The UNLV Rebels Athletic Department has announced that they’ve parted ways with head coach Dave Rice. The 47-year-old was let go with the team having a 9-7 record.
The team has lost five of their past six games. In addition, they are 0-3 within Mountain West play.
According to ESPN, Rice was informed of the school’s decision earlier today. He met with the team at 8 pm EST to let his players know that he’s been dismissed.
“Earlier today, I met with Dave Rice, and after discussing the direction of our season, we mutually agreed that it was time for a change,” athletic director Tina Kunzer-Murphy said in a statement. “He will always be a cherished member of the Runnin’ Rebel family, and we are grateful for all he has done for this program. However, being winless in conference play and losing five of the last six games is simply not good enough for Runnin’ Rebel basketball.”
Rice has been replaced on an interim basis by Todd Simon. He’s been an assistant on Rice’s staff for the past three seasons.
According to ESPN, former NBA head coach Mike Brown is in consideration for the full-time job. He’s already has support from the UNLV boosters, according to the piece.
Brown was 347-216 during his eight-year coaching career with the Cleveland Browns and the Los Angeles Lakers.
The UNLV alumnus Rice took over for Lon Kruger when he left the program to take over the Oklahoma Sooners job. During his first two seasons, the team was 51-19.
However, in their past two seasons, they’ve had just a 38-28 record. They’ve also been 18-18 within conference play.
“I am particularly proud of our accomplishments, not only on the court but also academically and in recruiting,” Rice said. “It has been a great honor to coach at my alma mater, and I wish the players, the coaches, the University, the program and the fans the very best as they move forward.”
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