for returning starters.

    Lastly, take a peak at a U of A mesage board and you will see what they think about Dykes. They are going rampant about what would happen if he left and took with him three or four committed but unsigned JUCO players that could produce right away.

  12. Agreed to a point, yellowdog.

    I'm not going to say Sonny Dykes would be an awful hire, because no one KNOWS what he can do as a head coach. All people know is that he's never been a head coach. I don't see that as being the end of the world ...

  13. Noooooooooooo!!!!! Arizona needs to keep Sonny Dykes!!!!!! Dykes is one of the better HC prospects out there and has been a major part of the resurgence of Arizona football. Arizona is starting to be seen as something other than a basketball school because of Mike Stoops and Sonny Dykes. Good for UNLV to get Livengood, but the U of A fans were divided in their opinions about him, especially his handling of the Lute Olson resignation/succession.

  14. Kept my mouth shut from the begining..but I like this guy more and more......

    http://www.arizonawildcats.com/sports/m-...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonny_Dykes...

  15. Arizona needs to look at a Big 12 assistant for its next AD, BTW.

    UNLV would do very well to get a good offensive-minded assistant from the Pac-10 or the Big 12 who can recruit in Southern California (Vegas is practically a Los Angeles suburb anyway), Texas, Pennsylvania/West Virginia, Atlanta, Miami and Hawaii (which Las Vegas is a popular town for Hawaiians).

    No excuses for UNLV not to be a major national football power with the right coaching staff, the right recruiting, and expanding Sam Boyd Stadium.

  16. From U fo A Website:

    The transformation of Arizona offensive football has been evident in the past two years after it took a new direction in early 2007 with the hiring of spread-offense specialist Sonny Dykes.

    Under Dykes' leadership, Arizona has set single-season records for passing yards, passing yards per game, completions, touchdown passes and completion percentage, plus racked up a pile of single-game records under departed quarterback Willie Tuitama. His career figures for yards, yards per game, completions and TDs are Arizona's best.

    Fond of the passing attack, Dykes enters year three of the transformation with solid expectations for continued development, despite working in 2009 with a new quarterback. The foundation of the system under Dykes - which helped UA rate 16th in scoring and 33rd in total offense - is intact. Better still, his system developed outstanding run-pass balance in 2008.

    Dykes was co-offensive coordinator working with head coach Mike Leach and inside receivers coach Dana Holgorsen running Texas Tech's wide-open passing attack in 2005-06, and was Tech's wide receivers coach since 2000. The Red Raiders were among the national top six in total offense and passing during the span.

    Dykes, 39, was named the All-American Football Foundation's Mike Campbell Top Assistant Award in 2006 and was cited as one of the nation's top college football recruiters by Rivals.com. He was instrumental in Tech's record-setting passing attack which in his career has seen receivers set numerous individual school and Big 12 Conference records.

  17. UNLV will suffer for the next 10 years if you hire Dirk Koetter. He couldn't cut it at Arizona State, who thinks they are a BCS-caliber program but is actually on the decline. Not even Dennis Erickson can save ASU Sun Devil football. Rebels, do not hire Koetter. Just say no.

  18. Way to ruin my weekend.... this hire leaves such a bad taste in my mouth. End of the world? no way jose. but not happy at all. home hambrick is laughing in his trailer somewhere in wva.

  19. hope*

  20. @sufferin

    Why would Koetter leave the NFL to come to UNLV. I read that he is making almost 1MM per year. Why come to UNLV to make 700k and to coach a perennial loser.

  21. Can't wait for the basketball game this evening. Go Rebels!

  22. I say make Kruger the football coach! He's a smart guy, let him do both!

  23. @rebelz - Agreed, I've wondered the same thing.

  24. Kruger was asked to Dallas Cowboys training camp as a QB so he has some football background.

    Kruger was selected by the Atlanta Hawks in the ninth round of the 1974 NBA Draft. He also starred on the baseball diamond for Kansas State and was drafted by the Houston Astros in 1970 and the St. Louis Cardinals in 1974. During his Wildcat baseball career he posted his best season in 1971 when he went 4-3 as a pitcher (3-1 in Big Eight games) and had an earned run average of 3.33. He struck out 38 and walked 14 in 46 innings. An all-around athlete, Kruger even got some football notice after graduating from KSU when the Dallas Cowboys invited him to their 1974 rookie camp as a quarterback.

  25. "I say make Kruger the football coach! He's a smart guy, let him do both!"

    That's like saying let Lute Olson or Sean Miller be Arizona's football coach because they're smart men. Are you kidding me??????

  26. If Kruger was the coach we would have the smallest team in the country. We all know his lack of ability to recruit the "big man".... My guess is that Gorman would have a bigger team than UNLV.

    I know most of you think Robb Ackey is a bad choice, but he is one hell of a coach and would bring energy to UNLV which Sanford couldn't.

  27. Do not forget that Jim Livengood (or Liven"Bad" as he is known in southern Arizona) was responsible for hiring John Mackovic as his first order of business as the UofA's AD. He butchered the Lute Olson retirement/stroke seasons of the past 2 years and it took 5 years for Mike Stoops to get the football team to a mediocre level.

    Good luck, I am not a fan of Livengood and yet hope for the best. UNLV should have a competitive football program to go along with it's great basketball tradition. Just beware if you hear the name Mackovic come up in conversation... be afraid, be very afraid.

  28. @sufferin

    Really he sucks... He has rebuilt a team that Dennis Erickson abandoned and got them into a bowl game. Have you seen what he did at Wazzu before Idaho as a defensive coordinator.

    You say he lost his last 4 out of 5 games that makes him a bad coach. Your boy Koetter doesn't exactly have the greatest track record himself. If he was as good as you think he would still be in Tempe.

  29. they were talking on espn 1100 yesterday about the possible Big 10 expansion. If the Big 10 taps TCU, then the Pac 10 will also expand to 12. If that's the case it's good to know that we have an AD with Pac 10 ties. Hopefully we go to the Pac 10 if it happens because the Mountain West is doomed if they take Utah and Boise St.

    I was getting pretty used to somebody not posting, it sure was nice for awhile. Then he makes a comeback, spitting dookie from his fingertips again.

  30. we have a chance to make a stand here. do the right thing. Sonny Dykes has recruited to Arizona and built an offense that has U of A (of all people....) finishing 2nd in the PAC 10 and Holliday Bowl bound.

    - "one of the brightest offensive" minds in NCAA FB according to Rivals.com

    - "Winner of the Mike Campbell Award" awarded to the nations top assistant coach.

    - "if not the best, certainly on of the best, recruiters in the South and Southwest" according to Scout.com

  31. @ sureshot

    That's like comparing apples to exotic dancers. Arizona basketball has a huge fan base largely because there is not much else to root for in Tucson. Vegas being the eclectic melting-pot that never sleeps type of town there are far more important things to do for most people than follow Rebel basketball.
    Demand for Arizona basketball games on television (whether they have a good team, bad team, or great team) will always be high because the basketball team is synonymous with the University and largely the town itself. When the Rebels are top-10 then people pay attention... when they are not, most fans lose interest rapidly.

  32. Rogers got his man. Is there an honest program left anymore? If this wasn't a fix then tell me what it was? Livengood's judgment calls suck and there is no debating that, this was the worst possible hire of the three. Just look up what he has done at Zona and some of the decisions he has made and wanted to make. It is a lock he will end up hiring his guy from Zona. Thank the good ol' boy network for this........

  33. You have to admit, though, the MWC blew it big time when they took the money and ran away from ESPN.

  34. If he was so bad as an AD at Arizona why did they keep him for fifteen years? I have never heard of an AD contract that was for 15 years. That means he did something good enough to renegotiate his contract at some point.

  35. the fact that this thing took 4 months to happen is embarassing, regardless of whom they hired. they never should have waited until the end of the Sanford era to start the search process formally. then again, I'm happy they didn't hire either of the local yahoos.

    I say hire sonny dykes. at least the offense won't need an overhaul. heck, maybe we could put up 35 a game next year. shootouts are better than nothing. if he can get us another Stoops boy (are Bob's kids grown up yet?) to come and coach the D then we'll be alright.

    as for Akey, Idaho was a wasteland and he's been able to turn it around and be competitive in a place that is even more lowly than lowly Wazzu.

    Franchione would be a joke with his spotty history. Koetter couldn't cut it at ASU and wouldn't be in for any more than 3 years if he had success. the guy from Montana probably won't leave his sweet deal there. that he's been there for a while, it means you wants to be there.

  36. If you watched Outside the Lines Sunday, you found out that the AD and Coach are secondary to the Big Animal in the room-if you want a great team year after year, you have to lower your educational standards to grade school levels! One professor at Florida State said that 2 players she tutored read at 3rd and 4th grade levels. She had no clue how they got into college. They also noted that Antonio Cromartie, former FSU player who now plays for the Chargers, is illiterate.

    So will UNLV bend their entrance requirements? They sure do in the SEC. It may be the only hope for improvement in our moribund, nearly hopeless program.

  37. So do you lose the knowledge you had before you are 64 once you become 64? I am confused. I understand the worry that he might just be retiring, but that doesn't mean he can't get the job done. And, also if Sonny Dykes has learned anything Mike Leach (the offense genius that he studied under as an assistant at Texas Tech) then this school will have a great offense. The question would be can he find a good defensive coordinator. That was the downfall with Sanford, and his lack of play calling in the clutch.

  38. i hate agreeing with rebel robert. best post of yours yet.

  39. would we hire someone with 10 or 20 less years' experience? Moos was only a few years younger.

  40. Ok so he doesn't have the motivation becuase at 64 he will need to nap to often I got it. I hope that if he doesn't think he can get the job done at his age that he will back out, but if he thinks he can do this job like he said "I'm not interested in retiring, I'm interested in working," Livengood said. "I could see myself working 7, 8, 10 years. I'm healthy, I feel good, I've got a lot of enthusiasm, I love what I do. Sometimes the age is not a function of how you feel." That sounds like motivation to me...

  41. @ Sureshot

    I completely agree and hear where you are coming from as far as the conference's battle with networks. It is disgraceful that fans of the Rebels are unable to see non-conference games here locally and there needs to be a way to make that happen.
    My point is this: There is no way that the Arizona Basketball fans and boosters would allow 1/3 or more of their games to be radio-only. UofA's basketball revenue is in the top-10 of all Division 1 schools. Wildcat basketball, win or lose, is important to a large group of people and the demand for games on tv is huge.
    I hope that there is enough interest in the Rebels program today and into the future to warrant all games being shown. Putting together a group to support a Rebel Network may be the way to go... as a matter of fact, the UofA just did the same thing last summer.

  42. The Mountain has the responsibility of getting nine teams on tv. I think what they should do is add a second channel to the mountain just for games. I have directv and The big ten has like five channels so almost every team is on tv every week. We should get another channel and do the same thing. Combined with the tv coverage from CBSCollegeSports and Versus and the occasional away game on espn I think we could cover almost all of the games

  43. I like what you said sureshot, I think that we need to get behind the new hire even if we didn't agree with it at first. He hasn't even officially gotten the job and people are talking the total and complete failure of UNLV sports. It makes me laugh. Maybe after his hire of a football coach we can start arguing his hire, but really ho about we wait til that hire coaches a season and then evaluate. Let's not try and shoot ourselves in the foot before we get going.

  44. @ betazk41

    Hey bud, betazk40 here..roll call! :)

    No to Franchione? I know he's a temporary solution to some extent, but I LOVE that he's won games in the Big XII. IMO, we need to win yesterday. What better guy than one that's done that at this level?

  45. It's all written. It's all about the players. I am excited for the the football team. I think they deserve this new blood. I believe this is what is written for them to have better success.

    We have some great players who can compete.
    New blood at head coach should be able to bring that to life.

    The players were used to losing.
    I will keep positive and prayerful that all is well as it is written.

  46. SONNY DYKES:

    Arizona 2004 - 14.9 pts/game Offense
    Arizona 2005 - 22.9
    Arizona 2006 - 16.6
    ....Sonny Dykes becomes OC....
    Arizona 2007 - 28.0
    Arizona 2008 - 36.6
    Arizona 2009 - 29.7

    Arizona 2004 - 3-8 Record
    Arizona 2005 - 3-8
    Arizona 2006 - 6-6
    ... Sonny Dykes becomes OC...
    Arizona 2007 - 5-7
    Arizona 2008 - 8-5 - Las Vegas Bowl
    Arizona 2009 - 8-4 - Holiday Bowl

    BTW....Here are some coordinators that are at their FIRST jobs as Head Coaches...enough with the idiotic logic that coordinators cant win at thier first stop.

    Kyle Whittingham
    Chris Petersen
    Gary Patterson
    Pat Hill
    Troy Calhoun
    Chip Kelly
    Jeff Tedford

  47. yellowdog: Here's another hotshot offensive coordinator that was at his FIRST job as a head coach:

    Mike Sanford

  48. I wouldnt call Sanford a "hot shot." He had no other job offers and only two years of success on the staff of offensive guru you might know by the name of....Urban Meyer. Sanford NEVER had play calling duties SOLELY to himself at Utah.

  49. Some coordinators can succeed at the first head coaching job. Its just more of a gamble to hire a coordinator. See Mike Sanford and Charlie Weiz.

  50. Think we need to stay away from the coordinators and DII coaches right now. A guy that has a proven track record in the BIG 12 doesn't mean anything to anyone here?

    That's like getting a choice between Byron Scott or Phil Jackson and emphatically saying, "I'll take Byron Scott!!!"

  51. The Coach that's hired now should NOT be subject to irrational subjectivity (ex: 'dont hire a coordinator'.)

    I can't believe (I actually can) that some posters would eliminate canidates that irrationaly. I wan't someone who knows the spread, who can recruit the Southwest and West. Someone who knows his way around JUCo to get us over the hump the first two years. Someone who will be willing to devote 24 hours a day to this program. If that means Mr. Livengood brings in Coach Dykes then by all means......lets go win so damn games. Bring him in...turn him and his staff loose. If we hadn't hired their AD I would advise our new AD to call Mike Stoops and ask what he thought of Coach Dykes.

    His reply would have to be something like "saved my job for me."

  52. To all complaining: Did you ever stop to think that maybe Arizona made the NCAA a time or two as a bubble team because of Livengood's connections. But, no the idiots would have been happier with the arena manager....

  53. wow....just found this in googling dykes.....if that is his wife we need to hire this guy today. he MUST BE ABLE to recruit.

    http://www.tucsonlifestyle.com/index.php...

  54. It's just too much deja vu. Franchione harnesses much of the same recruiting prowess and has even begun putting together a staff.

    Now, I can flip that logic and say, "I can't believe (I acually can) that some posters would eliminate a candidate who has won plenty of games at major universities such as TCU and Texas A&M for candidates that don't have a lick of HC experience at the FBS/BCS level."

  55. My problem with Franchione is that he never stayed in one spot for more than a few years. He was always on to the next gig (or on his way out), and never established much with the players he recruited.

    I like a guy like Sonny Dykes, an up-and-coming OC who we know can run an offense, recruited the JC at Tech (help the D) and has helped turn UofA into a legit threat in the Pac-10. Sure, he might roll on to the next gig after a some success (the offensive cupboard is NOT bare at all) but at least he's not a sleazeball like Franchione.

    I'll take a shootout over a defensive struggle anyday (a la Big Ten, yack!). Let's keep continuity with our offense (and improve the playcalling!) and bring in a guy with energy.

    @grayback - what up, brotha? I'll be in town for a couple weeks starting Monday, let's get together and watch the Rebels play the Hawaii tourney.

  56. UNLV already gambled on it's Josh McDaniels. It turned out like Todd Haley and Lane Kiffin. Fuhgettaboudit!

  57. This is so predictable and discouraging. Now, if Franchione is hired as coach, I don't think I'll be able to support UNLV football...

  58. @ betazk41 - Absolutely! Just hit me up when you get here..

  59. Grayback - you realize Franchione was barely over .500 (32-28), had a losing conference record and never won a bowl game while at A&M, right? In fact, in his two bowl games with A&M he lost by 31 and 35 points.

  60. What a bad choice Rebels are set back another 10 years why do we have to Jim RODERS PICK NEAL?
    All this guy will do at 64 is read the paper and drink coffee nothing like being retired with a big fat check.

  61. @logic_should_rule ... You make an interesting point about those connections. It's still a mystery today as to how Arizona got into the NCAAs last year ahead of San Diego State and Saint Mary's ...

  62. The next HC will be Pat Hill from Fresno State. I don't care if he got a contract ext.

  63. I haven't read any of the comments because I didn't want them to cloud my judgement.

    Why the hell did we even have a search committee in the first place if it was a foregone conclusion? And it was! The committee HAS to be saying to themselves "why did we go through this hell if this is the choice?" It's a no brainer, Livenbad is the OBVIOUS NON PICK of the three remaining candidates. Do I want milk with my cereal today? Am I going to pour it into a bowl, plate or cup? Do I eat it with a fork, spoon or knife? HELLO!!! This isn't rocket science!

    That's why this process took sooo long? Livenbad, really? Livenbad? There were a ton of better choices than this guy. He's not even a top 7 let alone a top 3 candidate. This lengthy decision has cost us players, money and most importantly TIME.

    Let's say that Rogers does donate more because it's Livengood but others don't like him and contribute less. We possibly could end up with less money, facilities, players, coaching, prestige and the list goes on and on.

    UNLV reminds me heavily of our inept government. They just do whatever the hell they want no matter what the people want. MORONS!!

    Smatresk the freakin' PUPPET!

  64. K, now I've read the comments.

    Can't believe I'm going to say this but....I agree with sufferin'. Today is a sad day for UNLV athletics, another bungled choice in a long, long list by UNLV officials. We have a freakin' BYU guy as our director. Isn't this alarming to anyone else? Isn't BYU supposed to be the enemy? We already have enough byu flavor with our own play by play guy being the cougars number 1 fan and alum.

    The one thing has been made clear to fans, administation, donors and all those involved with UNLV: the University does not care about athletics and specifically, FOOTBALL. Now we don't have to wonder why Mike Sanford, in part, failed here and then tried to explain that reason to the public. He was never even given a fools chance at succeeding.

    Koloskie: The tools are all in place for success here at UNLV. Yeah, what a joke! Rogers, you may be the university's largest donor but you don't put up enough money to cover your awful taste in leadership.

  65. Just cover the number$ baby!

    : }

  66. i think unlv may be laying the ground work for us and san diego state to move into the pac-12. these rumors have been circling for years.

  67. no chance we're moving into the Pac-10/12, we don't have the academics. and Tijuana Tech certainly doesn't!

    @ Ryan, can we get a new feature/odds on who the next coach will be? Sonny Dykes isn't even listed on the bookie board. Thoughts?

  68. EPIC FAIL.
    I hope I am wrong.

  69. plain and simple, this hire brings in an apparent "boat load" of Rogers' money. That's what our athletic department needs more than anything right now....and a guy doesn't stick around Arizona for 16 years if he's completely incompetent. I'm sure he'll do a fine job.....but more than anything we need $$$$ to make our programs successful. That's the only thing holding UNLV athletics back....that and a respectable football stadium. If you can pay our coaches, Vegas is in a unique position....UNLV has 40+ high schools to recruit from and NO local competition (other college or universities)...every program SHOULD be competitive with just using the local recruits as a base...the fact that Soccer and Basetball/Softball struggle at times makes NO sense to me considering we have excellent local youth and HS programs in both...yet swimming is DOMINANT, and we don't even have pools at most of our high schools (on a sidenote that's never made sense to me either considering swimming could be a near year-round sport in S. Nevada).

  70. so where can I find this supposed "live coverage of the press conference on lasvegassun.com"

  71. Funny stuff about UNLV in the Pac. If anything, they want BYU and Utah. Both have good academics and athletics.

  72. Dykes might be a great OC but this program needs a proven HC not someone who "might be" good one day. Look at the schedule next year, do you want a 1st time coach to deal with that? UNLV is on the verge of losing long suffering fans that have supported them for a long time but cannot take it anymore. I don't take back anything I said about Shmuckresk, it's all true, what a mangina!! Scumresk & Rogers weren't even covert with this conspiracy they were down right blatant by telling the fans "Up Yours". Just because we aren't in charge doesn't mean that we dont know what we are talking about when it comes to athletics. How can you succeed with shmo's like this at the helm? How can anyone say Livengood has done a good job at Zona? He single handedly sent one of the greatest B-Ball coaches of all time packing during a medical leave of absence what a dirtbag!!

  73. we are forgetting some things here fellas, unlvrebelx already has touched on one point.

    Jim Rodgers has deep pockets and if he gets his man then he will be more generous to empty those pockets on our athletic programs. Why look a gift horse in the mouth? Or however that saying goes. We all know he wasn't high on Hammy and absolutely hated Sanford.

    Another key factor we may be missing... This may have been the guy Lon liked most. Remember AZ was calling Lon's number after the sweet 16 season, and who do you think was on the other line. That's right Livengood! Sure Krugs didn't take any offers but what makes you think the two didn't hit it off. Lon and Goody may dig each other more than we think. Now to get in here a football coach that Rogers, Livengood and Lonny are all behind. Talk about perfect harmony!!!

  74. I hope you're right Rebelx... we better see a boatload of cash come in to the university from the puppetmaster ASAP.

    I can't believe the whole thing was just a big dog and pony show just to give the inference that it was not already predetermined.

    It leaves a terrible taste and is just plain disgusting -- I'm guessing they take the community for apathetic morons (which sadly applies to more of us than we would like to admit).

  75. at the end of the day we all cant judge the guy till he acts upon his first order of business, hiring a football coach. Pressure is on now, he has to make a splash and I'm sure he knows this.

    I would have preferred Moos, but Livengood is still an upgrade over Hammy. Time will only tell and AD's are truly made off the success of their coaching hires and the production of the football team. Win in those areas and the money and donations will come, regardless of Steve Stallworht or not!

  76. we can blame oregon for this one.... good old ducks. good old "non compete" clause.

  77. apparently moos was the first choice.. and i think we will learn later that oregon wouldnt let the deal go through. still sucks either way.

  78. @micmac99

    Yeah, I was kidding...thought it'd be more obvious.

    @Sufferin

    The more you hate Kruger, the more we enjoy his triumphs.

  79. We'll learn a lot about what we can expect out of Livengood's AD tenure when he announces the next head football coach. Let's hope he makes it a good one.

  80. The best part is the President introducing him as John Livengood at the press conference. Nice work Neal. One to many cocktails this morning with Oscar....

  81. Unless there's some confirmation regarding Moos and his non-compete clause, this hiring was one of the worst kept secrets in the history of Las Vegas.

    I hope Livengood does what he said and reaches out to Stallworth and Koloskie. There's no reason they couldn't work as Associate ADs and prepare for the eventual transition.

    I hope Livengood can boost the fundraising for the department and bring in some dollars to elevate the sports programs.

  82. UNLV to the Pac-10, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHH.

  83. Rebelious...what's wrong with those kinds of numbers? They are proven numbers and much better than ANYTHING we've earned. Also, what makes you think the other candidates could put up numbers in the same ballpark? I'll take a Big XII guy anyday to compete in the MWC.

    LMAO @ betazk41, TJ Tech...I'm gonna start calling them that. Hilarious.

  84. Oh holy ish rebelz, that sounds like the FIU prez when he intro'd his new head hoops coach as Isiah Thompson. Haaarible! Nothing new with the goof troop UNLV admin..

  85. Let's hope, too, that he can get LJ more involved with the university.

  86. Grayback - Fran is my third choice. You were pointing to his Big 12 record for your reason behind your support for him. I don't think he had a very good run at A&M. He had better success at other stops.

    He is definitely an upgrade but I'd ask Koetter first, Hauck second and Fran third. Compare Koetter and Fran's Resume:

    Franchione
    107-81 (16 D1 Seasons) - W% .569
    66-61 in conference - .519
    3-3 bowls
    2 DI conference titles
    1 top 10 picks
    1 1st rd picks
    10-6 vs rival (.625)

    Koetter
    66-44 (9 D1 Seasons)- W% .600
    33-32 in conference - .507
    4-2 bowls
    2 conference titles
    2 top 10 picks
    2 1st rd picks
    6-3 vs rival (.666)

    Koetter gets him in almost every category, including more top 10 picks and the same # of conference championships in a little more than half the time.

    Franchione has been out of the game for 2 years while Koetter has been coaching Maurice Jones-Drew and Mike Sims-Walker.

  87. san diego state and unlv in the pac 12 seems a little far fetched i agree... but we were one play away of beating oregon state and beat asu last year. i think both school's programs could hang with any washington state team... maybe even asu's. ANYWAYS.. im not saying with could play with usc but i dont think we are as far off as some of these jokers.

  88. I don't have a problem with Koetter, Rebelious. What I don't like is he won't be available until January / February depending on how good the Jags do, while Fran is already lining up a staff. Their numbers are almost identical so you couldn't go wrong with either. Fran's A&M record does not concern me, it is the experience that counts. Not saying Hauck is a bad coach, but I don't care for his experience (or lack thereof) in this situation.

  89. Arizona's president was as much to blame for the handling of the Lute Olson situation as was Livengood, if not more so. Also, Arizona has finished in the Top 25 in the Directors Cup each year Livengood has been at Arizona, including nine times in the Top 10. I think that speaks for something.

  90. Forget football. UNLV always has been and always will be a basketball school first. Very weird choice for AD, wasn't this guy being let go by UA anyway? Let's hope he doesn't ruin UNLV basketball the way he ruined UA football. I'm sorry but thumbs down...waaay down.

  91. My initial reaction is this was a mistake. I too favored Moos. Hopefully we can get the scoop on the contract. At the end of the day, as has been as long as I can remember, in Vegas, it is all about Who you know. I think I'll reserve judgment until the football coach hire. Here's to hoping we'll be pleasantly surprised...

  92. Here's a news flash folks: Jim Rogers is no longer Chancellor of the NSHE - and he hasn't been since the end of June. Please, stop your whining and get a clue.

  93. @ wtk

    Just because Rogers isn't chancellor anymore doesn't mean he doesn't still wield some influence and power. He just may be speaking with his pocketbook instead. I suggest you get the clue...

  94. I'm the Arizona Wildcat who agreed with you last night that Moos was best for the job.

    Rebels, we're talking Basketball, your program that carries your athletic department. So why did your president select Livengood over Moos knowing Livengood mishandled Lute Olson's medical leave and retirement, then Livengood appointed Kevin O'Neil to be interim coach who the players disliked. Finally Livengood interviewed USC's Tim Floyd as thee candidate to replace retiring Lute Olson, and days after that interview, infractions were discovered within Floyd's USC program which caused him to resign.
    Those are just a few reason why Arizona president Shelton didn't want to renew Livengood's contract.

    Sonny Dykes is not ready to be a head coach. His spread offense is inconsistent. Dykes was co-offensive coordinator at Texas Tech with Dana Holgorsen under Mike Leach when Mike Stoops came calling.

    Dykes became offensive coordinator at Arizona 3 years ago. This season his spread offense scored a total of 359 points but the offense disappeared against Iowa, Cal, ASU and barely defeated USC thanks to Juron Criner of Vegas' Canyon Springs.

    Meanwhile Dana Holgorsen left Texas Tech 2 years ago for the University of Houston. In his second season as offensive coordinator, his offense scored 571 points including the 45 points the Cougars put on Oklahoma State in Stillwater they won, 31 on Mississippi State at Starkville, and Holgorsen's offense even defeated his former team Texas Tech and boss Mike Leach 29-28. If Livengood hires an assistant to be head coach, Holgorsen is superior to Dykes.

    If Rogers has the power and he really wants UNLV's football to breakout, he should back it with his money by going after experienced name coaches who've won and are available now like Jon Gruden and Steve Mariucci, at least try, because the other experienced college head coaches have been taken although a more realistic and solid opportunity for UNLV would be to go after Frank Solich of Ohio University. Solich's Bobcats were 9-4, but Livengood better hurry.

  95. Everyone from A&M hates Franchione with a passion. NEXT!

  96. Larry Kehres is the one - yes he is not a fancy gun just a solid guy who has won hundreds of games

  97. Let's judge Jim based on his first move- does Koloski stay as Asst AD and what responsibilities will he have. Sorry I don't see Jerry as the money raiser. So what housecleaning will be done inside the athletic department? If we see it we know it is game on.

    Big Ten expansion could include Missouri which would be a concern to the Mountain West regarding TCU. Boise State wants out of the WAC and could take their spot. There are no credible stories about PAC 10 expansion. Last time it was discussed Colorado and Texas were mentioned and for the Horns to go it would be a reach. The Utah schools make more sense if the Big 12 schools don't move. Hawaii would beg to come back to the MWC if Boise State is added to get away from trips to LA Tech and NM State.

    Frachione is not headed anywhere after getting the UNLV job, just look at his age. Same would be true for Tubberville or Fulmer. Solich is a no. Akey is a solid LV recruiter with 4 Vegas kids starting for him. He would get people fired up. Hauck just wins, he won't be another Joe Glenn. Koetter at ASU with Livengood at U of A does not look like a match. He could show kids how to get to the NFL along with Jeff Jabozinski the former BC Coach. Pat Hill would be great as he also knows how to recruit Vegas. Dykes is just the wrong timing for this situation.

    As far as his BYU connection, UNLV has a BYU Alumni President representing them right now. Jim would never hire an ASU Alumni President to represent the Cats or he would be hung. Let's see if Jim deals with this.

    He can not be in the room when UNLV is discussed for the tourney as per rules. He will get games on TV and not let the BYU and UTAH dominated Mountain network dictate UNLV getting on TV. Get a game on Prime Ticket if the Mountain is not airing a game. Let's judge Jim on his housecleaning to know if this will finally be a new vision at UNLV. Not doing it will not draw in $ waiting to see change.

  98. ALL that matters is that all of the AD canidates were aware that football fans, coaches, and success are key to generating funds and building prestige in atheletics.

    This is a great day. You can not get away from politics even when it comes to coaching.

    Good thing the politicians are allies in this case.
    When we get a good HC with a strong OC and DC all should be well.
    AD Livengood knows this is a first impression move and well hire the best Coaches he can. Even if it pleases the politics of things as it pertains to marketing.

    If a coach like John Gruden came to UNLV bringing hype and excitement from recruits and loses; it would be on the coach. Not the AD.
    Livengood is smart and strategic if nothing else from what i have heard and read from his recent quotes. I was told that he is a good, personable man who knows "everyone."

    The thing is, Livengood know the same thing as Moos. That is Fix the football issues.

    New AD, new Coaches, great skills players from last years recruiting class. All should be well.

    UNLV had a load of 3 star player come in last year. It is hard to get 3 stars.
    Our running back recruit Bradley Randle had 3 stars and was ranked top 3 in LA Times behind two players who are 5 star player on rivals. That is James Jordan and Anthony Barr. They were taller than Randle with less all around ability so Randle got 3 stars.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qK7jaw7J8...

    To get 5 stars you have to be marketed well and have all of the stature to go with it.
    Our WR recruit Luke Russell is 170 and about 6 feet. If he had 3 more inches and was marketed well he may have gotten 4 stars.
    The list goes on. Herring weighed about 170ish and now is 190 at 6'3. He won CIF 3 times. Maybe if he was 190 with 3 rings he would have been ranked higher with 4 or 5 stars.
    The fact is we have talent and are seasoned to win now.
    So all of this is exciting if we look at the positives

  99. LOL @ Gruden coming to UNLV! First, he just signed a multimillion dollar contract with ESPN. Second, I'm sure he could find a head coaching job in the NFL if he wanted to return to coaching. Why on earth would he take the UNLV head coaching job?

  100. Alright maybe I was too harsh on this whole thing and the people involved so I do apologize for my brash statements. Now that I have had a night to think about this whole thing, which maybe I should have done in this first place allow me to chime in again. Say "Sonny Dykes" is our new HC will that be the worst thing to happen? The key to any successful program are those working in the trenches with the players and that is the assistants. Every great program has great assistants that are great teachers. There is only so much the HC can do, he has to have people in place that know what they are doing. Lets see what happens!! I even heard that the Bama OC (sorry I don't remember how to spell his name) is interested in this job, maybe that wouldn't be a bad move if all else fails.

    I think we will all agree that Sanford did recruit well and he has set this team up to be good, the question is who is coming in? UNLV had a great freshman class last year that should make impact this year. Is Dykes going to be the guy? Whoever it will be they will be an upgrade from Sanford and his staff and they have talent to work with. They say Dykes is one of the best recruiters in the country with ties in Texas and California, so if he can get great assisants he doesn't have to do too much just manage a clean program.

  101. @ Tarkus
    LOL indeed at Gruden coming to UNLV.
    I watched NFL Network and heard about Gruden's contract. I figured someone would catch that and comment about that. Using Gruden was an example i used for a coach who would bring hype and if i he lost with UNLV it would fall on the coach and not the hire of the AD.
    If a coach like Gruden was hired i'm sure most would cheer. But then again UNLV fans seem to find a way to complain about any event.
    No disrespect to you Tarkus.
    GOD run it

    post script
    @BetonBlack i hear you on that last post

  102. Bobby Hauck in my opinion would be the best fit for the coaching position.

  103. @betazk41 .... I'll try to get it updated in the next day or so. However, don't think the 'search' will last all that long. Plus, in his quotes above, Livengood all but said Sonny won't be a real candidate for the position.

  104. Has anyone else seen this? Mike Sanford has accepted the (OC/Asst. HC) position at Louisville under Charlie Strong. Sanford was a real nice guy just not a HC. I wish him well, curious to see how that offense will be under Sanford. Also wonder if there will be any defectors from UNLV to Ville?

  105. @ bet, I believe Sanford's entire staff was sent packing. (Except maybe office staff)

  106. Stallworth was just on the radio. He said he's good friends with Bobby Hauck and if he had been hired the Head Coach would have been hired almost simultaneously.

  107. Heard that too Jerry. Stallworth said that Bobby Hauck still wants this job. Livengood please call Coach Hauck - He will be the next great D1 coach from the D2 ranks. It would be a shame if UNLV passes him by and he ends up winning somewhere else. The guy is 80-16 in 7 years and Montana is playing Villanova for the FCS national championship tonight.

    Let me clarify my statement from above - I wonder if any current UNLV players will transfer out to Louisville now that Sanford is OC/Asst. HC there?

  108. Well you have to remember he is Spike Dykes son and he has been prepared to be a head coach since he was born. Also Spike will help him I am sure .This is like the Harbaugh's situation or Skip Holtz,or the Bowdens. It's the family business.
    Listen my Dad, my Grandad were both High school football head coaches. I became one too,like I grew up knowing the ropes. Guess what now my oldest son is a DII football coach.
    What he does not know he can get from a phone call.
    Coach Fran brings a lot baggage besides winning,Dirk was not good at all at ASU,his success at Boise had a lot to do with his OC.
    I think whether he would be good depends on his staff and DC. If he gets the job I have an idea who some of those guys will be.

  109. Sorry - Hauck is 94-16 in 7 years with 3 championship games....

  110. UNLV - UNJR