REBELS BASKETBALL:

Stacey Augmon accepts third and final UNLV assistant coaching position

Dave Rice hires Rebels legend and former teammate, left with just director of basketball operations spot to fill

Image

AP FILE PHOTO

Former UNLV greats Stacey Augmon, left, and Larry Johnson are congratulated by Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski following the Rebel’s 103-73 victory over the Blue Devils in the 1990 NCAA championship game in Denver, Colo. Augmon, who played in the NBA for 16 seasons and spent the last four as an assistant with the Denver Nuggets, will be joining former teammate Dave Rice’s staff at UNLV as an assistant.

Updated Wednesday, May 4, 2011 | 1:30 a.m.

Stacey Augmon Through The Years

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The answer that new UNLV men's basketball coach Dave Rice was waiting for finally came just before he attended a 6 p.m. fundraising event Tuesday night, when he was informed that former Rebels teammate Stacey Augmon will be joining his staff as an assistant coach.

Augmon, who is the program's third all-time leading scorer and helped lead UNLV to the 1990 NCAA title, joins Rice, Justin Hutson and Heath Schroyer on the bench.

"It's huge," Rice said. "It's huge because he was a great player here, he accomplished everything that every guy who goes to college wants to accomplish, winning a national championship. Being on the team with him, I knew he was a great player. What really stood out to me, though, was his commitment to winning and what a great teammate he was.

"Guys who are great teammates often become great coaches."

Rice and Augmon played together for legendary coach Jerry Tarkanian at UNLV from 1989-91. An offer to Augmon was made not long after Rice accepted the job early in April, but he had to wait for the Denver Nuggets' season to end. That happened last Wednesday night, as Augmon comes back to his alma mater after spending four seasons on George Karl's staff.

Augmon, known as one of the greatest defenders in UNLV history, scored 2,011 points from 1987-91. He was the ninth overall pick in the 1991 NBA Draft, selected by the Atlanta Hawks. He played in Atlanta until 1996 and also spent time with Detroit, Portland, Charlotte/New Orleans and Orlando in a playing career that ended in 2006.

With his three assistants in place, Rice can now move forward into determining roles within his staff. Though he has nothing specific in mind just yet for Augmon, Rice said he expects him to have a hand in overall player development, defensive game-planning and, obviously, recruiting. Several players UNLV will recruit over the next few years likely won't remember Augmon from his playing days, but their families just might.

Augmon was one of several former Rebels who had a strained relationship with the university for several years over the controversial end to the Tarkanian Era in 1992. Rice said he believes that none of that factors in anymore with Augmon.

"He's looking forward; he's proud of what the teams he was a part of at UNLV accomplished, and I think he sees a great opportunity to work with the young guys who are here now," Rice said. "I think it was a big decision, but I think that in the end, just the opportunity to come back to his alma mater helped him make that decision.

"From Day One, we've talked about the program and the tradition of the program. There's no one who played here who epitomized what it means to be a Rebel more than Stacey Augmon. That's a starting point."

Several of those former Rebels were welcomed back into the fold by Lon Kruger during his seven-year run as UNLV's head coach, during which he not only helped the program again embrace its glory days, but he put it back on solid ground. UNLV has gone to the NCAA tournament four times in the past five years, and Kruger left a cupboard loaded with talent in place for Rice and his staff following his departure last month for the head coaching position at Oklahoma.

“I am excited about coming back to UNLV,” Augmon said in a statement released by the university on Tuesday night. “I am looking forward to working with coach Rice and the rest of the staff. It will be great to be back in the city where we were part of a dynasty. I want to thank Jim Livengood and President Smatresk, along with coach Rice for bringing me back. I am anxious to get started working with the young talent that is currently on the team and to help take the program to the next level.”

Specifics involving Augmon's contract have yet to be finalized but should be over the next couple of days. For a ballpark range of what he'll be paid, Hutson was brought on at a salary of $175,000 for next season, while Schroyer will make $150,000. As for Rice's contract, it likely won't bet set in stone and approved by the Board of Regents for a few more weeks, as they have several other budget-related issues to work through first.

The first hire on Rice's staff was Hutson, who left his post as an assistant with San Diego State to become the Rebels' associate head coach. With the Aztecs, he served as the recruiting coordinator and defensive guru under Steve Fisher.

Schroyer was just hired last week, returning to his assistant coaching roots after being let go as the head coach at Wyoming in the middle of his fourth season at the helm back on Feb. 8. He also has a strong defensive background from his days as an assistant at Fresno State, BYU and Wyoming. Schroyer has East Coast recruiting ties that could widen the Rebels' recruiting net.

All that remains for Rice to decide upon in terms of personnel is who he will hire as the program's director of basketball operations, which he said likely won't happen until next week.

Three names, among many others, floating around for that gig are former UNLV staffers Jay Spoonhour, Mike Peck and Bill Wuczynski, who all worked with Rice during his 11-year run as a Rebels assistant.

Spoonhour was a UNLV assistant from 2001-04 and was the Rebels' interim head coach for the final 10 games of the 2003-04 season. He's currently the head coach at Moberly (Mo.) Community college. Peck, a former UNLV video coordinator, is now the head coach at Findlay Prep in the Henderson foothills, leading the Pilots to back-to-back ESPN Rise National High School Invitational titles in 2009 and 2010. Wuczynski was both an assistant coach and director of basketball operations during his five-year run at his alma mater in the late 1990s, and he just finished his third season as an assistant coach at TCU.

"It's a really important hire," Rice said of his final opening. "Not just for our staff, but for our players, as well."

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  1. It's all coming together! Welcome home Plastic man! Can't wait til November!

  2. Wow!

  3. Awesome!!! welcome home Stacey. We have been waiting a long time for this and I'm so glad to see you back affiliated with the program. Good luck with all you do here. Go Rebels!!

  4. Dave Rice has been a man of his word so far. He announced Augmon would be an assistant, and he made it so. That's something the people who aren't familar with Rice's playing days can respect about him - he does what he says.

    Also, has anyone reprinted those T-shirts LJ and Stacey are wearing in picture? Those are awesome, put me down for several if so! www.RebelReign.com

  5. ohh buddy can't wait for next season... and the next...and the next

  6. Wow. What a crazy offseason!

    I can't wait to see ice on the sidelines teaching the kids how to play D and how to play with rebel attitude!

  7. Good job getting Augmon. Screw Spoonhour, we need to get Peck so that he can help recruit Findlay Prep. Spoonhour will bring nothing to the table. The guy is the head coach at a community college for christ sakes. His father's years at UNLV were the absent years for the program.

  8. May all the gods of the Universe bless our Divine Sports Heroes!!!

  9. WOW! Welcome back Stacey! What a superb team Dave Rice has assembled!

  10. One would think a responsible person would not invite this troubled man and his tarnished reputation to an already struggling and questionable program. It makes no difference anyway, UNLV will never attract the high caliber student athlete and so the rest is just babble from dreamers and nit wits.

  11. Note to Ryan: the caption to the photo at the top of this article states that it was taken at the 1991 championship game, when in fact it was the 1990 championship. Otherwise, keep up the great work! I'm glad to still be reading articles on Rebel basketball even into May, though November can't come soon enough.

    Congrats to Coach Rice on assembling a great team of coaches. I love that each of them is very defensive oriented. With Rice's up-tempo offense and some great defensive minds on the bench, I am excited to see what this team brings to the table next year.

    Also, anyone catch the Heat/Celtics game last night? The announcers, Kevin Harlan and Reggie Miller, were giving much due props to Joel Anthony, even noting that Joel has the best +/- stat of any player left in the playoffs. Perhaps this will be the year that a Rebel (Joel or Shawn Marion) finally wins an NBA championship. Go Rebels!

  12. Welcome home, Stacey "Ice Man" Augmon. Now, I'm really getting excited. Go, Rebs!

  13. As I said on April 1, Coach Kruger leaving was presenting a major opportunity for UNLV's basketball program, and it's shaping up just that way.

    Re-bels!

  14. Dear Mr. Plastic Man,
    Thanks for all the good memories. Unlv is unlv because your contributions. Here's to future memories with you as a role player too.
    Thanks,
    Djkgroup

    P.S. Thanks for playing ball with me in the unlv gym in 1991. You made a ten year olds lasting memories too.

  15. Welcome back! I am so excited for basketball season!!!

  16. This is a great pickup for UNLV. Augmon will make Rice look good for sure.

  17. Great hire. Stacey brings that NBA background and creditability that has been missing from the staff, and one of the bigger qualities that Reggie Theus had that Rice didn't.
    I think Jay Spoon would be a pretty good DoBO hire. He was the top assistant of this program not too long ago, considering he'd be at the very end of the bench, that is not a bad deal. Plus I thought he did a good job as the interim HC when his dad retired.

  18. "From Day One, we've talked about the program and the tradition of the program. There's no one who played here who epitomized what it means to be a Rebel more than Stacey Augmon. That's a starting point."

    And a damn good one, too! You cant put a price on that kind of mindset. The terms "respectable" or "competitive" dont register with these former Rebels because it aint Good Enough! Their standards are WAY above that and its obviously "offensive" to them we are not still at the elite level. Meaning...It aint just a job to them...its Personal! This is an excellent hire on all levels. The logistics are still against them (aka crappy TV deal & weaker league) but everything else is coming into place. Very impressive.

  19. hate to nitpick, but the team in that picture is not the '90 rebels either, it's the '88-'89 team. that's the last year they had the classic uniforms with that particular font. also scurry and butler are in their first year as rebels, and stacey still has some of the lines shaved in his hair, which he had all over his head his freshman year.

  20. That's what I'm talkin bout!! Watch what they do with this current team, the swagg is comin back to the Mack. Spider man welcome home, its good to dwell in Rebel land...

  21. greene, just out of curiosity, why the hell did you choose a picture of LJ and stacey with kryzzeyslkekndski for the top of the article? damn near sacrilege......

  22. Adrock, it says champions 1991 on the shirts, and Krzyzewski is one of the most respected coaches of all time.

  23. wade, i'm talking about the bench photo and i don't give a damn how respected he is. lute olson is respected too, but if you became a rebel fan before 1992 you probably hate both of them.

  24. I've been a fan of UNLV since the late 80's and have lived in Vegas my whole life. As much as I hate Duke (with the fire of 1,000 suns), I find it hard it really hate Coach K. simply because of what he has accomplished and how he goes about his business. I hate the name on the clothes he wears, but I do not hate the man.

  25. Coach K has always shown respect for UNLV and coach Tark. I have no ill will towards the man, though I wish his team loses every game.

  26. @mike Exactly. I never said I liked Duke, but Coach K has built their program up and created a respectable, legit basketball program without the added negative attention and I respect the man.

  27. There is a big difference between being able to play well and being able to coach well, which is why many of the top college coaches were not standout players in their own right. Augmon has a decent coaching resume up to this point so hopefully he can aid in the development and recruitment of our players, aside from adding a mystique by returning to the program.

  28. I would love to hear some recruiting updates! It's been a while.