January 20, 2018 Currently: 46° | Complete forecast

unlv football:

Assistant coaches won’t have contracts renewed

New coach will have to hustle in recruiting process to fill void


Justin M. Bowen

UNLV head coach Mike Sanford embraces Malo Taumua after the team’s 24-20 season-ending win against San Diego State on Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Several assistant football coaches at UNLV were given notice Monday that their contracts won’t be renewed for the upcoming season, said Jerry Koloskie, UNLV’s interim athletic director.

Koloskie said the coaches will be paid for another 60 days, but are finished with their football obligations.

Head coach Mike Sanford was fired after five seasons three weeks ago and the Rebels closed the 2009 season last Saturday with a 28-24 victory against San Diego State.

In the dead time until a new coach is hired — a move not expected until mid-to-late December — the program could fall behind in securing a recruiting class for the Feb. 3 signing day. The signing period for junior college players begins Dec. 15.

Terry Cottle, the associate athletic director who oversees football, said volunteer assistant recruiting coordinator Jimmy Morimoto will organize the recruiting effort on an interim basis. Morimoto and graduate assistants Shane Steichen and Rhett Brooks are the only coaches still at work, Cottle said.

“We are staying in touch with recruits the best we can. Obviously, it is difficult without a coach in place,” Cottle said.

An open recruiting period, when college coaches are allowed to visit recruits off campus, started on Monday and runs through the end of January. A majority of Morimoto's work, however, is done through e-mail and phone calls.

At Bishop Gorman on Tuesday, assistants from seven colleges watched the undefeated Gaels practice in preparation for this Saturday’s state title game. Gorman potentially has 10 Division I recruits in its senior class.

In year’s past, now-former UNLV assistant coach Kris Cinkovich, a former local high school coach who recruited Southern Nevada the past six years, could have been part of the group.

While Koloskie said this isn’t the ideal way to recruit, he also said he doesn’t believe the program will fall behind. There is a recruiting dead period from Dec. 22 to Jan. 1 and a new head coach will likely be in place for the January recruiting rush.

Koloskie said the new coach will have to take advantage of the recruiting weekends in January for campus visits and the major lifting on attracting recruits.

“We aren’t missing much,” Koloskie said. “Obviously, we are very sensitive to recruiting and know the recruiting period is critical.”

Koloskie said UNLV has a handful of gray-shirts — players who signed last February, but won’t enroll until next month — already on board and a few high school players who have verbally committed. Cottle said Morimoto has been in contact with those athletes.

A coach won’t be hired until the university finds a new athletic director. A search committee met Tuesday to review applications and Koloskie has applied for the position.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected].

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  1. Cinkovich should be retained for recruiting purposes. Didn't he get us Payne?

  2. I hope they find a great coach with a solid background. I would think that recruiting mid-level student-athletes to UNLV wouldn't be *that* difficult considering the weather, the city, the atmosphere and the opportunities available, granted each student finishes with a degree in, at minimum, hotel management.

  3. Cink is a stud and it would be a shame to lose him.

  4. Cinkovich might have been a good coach but he was a terrible recruiter. Sanford had to play damage control multiple times with him here. He let several key local kids get out with his poor recruiting effort. Don't let the facade fool you.

  5. This might be a blessing in discquise.Now maybe unlv can give some local kids a chance!

  6. It's pathetic that the University hasn't hired a competent AD since Hamrick left (not that he was either). It doesn't matter if Sanford had hope of keeping his job at the beginning of the season, you need a competent leader in the athletic program. We're falling further and further behind in recruiting every day, which will force us to go back to (risky) juco kids to fill the roster. Sanford, for all his faults, has not left the cupboard completely bare though, and was building toward a roster of largely 4-year players. This mess now is completely inexcusable as far as I'm concerned! Koloskie's a joke!

    Thank goodness we have basketball. Great win against UofA last night!

  7. It is a little ridiculous that we still do not have an AD...everyone except Sanford knew he would not be back next year, think they would have planned ahead a litte better so we wouldn't have this dead period in our recruiting. I like Smatresk but he may have dropped the ball on this one, or at least bobbled it....

  8. There is not one coach from this regime that should be retained including Cinkovich. UNLV has really shot themselves in the foot with the timing of the firing by waiting until after the season & with no permanent AD in place. The whole community along with Koloskie knew Sanford was a gonner early on this season, he should have been let go the Monday after the Wyoming loss, now UNLV is in scramble mode trying o fix this mess and good things aren't going to come out of this.

    UNLV already lost Austin Arias who was a "Verbal commit" and is a big time nationally ranked MLB from Peoria, AZ. who goes sideline to sideline and crushes cats. How many more good recruits are pulling out because of the timing of the fire? Whos is goign to sign or commit to a horrible football school with head coach or AD?

    With the scrambled search for an AD and coach I think it narrows down the coaching search to an already washed up and overrated Dennis Franchione who has done nothing his last 2 jobs. I have a sick feeling in my gut that this unpassionate blue hair will end up with the UNLV job. Not that it really matters what I do but if Franchione ends up with this job I will never support UNLV football ever again with one cent. So far I have kept my promise by not returning to Sam Boyd. I said after the Wyoming loss that I would never come back until Sanford was fired and the "Right Coach" was hired. I wonder how many more thousands of real football fans in Las Vegas that really know football feel the same way as me?

  9. Could the reason the university will pay the ex-assistant coaches another 60 days be that maybe the new coach will want to retain some of them.I think there will be a coach in place by Jan. 1st.That is still 30 more days the ex-assistant coaches would be on the pay-roll. What do you guys think.

  10. Until the city gets behind the football team win or loose it wont matter what coach we get!When the players look up into the stands and see more of the visiting fans colors than their's,why would they give 100%?Maybe a local high school coach would be a good fit?

  11. I live in Phoenix. UNLV, please do NOT hire Dirk Koetter. Get an assistant from the Pac-10 or Big 12. Trust me. UNLV needs to start playing with the big dogs and get to a couple of bowl games. You guys should be all over Southern California snagging recruits if not already, and going to Texas and the South for talent as well. My alma mater Arizona hired Mike Stoops from OU, coming off a national championship, and people ripped him. He is about to go to his second straight bowl game with half his team recruits from Texas. His offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes' name often comes up when a HC vacancy happens.

  12. UNLV has had 40+ years to get this city behind them and all they have done is kick us in the balls over and over again with bad coach after bad coach. They have done nothing to upgrade the ancient facilites, and the football budget cannot compete with anybody. Sanford is right with one thing the facilities here do suck, the stadium is horrible for the home team and those things make all the difference in the world when you are trying to recruit top athletes. That is why we have had mediocre players recycle through this program since before I was born.

    I am not a blind follower nor will I ever be just for the sake of supporting or following a program. As a fan you reserve the right to hype up, support, or be in total disgust of any team you choose to follow. I don't know how anybody could keep throwing their hard earned $$$$ at a football program that has shown that it cannot even release its parking brake. The problems here have come from the top down, the trickle down syndrome has got to stop. Until the administration will hire a coach who knows what direction the wind is blowing and will give him whatever resources are needed to hire assts., and let him do whatever it takes to win we will keep having this discussion every 4-5 years.

  13. "...UNLV has had 40+ years to get this city behind them and all they have done is kick us in the balls over and over again with bad coach after bad coach. They have done nothing to upgrade the ancient facilites, and the football budget cannot compete with anybody..."

    And you guys want the NBA???

  14. Just a little off topic for a moment: I have heard this name Bobby Hauck mentioned in the rumor mill for this gig. I knew nothing about this guy but I went on Montana's website and read his profile he has a very impressive resume. In 6 years at Montana he has won 66 games and played for 2 national championships. He has coaching background at UCLA & Washington back in the early 90' when both of those schools were powerhouses & he is only 44. His profile said he was instrumental in recruiting for those schools and I believe he is still able to recruit SoCal up in Montana. What he has been able to accomplish at Montana is amazing and there is no doubt in my mind that this guy can coach. You don't average 11 wins a year in your first head coaching gig if you cant coach, I don't care what level it is at. If he is truly in the running for this job he might be an excellent hire.

  15. Koloskie's comments are exactly why he shouldn't be considered for permanent AD.

  16. unlv looking at Arizona ad, rumor is that if he gets job will hire def cord stoops of arizona

  17. the Arizona AD would be great and Arizonas def coordinatior would be great too, but it all comes down to is money. You get what you pay for. Being a former UNLV prospect,and I agree with Sanford the athletic facilities are really in poor condition, the high school I went to in Southern California had a better athletic facility. You can't expect to produce a winning football program or any other winning sports program with facilities like that, besides the basketball and golf programs that always seem to win. UNLV needs hurry and hire a new AD and coach because there are 7 other schools with much better tradition and history looking for coaches as well, other wise its gonna be another long 4-5 of loosing. UNLV needs to stop worrying about how they look in the eyes of the city I know it has a big affect on the universities decisions they make. They need to do things that benifit the school and produce winners. "Band wagoners will always be around to follow a winning team"