UNLV basketball:

Rebels pick former league rival to join coaching staff

UNLV replaces Heath Schroyer with Ryan Miller, an Auburn assistant who spent 5 seasons at New Mexico

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV head coach Dave Rice directs his players during their game against Sacred Heart Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 at the Thomas & Mack Center. UNLV won the game 82-50.

The Rebels’ fourth assistant basketball coach will be former Auburn associate head coach Ryan Miller, coach Dave Rice announced today. The move has been expected for several weeks.

Miller spent five seasons under Steve Alford at New Mexico, where Miller was key in opening the Lobos’ recruiting pipeline to Australia. Miller spent time there playing professionally.

“I’m excited to have Ryan join our staff,” Rice said in a statement. "He is excellent at scouting opponents, a terrific recruiter and great with skill development.”

Miller replaces Heath Schroyer, who left in March to take over at UT Martin. The Rebels are still planning to create an additional staff position, a special assistant to the head coach, before next season. Former Loyola Marymount coach Max Good is considered the favorite for that position.

Miller previously spent three years (2004-06) as a basketball operations assistant under John Calipari at Memphis. After that, he was at Pepperdine for one season before leaping to the Lobos.

“I’m excited to join the program at UNLV, which has experienced a great deal of success under Coach Rice and has an incredible amount of history and tradition,” Miller said in a statement.

Miller’s brother, Mike, was the 2001 NBA Rookie of the Year and won two NBA titles with the Miami Heat.

It’s a big day all around for UNLV, which expects to receive a signed letter of intent from Findlay Prep guard Rashad Vaughn. Today is the first day of the spring signing period.

Miller’s hiring checks off another item on UNLV’s offseason list. The most important item remaining is junior forward Khem Birch’s decision to either return or leave school early.

After that, the focus will be on the new position, any other possible transfers and then getting the Rebels’ heralded recruiting class together on campus.

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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