Sanford won’t return as UNLV coach in 2010

Following fifth consecutive losing season, Rebels football program to head in a new direction

Image

Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV coach Mike Sanford yells at quarterback Omar Clayton after a delay of game penalty during the second half of the Rebels’ 35-15 loss to Utah on Oct. 17. Sanford will not return for a sixth season in 2010 on the heels of Saturday’s 45-17 loss at Air Force, which dropped UNLV to 4-7 on the season and eliminated the Rebels from bowl contention.

Updated Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009 | 11:52 p.m.

Sanford Out as UNLV Coach

After a 15-43 record in five seasons as head coach, UNLV put an end to the Mike Sanford era.

The Rebel Room

Mike Sanford press conference — 11-16-09

  • You need to upgrade your Flash Player

UNLV football coach Mike Sanford, who was told on Sunday that he would not be brought back for the 2010 campaign, met with the media on Monday afternoon to answer questions. Here is the sound from the press conference in its entirety.

Mike Sanford at UNLV

UNLV head coach Mike Sanford sprints off the field after a 59-21 loss to BYU Oct. 10 at Sam Boyd Stadium. Launch slideshow »

Reader poll

What caliber of coach would you like to see UNLV replace Mike Sanford with in 2010?

View results

Sanford at UNLV

  • Record: 15-43 (.259)
  • MWC Record: 7-32 (.179)
  • Best wins: It's a tie between a 27-0 victory at home over Utah on Sept. 22, 2007, and a 23-20 overtime triumph over then-No. 15 Arizona State in Tempe on Sept. 13, 2008. Both lost some luster, however. On the heels of the victory over Utah, the Rebels lost their final 10 games of the season. In 2008, the ASU win was the highlight of a surprising 3-1 start, but UNLV fizzled quickly, finishing 5-7.
  • Worst losses: Sanford's teams took some brutal beatings in his early years, such as a 51-3 loss at TCU in 2005 and a 52-7 thumping at BYU in 2006. But it was in years four and five, as the program appeared to be on the verge of a turnaround, when a couple of losses stung a little more. The two worst were a 42-28 loss at San Diego State to close out the 2008 campaign, then a 63-28 embarrassment in Reno this fall. At SDSU, the Rebels needed only to topple a two-win team to earn their first bowl berth since 2000, but stumbled early and couldn't recover. In the debacle against UNR, a brutal four-game losing streak was highlighted by a 773-yard offensive performance from the Wolf Pack.
  • Best moment: Sanford was rightfully emotional following the victory at Arizona State. He took a Gatorade shower in the postgame locker room, and it appeared that the program was truly on the cusp of a turnaround following his signature win at UNLV.
  • Worst moment: Desperate for a review of a controversial loss on the final play of a 16-10 loss at Iowa State in his second season, Sanford went on a frantic search for either the game officials - who had already left the field in Ames, Iowa - or the ISU athletic director. Unfortunately for Sanford, his lap around the Cyclones' football complex behind the end zone was caught on film by a local news crew and turned into a popular view on YouTube.

Next game

  • Opponent: San Diego State
  • Date: Nov. 28, 6 p.m.
  • Where: Sam Boyd Stadium
  • TV: The Mtn. (Cox Ch. 334)
  • Radio: ESPN 1100 AM
  • All-time series: SDSU leads, 11-7

The Mike Sanford era at UNLV will officially be over once the Rebels complete another disappointing season with their finale at Sam Boyd Stadium on Nov. 28 against San Diego State.

Sources close to the situation confirmed the news Sunday night to the Sun in the wake of the Rebels' 45-17 loss Saturday evening to Air Force. The athletic department later sent out a release with the news.

The defeat dropped UNLV to 4-7, and for a second consecutive season under the fifth-year coach, a promising start to the campaign came to an unsavory halt down the stretch.

Reached by phone Sunday night, interim athletic director Jerry Koloskie confirmed that Sanford will coach the season's final game against the 4-6 Aztecs.

Sanford, who meets weekly with the media at 2 p.m. every Monday, will do so again this week.

"Obviously, the season is not going the way that we wanted it to go," Koloskie said. "Certainly, yesterday was not any better of an indication. As I said all along, we'll have to figure out what we're going to do.

"It's his team, and I think he's definitely earned the opportunity to finish the season out. I just think it's appropriate."

Saturday's loss dropped Sanford's record at UNLV to 15-43 overall and 7-32 in Mountain West Conference play. His overall win percentage of .259 is the second-lowest in UNLV history, better only than the .228 Jeff Horton posted in five seasons from 1994-98, when he went 13-44.

After last season — in which a 42-28 upset loss in the finale at SDSU kept UNLV from postseason play — Sanford signed a contract extension to keep him in Las Vegas through the 2012 season. It included a buyout clause, which will pay Sanford $225,000 at the season's end.

The loss in the cold and snow in Colorado Springs on Saturday was indicative of the Rebels' struggles all season. UNLV entered the game ranked 111th out of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision programs in run defense, and dropped to 116th a few hours later as the Falcons ran roughshod over a porous Rebels defense, racking up 431 yards in the process.

That was a major theme for the Rebels over the course of the last two seasons. In 2008, an upset victory over then-No. 15 Arizona State on the road propelled UNLV to a 3-1 start. But over the next several weeks, Sanford's club would fall victim to a stigma it was unable to shake throughout Sanford's tenure: an inability to play consistent defense.

That was the driving force behind a crippling five-game losing streak in the middle of last season's schedule, and played a major role in a mini-slide this season, which included a horrendous three-week stretch against UNR, BYU and Utah. The 63-28 loss to the Wolf Pack on Oct. 3 was one of the most embarrassing in the program's history, as Chris Ault's club rang up 773 yards of total offense. Saturday's loss to Air Force not only ended UNLV's postseason dreams, but served as a telling sign that enough progress simply wasn't being made by the program under Sanford and his staff.

"It's a performance-based issue," Koloskie added. "We have to have more wins, we need to be more successful."

Despite the interim tag on his title, the decision to relieve Sanford of his duties was made by Koloskie.

With another losing season guaranteed, University President Neal Smatresk gave Koloskie's proposed move his seal of approval over the weekend.

"Obviously, I consulted throughout with our president, I kept him informed, but I'm around the program and it's my job to evaluate our coaches and my program," Koloskie added. "I ultimately made the recommendation to Neal on the direction that we needed to go, and he supported it."

So now, in which direction does the UNLV football program go?

The Rebels have displayed over the past two seasons they have the offensive chops to hang with almost anyone in the Mountain West Conference. Whoever takes Sanford's place will have a potent, young offense to build around. Barring any transfers, the pieces will be in place for UNLV to put up plenty of points next season with the potential return of junior quarterback Omar Clayton, four of five starters on a steady offensive line and sophomore receiver Phillip Payne headlining a solid corps of skill position players.

But, fixing the defense will be the biggest focus, as clearly, overall improvement will be expected rather quickly.

UNLV has not made a postseason appearance since 2000. Cracking that code might be exceptionally difficult for a first-year coach next season, as the Rebels will embark on a 13-game schedule that will include road contests at West Virginia, Utah and BYU, plus home tilts with Wisconsin and TCU.

"I believe that we have certainly the resources and the opportunity to be competitive every year," Koloskie said. "I think we should be competitive every year. I don't think it's very far away at all. We certainly should be competitive in our conference. I think the resources are there, I just think we need to get it over the hump."

While Sanford ran a tight ship in terms of players staying in line off the field and performing well in the classroom, a major statistical black eye left on his tenure will be poor performance on the road in Mountain West Conference play.

His first road victory over a league opponent didn't come until UNLV topped winless New Mexico, 34-17, on Oct. 24 in Albuquerque. Before that, UNLV had lost 20 consecutive road conference games, which at the time was the longest such streak in the FBS.

Throughout another disappointing season, Koloskie's stance remained that no change would be made as long as the Rebels still had a chance at bowl eligibility.

Still, with the writing on the wall most of the way, Koloskie said the administration has had its eyes and ears open as to what was going on around the country with potential candidates for the soon-to-be vacant post.

"In my business, you always start on that. It's just an ongoing process," he said. "I wouldn't say that I just started on it today by any means."

Koloskie didn't give any detail into what caliber of a head coach the Rebels will target. It could be another assistant with a great résumé but no head coaching experience — like Sanford when UNLV hired him away from Utah in 2005 — or it could be a head coaching veteran.

No matter who it is, the expectations will be made clear right from go.

"We're going to look for the best coach that we can find, who can come in here and be successful," Koloskie said. "It could be a head coach, could be an assistant coach.

"It just has to be a quality coach."

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 81 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy.

  1. nothing personal to sandford, he seemed to be a good guy. but wow... its about time. now the drama begins to find his replacement. hope they find someone sooner then later, i feel we do have some talent on this team. would hate it if they jumped ship.

  2. Finally... This guy is a total joke.

  3. Sanford tried hard and gave his best effort. No shame in that. He'll be a good offensive coordinator somewhere.

  4. i doubt any key players will transfer.. i bet the players are thrilled Sanford is leaving b/c they can finally play to their strengths!!!

  5. I like the guy, but it's time for him to go. Hopefully they spend some time finding the best replacement possible.

  6. 15-43 overall and 1 road win in 5 years... who cares if he was a "good guy"? He's getting paid to do a job just like the rest of us and people don't just get a pass for being a "good guy". I'm glad he's gone, he should have never lasted 5 yrs. He is a total and complete joke as a head football coach... hope we can find a decent replacement. Just about anyone is an upgrade though.

  7. It is time to do away with the program all together. Let Reno be the football powerhouse of the state and let UNLV be the basketball powerhouse.

  8. Reno is not even close to a powerhouse in football and UNLV is not even close to a powerhouse in basketball..

  9. Larry Kehres for coach

  10. There is only one great candidate to be the next UNLV football coach.

    Hire Chris Ault from the University of Nevada.

    He kicks UNLV's butt every year.

    He goes to a bowl every year.

    His kids don't get in trouble.

    He invented the Pistol Offense and rolled up about 700 yards in offense against UNLV! That was so obscene that Sanford should have been fired on the spot.

    He is a consistent winner in a small budget program.

    He makes stars out of kids others pass on, like Colin Kapernick. Nobody wanted him out of Turlock, Calif. Remember Frank Hawkins? Just wait, he'll make Mike Ball an NFL running back.

    He commands a small salary, when compared to other schools in the WAC or MWC.

    He knows Nevada and has great politcan connections.

    He knows the recruiting grounds of Las Vegas and So. Cal, the Fresno area and the Sacramento area.

    All he has to move down from Reno. Since he already works in the university system, the transition could be very smooth.

    It's a no-brainer. But since this is UNLV. It will never happen.

  11. Reno football is much better since they got their rear kicked by Notre Dame!!!!!!....I don't see UNLV play Notre Dame...

  12. With the budget as poor as it is, whoever the university interviews for a position will have to agree to take a massively reduced salary compared to their peers-Nevada taxpayers will not stand for another John Robinson-like, or even Mike Sanford-like, salary.

    The administration will have to look for someone who wants to be here for a great challenge, not a great paysheck.

    BTW, the same guiding rule goes for those who want to be A.D.

  13. i think what LVPaco meant by saying that reno can be the football powerhouse and unlv can be the bball powerhouse if we drop the football team is that we can have more funds to focus on just basketball, which will help it improve quite a bit.

    (new scoreboard)

  14. You are crazy if you think Ault is comming to Vegas. He hates Vegas, there is no way he would come here. He is on the outs up there as well. Only games he wins are scrub teams and UNLV. They don't think he can win big games.

    Also, boosters pick up a large part of coaching salaries. The system will not need to pick up the whole thing.

  15. there isn't any reason why both football and basketball can be good at UNLV. The MWC is a good western conference. The job TCU, Utah, and BYU have been doing is do-able here. The difference is that those programs started with DEFENSE. Find a good Def Coordinator from the SEC and build around him. I am looking forward to seeing UNLV in bowl games. Go REBELS!

  16. Chris Ault is a freak.

  17. Chris Ault is a savant. I do respect the man but reno has always been average in football I want a coach that can make a good team.

    Hire Manny Pacquaio

  18. look at pic 10 on the slideshow in the story..Sanford has no socks on!! hahahahaha

  19. now we know why Urban Myer didnt take Sanford with him to Florida.

    The football coach at Dixie State might make a good assistant, but i dont think he should be head. look that guy up. Croshaw is him name i think. not a single losing season in decades of coaching. had corey dillon and other nfl players....

  20. I have kind of mixed feelings about it...on the one hand he certainly didnt deliver and there were also a litany of mistakes made. And on the other, its only because of the work he did here that we even have the NERVE to have expectations!

    Robinson DESTROYED the program in his latter years..Sanford didnt inherit anything AT ALL except Beau Bell talent wise. Sanford has recruited well (for UNLV standards), the players are graduating, and he brought us back to respectability....whereas when he got here we were MEGA TERRIBLE.

    I also believe he should go but to just say "he sucks" is moronic because he did do some good, long term things program wise that will ease the transition for the next guy....a luxury he didnt have because he had to build from the ground up. But the bottom line is you gotta win games too!

  21. Recruiting brochure:

    1.God awful stadium.

    2.Commuter campus=little college atmosphere.

    3.Nothing to do in Vegas unless you're 21

    4.2nd rate athletic conference

    5.School has medicore to poor academic rating.

  22. if urban wanted sanford he would have brought him! yea we think sanford was the mastermind behind utah's offense but it was urban. look at unlvs offense compared to floridas....hmm, yea id take urban.

  23. Na-na-na-na... Na-na-na-na... Hey! Hey! Hey! GOOHOODBYYYEEEE!!!!!!!

  24. so now the guy gets paid for 2 more years for doing nothing,who gave him the contract extension,pitifull

  25. SDSU is 4-6 not 5-5. Look it up it's not hard.
    I love the coverage...but..Damn.

    Logic-UNR is a commuter school and they have a decent team. Plus we have a better stadium and similar to better academics (I did my B.S degree at UNR). If they can do it we can do it.

  26. This will change nothing. UNLV was a lousy football program before Sanford and it will be a lousy football program after Sanford. Drop football.

  27. Chris Ault would rather chomp a cyanide pill than become UNLV head coach.

    The next guy will have more success at a quicker rate than Sanford due to the talent pool (Robinson left the cupboard empty for Sanford). The next guy MUST focus on getting some talented JC defensive guys (linebackers and secondary) in this recruiting class that can tackle.

    I think Rocky Long is a legitimate candidate. He did an admirable job at New Mexico with a budget less than UNLV's program. The next guy regardless should have a defensive background as well as past head coaching experience. Wayne Nunnley, Jim Strong, Jeff Horton, John Robinson and Mike Sanford were all offensive coordinators hired as our head coach. Buck the trend.

  28. arent they gonna buy him out? there are plenty of private donors that will give the money to buy him out

  29. UNLV Head Football Coaching records

    Mike Sanford: (2005-2009): 15--43 (as of 11/15)
    John Robinson: (1999-2004): 28--42
    Jeff Horton: (1994-1998): 13--44
    Jim Strong: (1990-1993): 17--27
    Wayne Nunnely: (1986-1989): 19--25
    Harvey Hyde: (1982-1985): 26--19--1
    Tony Knap: (1976-1981): 47--20--2
    Ron Meyer: (1973-1975): 27--8
    Bill Ireland: (1968-1972): 26--23--1
    _______________________________________

    UNLV All-time record: 205--217--4 (as of 11/15)
    (1968-2009)

    UNR Wolfpack
    Chris Ault: 198--91--1 (24th year) (as of 11/15)

    UNR All-time record: 483--428--34 (as of 11/15)
    (1932-2009)

  30. If I was a mega rich booster I would:

    1. Build a Stadium close to campus. At the very least re-tuff one UNLV plays in.

    2. Change the Uniforms to all black with red numbers. Black hats, black mask, red UNLV. Look like a rebel and at least attract students to the program because they have mean uniforms.

    3. Have a half time show with A list artist to bring fans and reputation to the arena.

    4. Make Randall Cunningham an offer he would love to coach the Rebels. I would have loved to play for Coach Cunningham.

  31. yea Cunningham should atleast become an assistant of somekind..quarterbacks coach..

    i really like the idea of a good half-time show. But i think we should be realistic..to get 6 each year (to b able to afford it) we'll probably need to settle for B listers...

  32. "It just has to be a quality coach."

    LOL

    John Robinson (28-42 .400%) nearly lost hall of fame eligibility coaching UNLV.

    There hasn't been a winning head football coach since Harvey Hyde ('82-'85).

    Face it, UNLV has always been a Division II caliber club attempting to compete at the Division I level -- something a new "quality" coach can't change -- fans just need to adjust their expectations accordingly or step the team back down a division - or two.

    : {

  33. a division 2 team wouldnt win 4 games..i dont support the team so much but they arent a d2 quality team.. they beat some pretty decent teams, d2 teams never would

  34. i dont think unlv can be the best in the conference..if we somehow did that..it would be a good 4 5 years until we are anywhere near them. they have nice stadiums (especially byu) and we have a shot to compete..but not at THAT level. not at BCS level.

    sufferin, you like the article about the donation?? could help out your desire for top 3 recruits

  35. nobody listens to you sufferin, thats why you are jobless, wifeless, and live in your parents basement.

  36. yea well its a lot more accurate than what you say about the rebels. these guys are for real. and Kruger has recruited very good compared to the MWC and PAC10. VERY VERY GOOD. all 3 of his youngest guards have been impact players since day one. that says somethin.

    expect hard-nosed defense and some fast breaks. same style of the 06-07 team that (luckily, according to Sufferin) made it to the Sweet 16 with much less talent than this team.

  37. wow they were the best team in the conference for two seasons and the seniors got cocky with their success and had a bad year. now they are gone, and the new group wants it more than anybody in the conference.
    kruger is doing many things that havent been done since 90-91..such as win a tourny game, win 30 games, a sweet 16, win 75% of the games in 3 seasons, also won the most games in 3 seasons (with the letdown last year) since 90-92. im pretty sure that that isnt all either.

    i have bought into Kruger. With this team, he wants to play suffocating fullcourt D, switch on picks, and run the fastbreak as much as possible. they have more than enough depth to do this. their defense will create their offense. it will also frustrate their opponents and help them win many games down the stretch. mark my words. this is not NIT basketball. NIT basketball is being played in Utah, not southern Nevada.

  38. Thanks Rebelsfan11...

    That is exactly what I meant. Lets concentrate resources where they will be best utilized... UNR Gets football... UNLV Gets Basketball...

    To Letsgorebs...

    UNLV Basketball used to be a powerhouse. Lets make it again and discontinue this infantile obsession with a football team.

  39. Long? Koetter? Ault?

    Nope, Lou Dobbs is coming to UNLV!!!!

  40. His meltdown after the Iowa State game notwithstanding, Mike Sanford is a gentleman and a class act. It's unfortunate he wasn't able to achieve success on the field at UNLV but he represented the university well and, for the most part, his players stayed out of trouble off the field and graduated.

  41. We need to turn the program around. Here's how:

    1. Promise to build state-of-the-art roof-top stadium on campus (now is the time to buy property as it is super cheap). Roof top will make it work for summers. Kill the parking lot at T&M and build big parking garages. Build a tram from airport to stadium for concerts, etc.

    2. Soften the schedule for the next five years. Toughest teams will be in the MWC and that will be enough. Improve winning ways so we can change the culture of losing.

    3. Hire a real coach, not some name and focus on ability to play D. Best coaches in MWC have come from D orientation.

    4. Build the program with local talent for the next five years. Make the team local again. Recruit from Eastern Cal, LV, Reno and So. Utah. Make it a regional school to get the fans back in the seats. Forget recruiting from So. Cal and Texas until you put butts back in the seats to get some local/regional support.

    5. Outreach to local high school football coaches and send the message that they are the new pipelines to UNLV. Best players will get scholarships and a chance to play. Best coaches will get a chance to move up.

  42. Somebody needs to save these comments. In 5 years when the next coach is fired with less than 20 wins we can just repost them.

  43. You know, everyone says what a great guy sanford was (is) and how friendly he is but no one has ever stated that he was a great head coach. From the beginning of his ternure at UNLV, he made promises which he was unable to realize. I am not glad to see anyone lose their job in today's economy but he will surely land on his feet somewhere and, hopefully, be placed in a position where he can concentrate on something other than the entire game plan. He was not, and probably will never be, a head coach; I just wished he had been a responsible person and admitted that in year 3.
    So, now the search begins and I hope that we can attract a coach which will have pride in the colors and take us to a bowl. The sad thing is we had the players this year to compete and win but we didn't have the coach which could take them to the next level.
    Maybe, just like Runnin' Rebel basketball did with Kruger, we will get a coach that has a tradition of winning, instill that attitude into the team and start winning.
    A good head coach has to be able to motivate and make the players believe that they can beat, conquer or destroy every opponent. Sanford didn't know how to make a motivational speech (did you ever watch the segments right before the start of gametime...comical), could not motivate his team and may never develop that skill.
    Good luck to him and godspeed...

  44. I dispute your #1 UNLV fan status Sufferin'. As I'm sure 20,000 other people do.

  45. if you go to another website, which is a message board about UNLV basketball. just type in on google 'tarkanian court rivals unlv' and click on the first link..on that site even those people know about him and one said he has been around for years and was in the Athletic Dept. when Kruger came. Apparently he wasnt too good at his job, so Kruger played a part in him being fired. So since then, he has made it his goal to say terrible things about Kruger and convince everyone he has the program heading in the wrong direction. It is clear Runnin Rebels Basketball is doing great and is on the rise, not the football team.

  46. Nvlawyaer

    Yes I agree you're on the right path.
    The building of a new parking garage, check out how long the university has been charging a Special Fee for a new one that has yet to be built. I wonder how much more the university would charge extra fees in order to build the other things you have mention???????
    Softer Schedule is a great ideal. Nobody looks at who you play only at the number of wins. This will change to perspective that a lot of people have of UNLV. Then change the schedule to a higher level of teams. STOP playing schools of high caliber just for the money they pay to beat up on a team.
    I have heard of rumors of bring John R back. He was washed up prior to coming to UNLV years ago. He had his day, let him rest in peace on what he did. You have to agree in his day he was a great coach.
    Las Vegas has thirty some high school teams and just guessing say ten more within 200 hundred miles. With and average of 75 player per school give or take if my math is correct that would be 3000 local area players. It is conceivable that any coach 1st year or a veteran could recruit a team that would bring respect back to UNLV.
    Outreach, why not? There is an unlimited amount of talent in this Valley has been and always will be.
    The University has a new President one who understands what it take to make UNLV a place of higher education that everyone in Las Vegas will respect. Now, lets change the athletic department from top to bottom. Hire individuals that are hungry to show they know what to do to build a program that is second to none.

  47. a quote by someone on a different Rebels website about Sufferin Succotash (RebelRoberto to them) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Rebel Robert was a longtime figure on these boards until he started photoshopping revolting pictures of people's children when he couldn't win an argument with just logic. Dude isn't right in the head.

    that guy is a wackjob.

  48. What a joke asking for a new stadium. Some goofball here even suggested a dome stadium.

    Hey what's a few hundred million???

  49. yea, whats a few hundred million to a football team that hasnt proved they deserve a stadium!!

  50. Too bad being a nice guy doesn't win games ...Coach would still have a job.

  51. UNLV is basically a High School. The FB plays to their level. What is the intrigue here? The only mystery is why Nevadans are required to pay top dollar for such a mediocre High School?

    When does UNLV reach out to the community and offer training to those out of work? never be the answer because UNLV is not about anything but burning taxpayer money on themselves.

  52. Don't knock the new stadium concept. A lot of things figure into a blue chipper's decision to go to a school. It signals the school's commitment to a program. Training and playing faciities, campus reputation and support of the regents help a good coach recruit top talent. Sanford is a decent enough coach, he just did not have all the other variables. A big name coach alone isn't going to get it done (John Robinson anyone???) you need the leadership and commitment of the school behind the program.

  53. It's about 2 years past due. The only good way to get fired in life is being a football coach at least you still get the remainder of your contract not a bad gig. Who knows who is going to replace this guy? Who knows where they are even going to look for the next HC? There is only one way to go and that is up from here (I guess)!!

  54. In all fairness, Sanford is a decent Offensive Coordinator. But, and UNLV fans have learned this the hard way, a head coach must understand the game in its entirety. Thanks to Mike "Sharp as a Marble" Hamrick, we now get to pay Sanford $225,000 for absolutely nothing. But considering what he accomplished on the playing field, I suppose it's like doing the same thing. Sanford was an awful coach, egotistical when he had no right to be, and a poor community ambassador. I only wish he had been fired at the end of last season when we fell to SDSU. Good riddance!

  55. Coaches
    Dirk Koetter - Plays an exciting brand of football offensively - worked with Boise State as HC.
    Butch Jones - Central Mich - We have all seen what Brian Kelly has done at Cincy. Jones has been solid at CMU gone to three straight bowl games.
    Al Golden - Temple - If you thought Sanford had it bad coming into UNLV, Golden had a disaster. His team will win the MAC this year and go to their first bowl game since 1979!
    Coordinator
    Spike Dykes - Arizona - He took Arizona's offense from 16.6 points per game to 28 in 2007. Coming off of Bowl win over BYU and will be going to another this year. Recruits Vegas kids already. He is an Asst Coach with a Father who was a Head Coach previously.

    Robb Akey - Idaho - Another turn around story, high energy guy going to a bowl. Already recruits Vegas kids that produce. D Coordinator at WSU Rose Bowl teams.

    Turner Gill - He is having a bad season this year. But, he is runner up at Nebraska and Auburn for their jobs.

    Bobby Hauck - Montana - Winningest College Football Coach in Big Sky History - won another Conference title this past weekend.
    Jeff Jagodzinski - BC Coach who was great, sitting out with a pro check from Tampa Bay and BC. Can flat out Coach and is young enough to dive in to lead a team. Packer Coordinator.

    Tommy Tuberville - I am sorry, but the guy can Coach and time is running out on him. I dont get any sense from his interviews that he wants to Coach again and would not use UNLV as a retirement home. Look at what David Cutcliffe has done at Duke - you tell me that that is not another turnaround that is not great.

    Tuberville is 55, Phil Fulmer 58, Gary Barnett (Colorado Coach) 63, John L Smith 61, Glen Mason - 58 - all have won in the past.

    Dennis Franchione - The guy turned around New Mexico, TCU, before doing a good job at Bama and also at Texas A & M. I am buying him on what he did in this conference - which was turn around teams and win. What he did at TCU set up Patterson. Even though he is 58 - let him get this program established and turn it over like he did at TCU.
    O Coordinators
    Rice - Major Applewhite - only 27 but took Rice to a Bowl game last year - high powered offense, scored 333 points last year.

    Gus Malzhan - Auburn - Bright offensive mind - his Tulsa offense led the country in offense last year. Fact is we cant get Todd Graham to move from Tulsa instead - but Malzhan would be the right type of proven high powered O Coordinator after being at Auburn, Arkansas, Tulsa.

    Jeff Quinn - Cincinnati O Coordinator - was with Kelly at CMU prior to coming to Cincy.This guy could be the Chip Kelly of Oregon candidate.

    If Fired -
    Dan Hawkins at Colorado - too good not to be a vast improvement over any of UNLV's past Coaches.

  56. I'm surprised that the listmakers can be so creative digging up names yet solidly dense logically. Dirk Koetter was fired at ASU for a great reason, he coudnt win conference games. Any fudge factor was lost when it quickly became apparent he couldn't getalong with anyone. At the end he left town with not a tear shed for him or a friend to shake his hand. If you want a guy who wins like Sanford without a personality, DK is your man. Also note that Dan Hawkins is going to be canned at CU. Ex BSU coaches never suceed once they leave I-Dee-ho.

  57. @Sergio_the_Prophet-

    Obviously your knowledge about NCAA FBS football is pretty limited. The service academies are consistently at the bottom of recruiting class ratings. This is because they don't recruit like the other schools. All incoming cadets must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher and their ACT/ SAT scores in the top 10%. In addition, all cadet candidates must get the recommendation of a U.S. Congressman or Senator. This is all required before any athletic skill is even considered. Unlike their counterparts, service academy student-athletes are not scholarship athletes. All service academy students are scholarship students. Some happen to be athletes. AFA's success is attributed to a unique offense, great coaching, and superior conditioning at high altitude.

    So tell me, can UNLV compete with that?

  58. I suggest Les Miles (LSU).

  59. With a Coach, UNLV could compete.

    NAVY and AIR FORCE are able to grab local kids good enough to beat UNLV and Notre Dame.

    You can only hope that Koetter learned from his past.

    UNLV has to hire an AD who understands how to make this hire. If given to those in charge, should we expect them to call anyone more than local high school Coaches?

    It is fair to say with the schedule next year, that if they can not get a Coach who can get this team to be physical they will be crushed and beaten up for conference play. I am happy to take my lumps with a Coach that is a proven winner who knows how to take these opportunities to get ready for the conference season.

    Wyoming is winning with a pure Frosh QB.
    I think we move towards UNLV's future with their Freshman QB who has rode the pine, adjust the offense so they can have real red zone offense that is more than just throwing jump balls to Payne. Utah has a Wildcat back, UNLV does not have that dynamic guy.

    Sanford was an ego maniac. Poor community guy and had no sense of hiring talented Coaches to surround him.

    I have no issues with Bill Callahan at the healm either.

    Please hire Bill Moos to make this decision and not a local rookie who still thinks that we should retain local Coaches on this staff because of their "local" ties.

  60. Im throwing Ken Niumataolo from Navy into the mix. He's done a great job with the Naval Academy talent. This year he beat Air Force in Colorado Springs, Came close to beating Ohio State and beat Notre Dame in South Bend. He won 9 games last year and is up to 8 games won this year with 2 games and a bowl left. He was a UNLV asst. coach from 99-01.

  61. Anyone who thinks Bill Moos is coming here is very disillusioned. I guarantee this will be along the lines of the Rick Pitino recruitment.

    The position doesn't pay well enough to compensate for living in Las Vegas.

  62. People need to be realistic. UNLV has always sucked at football. We will continue to suck because there is NOTHING at UNLV that would attract a possible recruit. Nothing. If we can get a decent coach, maybe we can go 6-6, 7-5 consistently, but that's probably about it. It's sad, but true.

  63. One of the legacies Sanford will have is losing to "that university up North" FIVE times. Yes, folks, count-em. 1-2-3-4 and five with this year's massacre in Reno.
    Don't let the door hit you on your way out.

  64. hey guys, atleast he was consistent. he always lost. never made us think the team was good by winning a game or 2

  65. Sanford comments today that his removal is more of a "sestimic issue related to the quality of the program and it's facilities"?

    Huh?

    What does facilities have to do with your play calling, hiring of Assistant Coaches and your blowing off of local recruits?

    What does it have to do about your horrible attitude, inability to connect with fans and your ego in general.

    When Tommy West left Memphis he at least went to a bowl game! He rants and looks like an idiot in the process. But, Sanford takes the cake!

    He made the comments about "school up North" and bowl games. Now he wants to blame it on something else? I dont see UNR having better facilities than UNLV and they never used them as a reason why that prevents them from hanging 70 points against the Sanford led Rebels!

  66. I think UNLV either needs a football coach really high rank for a short time to turn the program around and bring in people and recruits, or a lower rank coach for longer and a chance to prove himself and turn the program around.

    High rank picks:
    Danny Langsdorf - OC, OSU
    David Kelly - AC, UCF

    Low Rank picks:
    Ron Gould - Assoc. HC/Running backs, Cal
    Danny Rocco - HC, Liberty

  67. Rebelsfan11... I have to agree, Mike Sanford was one of the most consistent coaches in the history of college football. Noone can argue that. He was the king of consistency.

  68. UNLV's facilities are NOT the worst in the league, that would be Wyoming....who still have a chance at going to a bowl with a freshman QB. The ONLY thing that UNR's stadium has on us is that it is on campus. I'm disappointed in Sanford's media comments. Instead of taking responsibility and saying yes this was a tough run here at UNLV but the future will be brighter he has to pass the buck and say that we have poor facilities to put the blame on. You have to win games for facilities to get built. The Thomas and Mack center would never have been built if Jerry Tarkanian was not winning games and selling out the Convention Center. Win some games, put some butts in the seats and then maybe the facilities will get upgraded. USC doesn't have an on campus stadium they play at the Colisium. Miami plays at the Orange Bowl.....now you wanna talk about facilities....taking responsibilty that has been the problem for 5 years.

  69. Want to talk about good old boy situation in Las Vegas. UNLV's home radio station 1100 AM spends 5 minutes of time talking about the Sanford situation today during drive time.

    The biggest local sports station in town gives more time in talking about the Patriots game instead of the UNLV situation.

    Then Channel 8 concurs with Sanford's excuses of saying that the University needs to put their money where their mouth is. They allow Sanford to say that no one from the community has stepped up for this program.

    Does anyone not think that UNLV is not buying off their media partners and not holding their Coach truly responsible?

  70. Sanford can point the finger at everything that UNLV does, but when he came into this situation, he said he could build a winner. He failed.

    The players played the Oregon St.s and Arizona St.'s and won some and lost some. But the reality is if he was a good coach, we would've gone to a bowl game last year and this year. Last year, 5 teams came and scored on the last drive of the game. They did it some again this year. A good coach wins the last drive of a game. He failed. He can blame the facilities but when he had the butts in the stadium, he choked.

  71. Sanford is correct about some of the things he said. He should take responsibility because he is NOT a good coach. But he is right about the facilities, infrastructure, etc. The most we could do with what we have is 6-6, 7-5... No way to compete with TCU, BYU, Utah with our current situation.

  72. The thing is...we would have been happy with 6-6 and 7-5, including a trip to a bowl game.

  73. WOW its about time the AD pulled his head out of his ass......This should have happened after the UNR disaster....Hopefully they will find a coach that knows how to coach and and win,,, while not just talking about it....

  74. kirkland1:

    "NAVY and AIR FORCE are able to grab local kids good enough to beat UNLV and Notre Dame."

    This may be the most stupid post ever in the history of the Internet. Navy and Air Force don't "grab local kids" their U.S. Military Academies. Please, just wikipidia them so I don't waste my time explaining it to you

  75. Pete Carroll- USC: $4,400,000
    Charlie Weis- Notre Dame: $4,200,000
    Nick Saban- Alabama: $3,900,000
    Bob Stoops- Oklahoma: $3,800,000
    Les Miles- LSU: $3,800,000
    Jim Tressel- Ohio State: $3,500,000
    Urban Meyer- Florida: $3,400,000
    Kirk Ferentz- Iowa: $3,030,000
    Mack Brown- Texas: $2,910,000
    Bobby Petrino- Arkansas: $2,900,000
    Mark Richt- Georgia: $2,900,000
    Rich Rodriguez- Michigan: $2,500,000
    Bobby Bowden- Florida State: $2,500,000
    Gary Pinkel- Missouri: $2,500,000
    Houston Nutt- Ole Miss: $2,500,000
    Mark Mangino- Kansas: $2,300,000
    Paul Johnson- Georgia Tech: $2,300,000
    Greg Schiano- Rutgers: $2,250,000
    Frank Beamer- Virginia Tech: $2,100,000
    Butch Davis- North Carolina: $2,100,000
    June Jones- SMU: $2,000,000
    Lane Kiffin- Tennessee: $2,000,000
    Gene Chizik- Auburn: $2,000,000
    Al Groh- Virginia: $1,875,000
    Bo Pelini- Nebraska: $1,851,000
    Jeff Tedford- California: $1,850,000
    Steve Sarkisian- Washington: $1,850,000
    Mike Sherman- Texas A&M: $1,800,000
    Art Briles- Baylor: $1,800,000
    Steve Spurrier- South Carolina: $1,800,000
    Mark Dantonio- Michigan State: $1,800,000
    Ralph Friedgen- Maryland: $1,750,000
    Mike Leach- Texas Tech: $1,750,000
    Chip Kelly- Oregon: $1,500,000
    Joe Paterno- Penn State: $1,500,000
    Randy Edsall- Connecticut: $1,500,000
    David Cutcliffe- Duke: $1,500,000
    Randy Shannon- Miami: $1,500,000
    Jim Leavitt- South Florida: $1,500,000
    Steve Kragthorpe- Louisville: $1,450,000
    Bret Bielema- Wisconsin: $1,400,000
    Ron Zook- Illinois: $1,350,000
    Dave Wannstedt- Pitt: $1,300,000
    Gary Patterson- TCU: $1,300,000
    Danny Hope- Purdue: $1,250,000
    Rick Neuheisel- UCLA: $1,250,000
    Pat Hill- Fresno State: $1,250,000
    Rich Brooks- Kentucky: $1,250,000
    Brian Kelly- Cincinnati: $1,200,000
    Jim Grobe- Wake Forest: $1,200,000
    Dan Mullen- Mississippi State: $1,200,000
    Skip Holtz- East Carolina: $1,160,000
    George O'Leary- Central Florida: $1,150,000
    Paul Rhoads- Iowa State: $1,150,000
    Dennis Erickson- Arizona State: $1,100,000
    Todd Graham- Tulsa: $1,100,000
    Tom O'Brien- N.C. State: $1,100,000
    Greg McMackin- Hawaii: $1,100,000
    Dan Hawkins- Colorado: $1,100,000
    Mike Riley- Oregon State: $1,100,000
    Bill Snyder- Kansas State: $1,100,000
    Doug Marrone- Syracuse: $1,100,000
    Bobby Johnson- Vanderbilt: $1,100,000
    Mike Gundy- Oklahoma State: $1,050,000
    Mike Stoops- Arizona: $1,025,000
    Frank Spaziani- Boston College: $1,000,000
    Dabo Swinney- Clemson : $1,000,000
    Tim Brewster- Minnesota: $1,000,000
    Jim Harbaugh- Stanford: $1,000,000
    Tommy West- Memphis: $950,000
    Chris Peterson- Boise State: $900,000
    Bill Stewart- West Virginia : $800,000
    Larry Fedora- Southern Miss: $800,000
    Steve Fairchild- Colorado State: $800,000
    Brady Hoke- San Diego State: $800,000
    Dave Christensen- Wyoming: $750,000
    Ken Niumatalolo- Navy: $750,000
    Pat Fitzgerald- Northwestern: $750,000
    Mike Locksley- New Mexico: $750,000

  76. Kevin Sumlin- Houston: $700,000
    Kyle Whittingham- Utah: $700,000
    Bronco Mendenhall- BYU: $650,000
    Stan Brock- Army: $650,000
    Bill Lynch- Indiana: $650,000
    Paul Wulff- Washington State: $600,000
    Bob Toledo- Tulane: $600,000
    Troy Calhoun- Air Force: $600,000
    Al Golden- Temple: $575,000
    Mark Snyder- Marshall: $500,000
    Mike Price- UTEP: $475,000
    Dick Tomey- San Jose State: $460,000
    *******Mike Sanford- UNLV: $450,000*******
    Tim Beckman- Toledo: $450,000
    David Bailiff- Rice: $400,000
    Frank Solich- Ohio: $400,000
    Derek Dooley- La. Tech: $400,000
    Gary Anderson- Utah State: $400,000
    DeWayne Walker- New Mexico State: $400,000
    Mario Cristobal- FIU: $390,000
    Chris Ault- Nevada: $375,000
    Howard Schnellenberger- FAU: $375,000
    Neil Callaway- UAB: $360,000
    Jerry Kill- Northern Illinois: $300,000
    Larry Blakeney- Troy: $300,000
    Rick Stockstill- Middle Tennessee: $300,000
    Dave Clawson- Bowling Green: $300,000
    Butch Jones- Central Michigan: $275,000
    Bill Cubit- Western Michigan: $275,000
    Todd Dodge- North Texas: $275,000
    Turner Gill- Buffalo: $265,000
    Stan Parrish- Ball State: $250,000
    Robb Akey- Idaho: $250,000
    Ron English- Eastern Michigan: $250,000
    J.D. Brookhart- Akron: $245,000
    Charlie Weatherbie- La.-Monroe: $205,000
    Ricky Bustle- La.-Lafayette: $200,000
    Steve Roberts- Arkansas State: $200,000
    David Elson- Western Kentucky: $200,000
    Mike Haywood- Miami (OH): $200,000
    Doug Martin- Kent State: $170,000

  77. Wow talk about a bunch of overpaid do nothings..JHC these idiots are way overpaid. No wonder college is so expensive.

    It's a barely amusing silly game for crying out loud.

  78. I'm hearing on the radio today that Rich Rodriguez might be out at Michigan only after 2 seasons. I'm hearing the Michigan faithful aren't buying into rebuilding that program with the spread offense. This could be perfect timing but who am I kidding why would Rich want to come to UNLV and would UNLV pay that kind of $$$$?

  79. @funr-

    Again, a Rebel "fan" who doesn't know sh-t about other schools in the conference.

    Wyoming is just finishing upgrades to its stadium including 10 luxury suites (sold out) and 250 indoor club seats (sold out). The playing surface is the most state-of-the-art in the conference, the Rochelle Athletics Center houses the finest lockerrooms and training and conditioning facilities in the Rocky Mountains. It has a brand new indoor practice facility and the total athletic complex itself blows away any other combined-use athletic comlex in the MWC. The facilities combine the new with the historic, are all clustered together on campus within walking distance to numerous hotels. The stadium itself is one of the most picturesque in the conference with towering pines in both end zones, the beautiful Ivinson Home on the south end, and veiws of the Laramie and Snowy Ranges to the east and West. The fine arts building and some of the finest collections of western art are a block away as is the American Western Heritage Center which contains the largest collection of American Western history documents and photographs in the world.

    If you, as a UNLV fan ever traveled to see the Rebels play, you might know these things.

  80. The point was made that it's not just the HC you hire, but what assistants he can hire. That point hits the nail squarely on the head.

    Assistant coaches are the guys that build recruiting relationships and coach the players up once they get here. They don't get noticed by fans, but they do all of this while the HC is doing paper work and eating rubber chicken with the boosters, etc. If it's not done well, even with talented players and a good HC, 4-7 here you come.

    There just won't be enough money to get enough quality coaching depth for this team to be consistently good. It'll take a lot of luck for someone to come in and make the kind of impact fans are looking for.

    College football is all about money. Nothing new, or novel. Just a harsh reality when you operate on the cheap.

  81. @Sergio_the_Prophet-

    Apparently not.

    UW's endowment is twice that of UNLV ($300M+ vs. $150M) and it's booster club- the Cowboy Joe Club, alone generates over $1M a year in individual donations. This doesn't even factor in the sponsorships of Nike, UniWyo Federal Credit Union, and BP Energy, among others. Most of the suites were snapped up by energy and engineering companies at $40K per year (on top of other contributions required to be eligible for a suite). The indoor practice facility was paid for by private donations and matching state funds. The RAC was funded by a $4.5M donation from the Rochelle family and matching state funds, as was the UniWyo Sports Complex.

    In addition, football, basketball, and women's basketball are all profitable sports.

    This is what's possible when an entire state gets behind the only doctoral and research institution in the state. It also doesn't hurt to have a 43 year-old athletic director who was born and raised in Laramie, massive research grants that help fund academic programs, and a community that pitched in to keep the much-beloved, well-visited, and venerable geology museum on campus open after the state cut it from the budget. Think that would ever happen in Las Vegas?