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Players react positively to Hauck’s hiring


Steve Marcus

UNLV football players wait to meet new UNLV head football coach Bobby Hauck during a news conference at UNLV Wednesday, December 23, 2009. From left, are Chris Jones, Nathan Carter, and Malo Taumau.

UNLV New Football Coach-Bobby Hauck

UNLV officially ended its search for a new football coach today by announcing former University of Montana head coach Bobby Hauck as their new man.

Bobby Hauk introduced at UNLV

New UNLV head football coach Bobby Hauck smiles during a news conference at UNLV Wednesday, December 23, 2009. Hauck had a 80-17 record at Montana where he was the head coach from 2003. Launch slideshow »

Two weeks ago, UNLV defensive lineman Malo Taumua spent an evening watching a NCAA Championship Subdivision national semifinal game between Appalachian State and Montana.

Little did Taumua know that the game would serve as his first introduction to his eventual coach, Montana’s Bobby Hauck. Consider it a good first impression as Montana won the game 24-17.

"They were talking about how he was such a disciplined coach," Taumua said. "That’s what we need."

At the time of Hauck‘s introductory press conference Wednesday at UNLV, none of the players had spoken with him yet. But those in attendance did have strong opinions on the hire.

They unanimously approved of it. Senior linebacker Ronnie Paulo said Hauck’s football mentality would mesh well at UNLV.

"I’m definitely impressed in the guy’s philosophy and aggressive nature of the game," Paulo said. "That’s my style of play."

Paulo also mentioned Hauck’s winning reputation as a positive. Hauck won 80 games in the last seven years at Montana and advanced to three national championship games.

"I know what he did at Montana," junior wide receiver Phillip Payne said. "I hope he does the same thing here."

Payne said he thought he was behind the rest of his teammates in gathering information on Hauck. He hadn’t done any research prior to the press conference.

That was scheduled for later in the day.

"I’m probably going to go home and Google him right now," Payne said.

First, Payne planned to meet Hauck for the first time. Taumua, Paulo, Payne and the other couple players who attended the press conference visited with Haucks’ wife, Stacy, and waited for their new coach to address them for the first time.

The players said it had been tough working out without a coach for the last three weeks. They were relieved to get the situation sorted out before Christmas.

"I’m just glad to have a head coach," junior defensive back Chris Jones said. "Now, we can actually get to work on next season and everything."

Taumua said he was appreciative of the efforts of former coach Mike Sanford and his staff, but it was time to move on.

That echoed the sentiments from the rest of his teammates.

"The good thing about football players is their ability to move on to things and not dwell on the past," Paulo said. "A coach like this means a good change. I feel there’s no mixed emotions, it’s just a sense of urgency to move on."

Reached by phone from his home in California, redshirt freshman running back Bradley Randle said he was enthusiastic about working with Hauck.

Randle, the prized recruit from Sanford’s final class, never considered transferring despite the coaching change. Randle also said his buddy Caleb Herring, the perceived quarterback of the future for the Rebels, was not leaving.

"We’re all going to be here," Randle said. "I talked to Caleb and had a whole group huddle with the freshman class. I told them all, ‘Hey, it’s been a tough year but we know what we can do.’ We’re all going to stick it out no matter what."

Hauck will face a number of challenges in his first year with the Rebels. It’s been a decade since UNLV last made a bowl game or had a winning season.

Changing that pattern will be one of Hauck’s first tasks. Paulo, who is from Las Vegas and went to Western, also shared a challenge he thought Hauck would face.

"He needs to keep Vegas players here," Paulo said. "That might be the biggest problem. But we’re a big family and we’re going to embrace him."

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  1. That's great news. To be honest with you I'm really not too much concerned about how well he recruits his 1st class on such short of a notice. Next year will be the one he needs to be judged on. We have a whole freshman class from last year ready to step in and blow up the city of lights. Can't wait to see "Baby Sanders" finally get the nod this year. There is no doubt that Randle is the best back on this team. Hauck loves to run the football so this should be real fun.

  2. I feel sorry for you UNLV. I'm from Missoula Montana and this guy will have you more frustrated than you can possibly imagine especially if he takes his offensive coordinator with him. Yeah he put together some good years but Montana was a great program before he got there he didn't turn them around.

    The teams we faced had a combine record of 39-58 (thats how Bobby got his great record) our BigSky conference is weak, and we routinely played down a level and we lost 3 title appearances. All of that and I have not even mentioned all the trouble his player got into. The list of offenses include things like burglery, assault with a deadly weapon among many many other legal problems including a murder trial. Half of Griz Nation is shouting for joy!! Only the slack jawed yokels who only care about the cheap "W" on Saturday are upset he's gone. As powerful as our program is at our level anyone could win with the Griz Bobby is nothing special. Good luck with the mess your going to have.

  3. Oh I forgot to mention Bobby's rant that made ESPN where he got pissed at school newspaper report and brought us negative national attention. The reporter was asking investigative questions about an assault where 2 meaty football players kicked some poor kids teeth out and the coach was managing a cover-up. The player did get benched for a game against one of our drop down games against Western State of D-II status.

  4. You have a great coach in Hauck UNLV. I also am from Missoula and a UofM grad. 90% of Griz fans are idiots and stupid when it comes to football. I'm one of the 10% who knows what a great coach Hauck is and will be for UNLV.

  5. As for the above comment on Hauck's OC: note that Montana was second in the nation in scoring this year, at 35.8 per game and 9th in total offense at 427.4.

    The comment about the record of the opposing teams is completely incorrect. The Big Sky conference was the 2nd or 3rd rated I-AA conference this year, as it has generally been on the past 10 years. The stuff about the prior criminal issues of a few players is largely incorrect. The vast majority of Griz Nation supports Hauck and is sad to see him go--but wishes him well and will now be following the Rebels.

    I see that this poster is making similar comments in other places. Don't know what's wrong with people who make up stuff like this and then want to spread it all over the place. By the way, I could probably identify this poster by his real name, but won't.

  6. One of the things I enjoyed most about watching Hauck's Griz was the world-class hitting. While a lot of ballcarriers these days dance out of bounds to avoid being hit, most of the Grizzly backs I saw this year would turn back into the field of play and make contact, usually gaining another yard or two. The style has been kind of old-school, and it is very fun to watch. People are still talking about a collision during the semi-final game shown on ESPN.
    As for criticism of Hauck, I think his record speaks volumes. He took his last team undefeated to the national championship where he lost by 2. He won 80 games in 7 years! What more could a coach do to prove himself?