A lot is riding on you, coach Hauck

A successful sports program like football can bring in more students, more fans and even more money for a university

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Steve Marcus

New UNLV head football coach Bobby Hauck points to a UNLV logo on Nathan Carter’s shirt as he meets with players following a news conference Wednesday at the university. Hauck had an 80-17 record at the University of Montana, where he was the head coach since 2003.

UNLV New Football Coach-Bobby Hauck

UNLV officially ended its search for a new football coach today by announcing former University of Montana head coach Bobby Hauck as their new man.

Bobby Hauk introduced at UNLV

New UNLV head football coach Bobby Hauck smiles during a news conference at UNLV Wednesday, December 23, 2009. Hauck had a 80-17 record at Montana where he was the head coach from 2003. Launch slideshow »

UNLV President Neal Smatresk likes to say the school’s athletic program is its “front porch.”

“We want people to walk up, look around and hopefully come in and visit the rest of the place,” Smatresk said this week.

In an effort to spruce up its porch, UNLV announced Tuesday the hiring of football coach Bobby Hauck.

Although athletics sometimes seems far afield from — and, in some cases, at cross purposes to — universities’ educational missions, UNLV officials hope a more competitive football team will translate into desperately needed revenue, alumni donations and a higher profile for the university.

Experts, however, warn that hiring a football coach might boost morale but won’t necessarily boost profitability.

At UNLV, basketball, with its annual budget of more than $1.3 million, generates “a significant portion” of the money that supports the school’s other sports teams, said Jerry Koloskie, senior associate athletic director for UNLV.

“UNLV has a national brand because of Runnin’ Rebels basketball — our logo is known far and wide,” Smatresk said. “That gives us a platform to help build our identity for academics and to draw in donors and future students.”

By comparison, UNLV’s football program, coming off a 5-7 season, runs a deficit of about $3 million a year. Its annual budget is $6 million.

If the university could cut its multimillion-dollar subsidy to football, that money could be used to support other goals, Smatresk said. “Those dollars could be reinvested into athletic facilities or flow back to the university.”

State budget troubles have forced UNLV to cut spending by 15.4 percent, or $32.8 million a year.

UNLV’s athletic budget totals about $24 million, down about $2 million from last year because of the budget cuts. About $6 million comes from state funding, with the university and boosters coming up with the remainder.

Basketball and football are universities’ big revenue sports — through ticket sales, bowl games, tournaments and television contracts. But the potential economic benefits extend beyond ticket sales.

When UNLV’s basketball team made the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament, applications jumped 15 percent. The team’s television appearances shine a free national spotlight on the school, bringing publicity it couldn’t afford to buy.

But a profitable football program and athletic department can be elusive, experts say.

Only a handful of athletic programs nationwide make money, said Andrew Zimbalist, a professor at Smith College in Northampton, Mass., who specializes in sports economics. Research by the NCAA found that new investments in programs do not yield a positive net return, he said.

Southern Nevada’s dim economic forecast makes “the odds even longer” that UNLV will succeed, he said.

Smatresk said he’s heard the skeptics, including some who have called for UNLV to drop the football program and focus on sports at which it excels.

He has seen that happen at two of his alma maters — State University of New York at Buffalo and the University of Texas at Arlington. In both cases, “there was a huge drop in alumni giving,” Smatresk said. “And there was a disconnect from the community. The public stops paying attention to you.”

When both schools decided to resurrect their programs, Smatresk said, “the cost was enormous and the path was tough.”

Jim Rogers, former chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education and owner of Sunbelt Communications, wonders whether UNLV might not be better off if its football program were starting from scratch.

“We wouldn’t have all these years of bad history,” Rogers said. “People look at us and say, ‘Is it just going to be the same old thing?’ It’s an uphill fight to build the public’s confidence.”

Rogers said for UNLV to become competitive, it will require an investment in the tens of millions of dollars, if not $100 million, which is what Nike founder Phil Knight gave to University of Oregon athletics last year.

“We need someone who comes in and says, ‘I want to build UNLV’s program,’ ” Rogers said. “Maybe no one individual has the money, but if we can get the ball rolling, others will sign on.”

The UNLV Football Foundation has brought in about $7 million to $8 million over the years, according to board member Bob Stockham. UNLV’s quarterback in the 1992-93 season, Stockham says the foundation has been somewhat dormant recently because its members didn’t see eye to eye with former Athletic Director Mike Hamrick.

With the arrival of new Athletic Director Jim Livengood, the foundation has restarted its engines, Stockham said. The first order of business will be to build an endowment fund to invest in the program’s future.

As for how to rally the community to support such a goal, Stockham said the answer is simple: “You’ve got to win games. They have to go out there and put a competitive team on the field. It’s pretty cut and dried what we have to do. The real question is how do we get there?”

Still, even if the university succeeds at improving its football team, some doubt it would have much effect.

Given UNLV has a national reputation in basketball, it’s unlikely that building the football team would result in a measurable bump either in revenue from new student enrollment or in the university’s national profile, said David Berri, a professor at California State University-Bakersfield who serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Sports Economics.

Rich Abajian, an assistant UNLV football coach from 1977-81, disagrees. He remembers when average football game attendance was 24,000 fans, at a time when the population of the Las Vegas Valley hovered around 200,000.

College football “is a big business where people can make money,” said Abajian, general manager of Findlay Toyota. “I can’t believe that here in Las Vegas we can’t figure out how to do that.”

Until the university does, it’s important that UNLV not give up on football, he said.

“Even in the past few years we’ve been losing, anytime there’s a little hope people start to turn out in force again to support the team,” Abajian said. “That’s all people need — just a little bit of hope.”

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  1. At a time when the state is facing as much as 10% in additional budget cuts UNLV hires a football coach for $350,000 to $450,000? When the university is headed for major cuts in academics and professors this is not a very smart move. There will be the usual moaning and groaning from the university hierarchy when the budget reductions become manditory and cuts in professors, academic subjects, courses, programs have to be implmeted. This was a very dumb move; what was needed was clear thinking from university and state officials that 'big time football dreams' must end, and that sport needs to be dropped post haste.

    This coach will, in all likelyhood be given a contract extension which means he will be able to earn 5 years credit in the PERS state retirement, and then be able to 5 an additional 5 years upon retirement. He, like former coaches will be able to retire with 75% of their salary PERS. How much is 75% of 350,000. Its a a hefty reitrement isn't it? When Bobby Hauck retires he will not be a poor ex-state employee will he?

  2. Emily Richmond writes,"A successful sports program like football can bring in more students, more fans and even more money for a university."

    This is a falacious and phony belief by all who dream of big time football for UNLV. Ohio State University is not a great university because of its football program, but it has a great football program because of it is a great academic university, with quality programs and high academic standards; This is true of other big name schools like Penn State, Notre Dame, Emory University, Georgia Tech, Univ of Oklahoma, Univ. of Texas, UCLA,etc.

    The military academies are great academic schools not because of football. Their students go there to become military officers, not to be football players, yet the attract the very best of youth in this country. The emphasis emphasis is to build military leaders who are physically and mentally fit...which means they emphasize sports for physical fitness not for a future in profssional sports. Big time UNLV football does not lend physical fitness to many of the 15,000+ students who attend there.

    UNLV officials and the public need to wake up to the realistic fact that UNLV will never be a 'giant in athletics sports' competiton. We, in this state are missing the boat that UNLV has great potential to become a top ranked academic school but its emphasis on sports is slanting the emphasis in the wrong direction.

  3. A better option is to drop PERS. No reason all these state employees should be retiring on the backs of the taxpayers. Let them get there own IRA's or 401k's.

  4. Intestini is back! Boy it sure has been a while since you've come here to spread your god awful opinions. I was beginning to wonder if you had lost your steam. I'll be honest, we need you testis. We need someone other than sufferin' to make fun of for their outlandish comments. Not to mention, it's gettin boring slamming him day in and day out. Thanks a million for coming back testicle cancer.

  5. Vestini is wrong. As is the case with most academic and professional staff at UNLV, Hauck will not be in the state public employee retirement system.

  6. My comments remain steadfast: No university is great because of its athletic teams. None. How do Universities in Europe, Asia and Australia do it without such falderall and baloney emphasis? There are leading universities all over this world who have great universities without the sports emphasis baloney. niversity of Chicago, MIT, Cal Tech are a few such schools in the US who attract top students without the athletic dog and pony show. It is only in the minds of mental midgets in this country and Nevada who wear tight jockstraps that they believe it is so.

    Truth is truth; our public university systems should not be the minor league trainging grounds for major league sports. Otherwise, lets have a Nevada University of Athletics, sponsored by the big leagues, devoted to only athletics. They could offer brainless courses dealing with:
    1)How to Cure Jock Itch; 2)How not to fumble; 3) Comparative Basketball: Right Hand vs. Left Hand Dribbling of a Basketball, 4) How to Throw a an Illegal Spitball 4) and any other enligthtening courses that would not tax the brains of the "mentally weak jocks".

  7. Don't be a hater vsestini! UNLV would be nothing without athletics.

  8. Well put Camron. Nuff said.

  9. I don't hate UNLV! I only hate the direction its is moving in, and the poor reputation resulting from the Jerry Tarkanian era where illiterate jocks were regarded as 'scholar athletes.' That is what I hate!!!

    I was in the LVHS class of 1955 that went out and worked hard to raise funds to buy the land the school now sits on. I attened Nevada Southern (aka UNLV) 1955-57. I got a great education from superb professors...I am proud of that and proud to say that. We did that at this school without big time athletics.

    The potential for this school is tremendous in the academic arena, it is very dim and questionable that it will be any kind of an athletic powerhouse. The problem is that the 'forced' emphasis from many locals is on athletics and not on increasing the quality and quantity of its academics.

    No university is great because of its athletics.None in this country nor anywhere else in the world. Quite to the contrary, athletic programs become great because of the greatness of the university itself. Ohio State University was a great university long before its football team because a national powerhouse. This is true of all other major U.S. universities; those are indesputable facts.

    In Nevada we want the tail to wag the dog. Big time football, basketball,etc will make UNLV famous? Maybe, but not that likely,in fact it is very doubtful and very remotely possible that it would every happen that way....its pure myth. It is a waste of money, time, effort and other state resources to continue to promote such a myth.

  10. FATCAMRON, Hmmmmm....that has a nice ring to it. I think I'll take it, thank you intestini.

    I don't have to understand anything that you say nor do I HAVE to proclaim, argue, interpret, dispute or explain your irrational comments. It is soley my job to exploit your idiocy to the local public, which happens to be the greatest fans on the planet, UNLV Rebel fans.

    Merry Christmas testis and don't jump out into traffic during the Holidays.

  11. This article should be mandatory reading for all people in Las Vegas. This just confirms what I have been saying all along. Get out and support the football & basketball team!! I know Rich. He was a coach back when I played for UNLV and he is right. We played for Coach Tony Knapp and we went 9-1-2 my first year. Against a WAC schedule that is now the MWC. Not one sellout!

    We averaged around 24K for attendance but I remember a few around 27K. I was puzzled that we could not ever sellout during those years and the worst record we ever had was 6-6 during my senior year. I just finally realized that the fans in Vegas are very fical and not very passionate. (This is not directed at some who post on this website). A lot of them seem to relocate here from other parts of the country, if not out of the country and just don't have any loyalty to the school. I can understand that, but what I don't understand is where are the alumni? My alumni newsletter once said that 70% of all alumni live in Las Vegas after graduating, So after 30 years and thousands of graduates later since I left, well, you do the math and I find it startling that the alumni don't support as well as the town folk. Sure, they came out during the years the BB team won the national championship, but what now? The city has almost tripled the amount of residents and the school is close to enrollment around 30K, up from 10K during my years there.

    The comments from those who cry about the condition of the stadium are laughable. First of all the recruits don't sit in the stands. They are in the locker room for just a few minutes during the entire game and they are not concerned about the damn parking lot! These people wanting these things are just spoiled little kids thinking they must have complete luxury. You have read this article, tell me where the money comes from if you do not go out and support the team. Only if the stadium has consistant sellouts will you ever see the subject of "NEW" come up. For now, you get what you deserve. Another thing, there are lots of great programs out there that have crappy football stadiums. The University of Miami played in a rotting, rusting Orange Bowl during their glory years and their fans managed to rough it out. They have sinced moved but they had the support to get them to where they are today. And they were once worse than UNLV! There are dozens of other stadiums, some twice as old as ours but the fans don't care about any bells and whistles! Look at Stanford Stadium, Lincoln Memorial, Ohio State. I would bet one of the reasons why Vegas kids leave the town is not because of the stadium itself but because they see no fans in the stadium, or the stadium is literally an "away home game" for the visitors. Anyway, you have a new AD and a new coach now. Get the fans out to the stadium this coming year and sell the damn place out and be the 12th man!!

  12. By the way, I know that the Las Vegas area is hurting now economically, but for those of you who have used that as an excuse in your replies, I ask you where you were when Vegas was drawing 6K people a month and there was a job for everyone?

  13. I don't think there is one person either within the university system or here on these message boards who would disagree with the idea that UNLV should focus on improving its stature as an "institution of higher learning."

    However, sports programs and their contributing revenues are inexorably linked to the success of colleges and universities.

    Schools such as Stanford and Duke, widely acknowledged as top tier educational universities, certainly don't scoff or turn their backs on the profit margins they earn from their sports programs.

    Did they rise to such prominence solely on the reputations of their athletic success? Of course not. But, neither did they refute the notion that they could use both education and athletic programs to achieve national prominence.

    C'mon, Vsestini. You've been in Southern Nevada long enough to know that half of the buildings on the UNLV campus wouldn't be there today if not for the financial contributions from the basketball program during the Tark era. There were new facilities going up all the time, born off the backs of those "illiterate jocks" you so glowingly, if ignorantly, referred to in your blogs.

    The primary goal of any university should be to boost enrollment, class size and availability, and attract the brightest teaching minds of their respective fields. I believe we can both agree on that fact.

    However, it certainly can be accomplished without abolishing sports programs. Rooting for the "home team," as it were, is an integral part of the college experience for students. As misguided as it may be, universities around the country do indeed see a surge in enrollment when their sports programs are constantly in the public eye. As the article points out, it's publicity in various markets they couldn't hope to reach out to otherwise.

    UNLV cutting its nose to spite its face is not the answer, Vsestini. What you're proposing is a state run system similar to those adopted by the Soviet block during the Cold War.

    It leads me to believe you're either a frustrated old man, athletic inferior who failed to make the cut back in the day, communist sympathizer, or have Bob Maxson's home phone on speed dial.

    I'll continue to support UNLV in all of its endeavors, whether they are on the basketball court, football field, science buildings, Judy Bailey theatre, etc. and enjoy all of them. Maybe if they made the chess team a full contact sport, Vsestini, you could have your cake and eat it too?

    Chill out and have a happy holiday season.

  14. I agree with Nevada Southern, as the article states, applications jumped 15% when the Rebs made the sweet 16. I challenge anyone to find an applied science project that increased applications at or near the same rate. Let's face it, there was a university here before Jerry Tarkanian, however he is the one that put it on the map with the basketball program he built. When I travel to Chicago or New York, people comment on the UNLV gear I wear. Without our athletic programs, no one would have a clue what it is I wear.

    By the way, one of those illiterate jocks, as Vsestini likes to call them, is currently running for US Senate.

  15. Smatresk sounds like a genius. Name one good basketball school that doesn't have a football program. I love UNLV being a basketball school, and I don't know if we will ever have a competent football program. But dropping football would be almost a death penalty to UNLV athletics.

    Can UNLV football be successful like Utah, TCU, BYU, Boise? I'm not too sure, but trust me if we could get close to that level of success the football program would make money.

  16. Dear Nevada Southern Rebel Fan: Tell me if you will, how great universities like The University of Chicago, MIT, Cal Tech have been built, with the millions of dollars it takes to run those instutitions, but without major sports venues?
    These are major name universities with indisputable academic reputations, drawing large talented studenbodies and gifted faculties.

    it's not the sports or athletics that makes the university, it is quite the opposite. Athletics are made big time by the university. Academics draw the top students and professors, not the football team...don't be so foolish to think it is the latter. Don't use the tail to wag the dog; big time college sports are nothing more than a dog and pony show, not really for the student body,school spirit or other Roaring 20's fantasies, but for the many who are less than educated and want 'bread an circus' entertainment, not real education; the general public has very little interest in real education or the would not stand for long the absurdity of college athletics as presently constituted in this country.

    The basis of my comments and arguments are still undisputed so far. Prove to us,name the one university that was built up and gained its national/international reputation soley by the win/loss record of any of its atheletic teams...there are none; one cannot be named anywhere in the US or elsewhere in the world.

    Australia, for example has great national universities but none were built or are solely recognized for great track or swimming athletes or teams they have produced. Students from elsewhere in the world do no go to Australia to be on their swim teams, if they go at all is for the quality of a specific educational degree they are seeking,i.e. biology, astronomy,etc.

  17. Vsestini,

    I'm not claiming any school lives off the laurels of its sports programs alone. But, it would be unwise for universities with viable athletic programs already in place to shelve them under some felonious recommitment to higher education. Robert Maxson tried to do that when he sent his goon squad out after Tark. Thanks to his efforts, UNLV's prestige ended up as bruised as Maxson's ego.

    Don't worry, my friend. I didn't forget to buy you a Runnin' Rebel cover protector for your copy of Mao's "Little Red Book" as a Christmas present. Enjoy!

  18. This is a great Christmas gift to the long suffering fans at UNLV.

    We hired a young hungry Coach instead of a retirement plan waiting to happen..... kudo's to the AD and Prez.

    Coach Hauck has been on my radar for several years now as a "get-it-done" guy. For those who want to deride him, think about this, he successfully recruited players to Montana. Montana!! Not exactly the entertainment capitol of the world.

    I really like his contract....incentives are great and it is back loaded not front loaded.

    We have a very talented bunch of young men returning and a hungry Coach..... sounds good, huh?

    I am so excited I am buying two more season tickets to add to the existing two. Sadly, they went unused the last half of last season, I just couldn't take it.

    People complain about the Stadium and the location...... these folks have never been to Penn State... If you are an Alum flying in to catch a game, good luck with that.

    Stop whining, it's Christmas and a New Year is around the corner....... Go Rebels!!!

  19. Hey Steven, I love your enthusiasm but Gonzaga University does not have a football program and they are one of the top basketball schools on the West coast. And I do believe UNLV can have a quality football program. The schools that UNLV is being compared to are institutions that have been around much much longer than UNLV. Please remember that the university was founded in 1957.

  20. For vestini to deny the positive impact of collegiate sports to the overall college experience he's just proving he never got laid back at Nevada Southern 50 years ago. Now we know who the jerkball posting on the RJ is. Either vestini or a buddy from the chess club. I went to UNLV and graduated from the Honors College. My college education has allowed me to deduce your opinion is not born from actually caring about higher education but resentment from your lack of a social life in a bygone era

  21. It is hard to exaggerate the enthusiasm that Montanans have had for Grizzly football during the last few years. I hope Coach Hauck can bring that same feeling down to UNLV. It may not turn the place into MIT, but a good football program can bolster enrollment and enthusiasm at a college. I believe the Grizzlies have averaged around 24,000 fans a game at Washington Stadium, a staggering number for an FCS school in a state with so few people. The atmosphere for games up in Missoula has been compared to Bronco games for noise. The last home game included a blizzard, yet nobody left until it was over. People as far away from Missoula as Billings have season tickets (340 miles, one way!). Bobby Hauck will be greatly missed up here, but you guys down there are in for a treat. I would definitely recommend season tickets.

  22. If Coach Hauck starts winning right away some big program will buy out his contract and take him away

  23. UNLV can have good academics and a successful athletic program. Lon Kruger has done it with basketball, we can do it with football too. Let's give them a chance. Hey, things can only get better.

  24. If Hauck starts winning right away, that will be good for the program, and make the search for the next head coach even easier. So I don't worry about him being snatched away.

    That said, I expect him to stay at least the three years he signed for (so far).

  25. rebelheart......

    Contrary to what you're saying and believing, the condition of the Silver Bowel & the condition of the parking lots at the stadium are important. Its all about doing EVERYTHING "first class."

    If UNLV wants to become a nationally ranked football program (win the Mountain West Conference & go to a series of bowl games)they must not only make improvements at the Silver Bowl, but they must put on the drawing board a plan to expand the seating capacity of the stadium some time down the road.

    If the new UNLV coach wins big, look for the attendance to really pick-up and additioal seating will be needed. To be big (a winner...) one must think big (like a winner...)

    Don't give us that crap about "recruits don't sit in the stands. They are in the locker room for just a few minutes during the entire game and they are not concerned about the damn parking lot."

    You don't get it! There's not a major successful program in the country that has unpaved parking lots and locker rooms and rest rooms that are as bad as those at the Silver Bowl.

    I spent some time back in the Midwest this past Fall & was fortunate enough to see an Ohio State game while in Columbus.

    Yes, the Ohio State Stadium is an old one but it's in EXCELLENT shape. The university just recently enlarged the Ohio State Stadium where it now seats approximately 100,000. There's not a bad seat in the house and every part of the stadium has been ungraded.

    Oklahoma State and Texas A & M have also done the same thing...Michigan finished their upgrade and expansion two year's ago...Its an ancient stadium that is over 75 years old but you would never know it if you weren't told...

    UNLV is capable of having an outstanding athletic program and a first class academic program. The two can go hand in hand and should... WE need to get behind the new UNLV coach and see what he can accomplish.

    vsestin......

    At one time, the University of Chicago had a nationally ranked football team. They played Notre Dame, Michigan, Penn State and other biggies....

    The university president decided that he didn't want the university to continue down that road so they scaled athletics back & finally dropped everything.

    During World War II early research on the atomic bomb was actually done in the old university football stadium...

  26. vsestin......

    I don't follow your math. Hopefully you weren't a math teacher during your years in the CCSD.

    You said:

    "This coach will, in all likelyhood be given a contract extension which means he will be able to earn 5 years credit in the PERS state retirement, and then be able to 5 an additional 5 years upon retirement. He, like former coaches will be able to retire with 75% of their salary PERS."

    Are you saying that the new coach will stay at UNLV for at least 30 years? The last time I looked, a teacher, coach, or state employee has to put 30 years of service into the system before they can draw 75% of their average salary from PERS. That's based on the average of their top three years of earnings...

    If Hauck stays 25 years, and pays into the retirement system he will draw approximately 62% of his salary. My understanding is that the PERS system has been changed and one can no longer buy 5 years of experience.....

    I don't believe UNLV coaches are part of the PERS system....they might have been at one time!

  27. @Lobo
    Yeh, right, I don't get it. I suppose you GET where the $$ are coming from to put in your stadium? You mention schools like Ohio State, Michigan and Oklahoma State, well hello!! They have fans who go to the games and support the school, TRUE FIRST CLASS FANS!! Vegas fans do not support the school enough to warrant doing anything else to the stadium. I have heard people say that Bishop Gorman has a better stadium. Don't you GET it that this school has the fan support, win or loose! If you can show me right now that there are people in Las Vegas lining up in droves to buy tickets already then I will recant every damn thing I have been saying. If you can show me a stadium packed full of Rebel fans when Wisconsin comes in next fall, instead of Badger Red, then I will call you sir! If you can show me the line of people outside the head coaches office ready to fork over millions of dollars for your wanted improvements then I will finally say I was wrong-and I hope I am!!

    In order to have a first class stadium, you have to have first class fans and, simply put, Vegas does not know the first thing about being first class when supporting UNLV athletics. I have 30 years worth of seeing too few fans in the seats, even when we had great teams. By the way, the basketball team is going to loose tonight. Lets see how many LESS first class fans show up at the T&M. It IS on campus by the way. How many sell outs so far this year?

  28. Great hire by UNLV. Hauck is the guy who can make this a top contender in the MWC. This will all come down to the university. Will they spend the money needed for Hauck to make this program a contender in the MWC?

  29. rebelheart.....

    You need to change your name. First of all, you're not a true rebel, and secondly, you have no heart! You're post is one of the most negative posts I have seen in a along, long time...

    Yes, Coach Hauck and his staff have their work cut out for them, especially with people like you walking around the UNLV Campus.

    Building the UNLV program to the point where its nationally ranked and a contender for the conference title every single year will take some time, but I believe the new coach will get it done......of course, you don't believe that and it looks as if you're hoping that none of that will happen.

    Your lack of respect and faith in the UNLV basketball program is pathetic.....NO, you're not a true REBEL....

    Yep, you don't get! At least you understand that.... "First Class Fans" must be nutured and made over a peroid of time. Ohio State & Michigan fans are part of a long line of loyal fans that go back over 50-75 years.....

    Give the new coach the benefit of the doubt. Rome wasn't built in a year and a nationally ranked football program at UNLV will take several years, but contrary to what you believe, it's possible...

    By the way, I guess you have a short memory or maybe no memory at all. I can well remember when it was next to impossible to get a ticket for a Rebel basketball game........sold out every game! That was only 20 years ago!

    Again, you should NEVER call yourself a REBEL!

  30. LOBO...How old are you? I just turned 50. Spent 3 years at UNLV and played for this football team. You need a history lesson. Our teams went 22-11-2. The "79" team was inducted into the UNLV hall of fame 15 years ago. That year we were behind almost every game but found a way to win. We weren't overally bigger than other teams, but we had the HEART! We would not quit when it looked like we would surely loose. Go ask Abajian about the HEART on that team and he will fill you in even more. You continue to miss the point here Lobo. You want facilities to be improved upon. I ask you again...where is the money coming from? Your comment "First Class Fans" must be nutured. That tells me you have to coddled like a little boy waiting for something new or better to come along before you embrace it. My rants about the fans are 100% true. Ucannot deny the fact that we have s***** attendance. Half the stadium is for the visitors...(Hawaii, BYU, Utah) Lobo, if you are a true UNLV fan and you show up to the games, this is not directed at you. But you should also be appalledby the lack of support the school gets, especially in a town the size of Vegas! I truly hope that Coach Hauck can bring the fans in. If we do not get those fans to come in and support the team then the university will not be able to carry the program past Haucks tenure-and I will blame the fans for that!

  31. LOBO...Another thing, Those teams I played on during the late 70's laid the foundation for UNLV football. When I came in the program was in its second year of D1 football. The university expanded the Silver Bowl to 32K seats from 18K. Future plans were announced to expand the stadium to 60K seats. We were on our way to building a powerhouse program and thought that we would have the next expansion done within 10 years. UNLV made the effort to build up the program to play with the big boys, but after a few down seasons, the fans slowly started to abondon the program. Alumni stopped going in droves, money stpopped coming in...and here we are. The University has just made another investment in the football program Lobo. They got a great coach! Do yourself a favor and tell your friends, relatives, whoever, to go out and support them. I am feeling the effects of my football days as I grow older now, but my HEART is still a rebel. I don't expect you to understand my past-and my frustrations!

  32. As someone who played at UNLV in the early 1970s and has been across the country coaching and recruiting, I maintain that facilities and crowds don't build programs. Great coaching, recruiting and winning takes care of itself. Establish an environment that players love to be a part of and they will win, and then the fans will come. It's been proven at many places across the country.

    Too bad Sanford didn't take any of that ego coaching with him after leaving Urban Meyer. I think Hauck will not tollerate being second best. Have worked with him in the past, and while he may not turn this ship around by 2010 or 2011, you can guarantee that the Rebs will be relevant by 2012.

    If the recruits in California and Las Vegas see progress, they will come here. I played with Mike Thomas and Glenn Carano and both came to UNLV to win football games, and while things have changed over the years, I feel that Hauck will bang down enough doors, open his program to local high school coaches, which have been closed out, and he will seek out athletes who want to be here to get an education and play football.

    While many want to downplay the education that UNLV offers, I am proud to say that I am doing just fine with the degree I received. I am proud to be a UNLV Rebel. Always have and always will. As someone who lives in Florida now and follows this program daily, I will continue to push athletes who can make a difference to Las Vegas, and at the end of the day, nobody will ever say anything that will make me feel anything but jubilation for my alma mater!

    Looking forward to watching athletes who are well coached and who want to be here, again!

  33. @runninreb76...Great to hear your comments. You have even more whiskers than I do! I hope that this hire will bring back a lot more of the former players and then we can right this ship soon! We definitely played in a different era but I still firmly beleive that facilities don't do anything to persuade a recruit. I could have cared less about that when I was recruited by UNLV. It was the coaches and the players that made me feel like a part of the team. We could have played in a cornfield (which I came from!) and I would have still come to UNLV! That is why I use the REBELHEART moniker!

  34. Name one university strong in hoops without football - Gonzaga!

    Alumni backing. Ok what college experience did UNLV provide? Great basketball program with Tark, but limited number of good seats given to students which still continues today. Campus life- none all but a few live off campus. Greek row was never made a priority by UNLV administration. So you are left with students loyal to their educational specialty not due to the overall experience at UNLV. Football needs to be made a priority. Note how an education reporter wrote this story and not a sports reporter. I am sure this same reporter would say that high school and the minimal junior high sports should be scrapped as well. How about going to a 9 month school year with all of these declining student numbers? That would save the state some real money and not cost jobs. Or you could eliminate the top level fat in the ivory tower positions inside ccsd.

    UNLV has every right to establish a solid winning football program. The bad hires at both Athletic Director and Football Coach. People who were really bad at people skills as well as bad at the fundementals of their jobs. Somehow Nevada can go to bowl games as well as the NCAA tourney with attendance lower than unlv.
    Bad hires, lack of creating a college environment and our local school district just being too big for it's own good of saving money are local problems. A housecleaning of AD, Football Coach and President have been done at UNLV. Further cleaning needs to be done within UNLV Athletics and a real campus environment plan that is obtainable will get people interested and future grads wanting to be loyal to a school who would provide the total college experience instead of what these few voices say Alums should be excited about.

  35. Overall, this city's lack of faith in its football program makes me sick. Don't get me wrong, there are some great Rebel fans out there, but ditching the football program is complete non-sense. UNLV spends 350K to 450K on a head coach, many don't realize that it is a good deal for a great coach! It really isn't that much money in the big picture, especially when your UNLV football foundation raises the majority of the coaches salary! Plus people don't realize that with a good program comes large sponsorships from companies like Nike, Under Armour etc., that give players great equipment and uniforms. Thus saving athletic funding for other programs. Did you know we get enormous kick backs for BCS bowl games? Being that the MWC puts teams in BCS bowls every year the entire conference shares in the millions made on those games, thats because of football. Dirt parking lots?! Who Cares! Does your food taste different or does your beer taste different because of it? NO! Support your team, then complain about improvements. Why would they fix dirt lots that are empty anyway? Players can deal with the crappy facilities if you have a successful program, your only in the locker rooms for an hour maximum. The football field itself is actually quite nice.
    It was the same situation when I lived in Hawaii with our football team. Our team was crap, our parking lot is crap, our facilities were crap, but ask how many people cared when we were winning conference championships and going to a BCS bowl! Guess what we did with the money from that, new facilities, top recruits, re-paved parking lots. Guess how it started at UH? New AD, New Coach = More Wins, More money. Don't let someone from Cal-State Bakersfield (Seriously? They don't even have a football team.) tell you different. This is why I am so excited for UNLV football, because I see the program starting to get serious about football. As an alum and resident of Las Vegas, a place I call home, building a great football team is one of the best investments you can make.
    Whenever I go to games it's for the entire experience; the tailgating, the friends and the football. Sometimes, people just need to enjoy life a little more, that's what college football is about. Go Rebels!

  36. @Encinoman...

    Amen! I am constantly amazed at the continued talk about improvements being needed at the stadium, or even more ridiculous a NEW stadium. Even if a new stadium was built, and on campus, it would probably be half full most of the time because once the team looses the bandwagoners would be jumping off the top of the facility. Look at what is happening with the T&M now that we have lost 2 games and we are out of the rankings-probably will cost them another 8 to 10 thousand fans at the next game.

    Vegas people need to take FAN 101 and learn what it takes to go out and support a home town college team. Like you said encino, a lot of these people should embrace the college experience and make a whole day of football day instead of showing up halfway through the first quarter and leaving half way through the fourth quarter.