Hauck’s first week of recruiting a success


Steve Marcus

New UNLV head football coach Bobby Hauck meets players following 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.

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 »

New UNLV football coach Bobby Hauck knew he had to make up some ground on the recruiting trail.

Still, Hauck didn't seem bothered by the fact that it was two days before Christmas and he had yet to start the process for his initial signing class.

Addressing media, supporters of the program and current players, Hauck said during his introductory press conference that he would be aggressive on the trail. His plan was to take advantage of each recruiting weekend in January by finding players who could help transform the program into his vision of success.

"We won't come up for air until the first Wednesday in February on national signing day," Hauck told the group.

Following his first weekend with recruits, it appears Hauck has made good on his claim.

He received verbal commitments from five of the seven locals who visited last weekend, including Bishop Gorman defensive end Ian Bobak switching his commitment from in-state rival UNR to UNLV. Another Gorman prospect, senior running back Victor Belen, also visited and will commit once a scholarship is made available.

All five players raved about Hauck's energy and determination to turn UNLV into a winner. The Rebels have played in only three bowl games in their 41-year history and haven't had a winning season since 2000 when they went 8-5 and beat Arkansas in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Click to enlarge photo

Green Valley HIgh kicker Nolan Kohorst

However, Green Valley High kicker Nolan Kohorst, one of the five to commit, feels that will change under Hauck's watch. Hauck replaced Mike Sanford, who went 16-43 in five years.

"Hauck was very positive," said Kohorst, whose father, Keith, played center for the Rebels in the early 1980s and is the team's optometrist. "He knows what he is doing and what he is talking about. I really liked the emphasis on changing everything around. One of the big things for me was how much support was going toward the new staff."

Hauck, a former recruiting coordinator under Rick Neuheisel at Colorado and Washington, is credited with being an excellent recruiter.

Everyone who has been in contact with Hauck, a 45-year old who was the head coach at Montana the last seven years, has verified the claim.

Click to enlarge photo

Taylor Spencer

He spent nearly half the school day at state champion Bishop Gorman last week, and two Gorman players — Bobak and defensive Taylor Spencer — were part of the contingent who committed.

"He had a suit on, but you could tell he wanted to roll up his sleeves and get to work," Gorman coach Tony Sanchez said. "It was obvious to me that he is a good football coach. He is on a mission to be successful. He wants to be part of the community and that shows with everyone he meets."

Just three high school players had committed to UNLV when Hauck was hired and two of those wound up de-committing because of the uncertainty in the transition.

However, there was no uncertainty during the first recruiting weekend.

The recruits arrived Friday afternoon and ate lunch at the Hard Rock with several of the coaches. They ate dinner Friday at Sam Boyd Stadium, where they got a tour of the Rebels' facility and watched a highlight package on the stadium's big screen.

When the talk could have easily shifted to how outdated Sam Boyd is or how the facility isn't on campus, the recruits say Hauck was positive from start to finish.

He sold UNLV as if it where a brand new Cadillac.

"When coach Hauck says we are going to win, it's not a suggestion. It's a guarantee," said Desmond Tautofi, a defensive tackle from Calvary Chapel, who committed following the trip.

Hauck's upbeat attitude was shared by the players already in the program. Returners like wide receiver Phillip Payne and quarterback Omar Clayton sold recruits on the differences since Hauck took over.

"I was talking with Channing Trotter (UNLV's running back) and he was positive about the whole thing," Kohorst said. "I've lived here my entire life and he was telling my things about UNLV I didn't know."

The players stayed Friday and Saturday nights at the Luxor and ate dinner Saturday at ESPN Zone inside New York-New York. The also spent several hours on campus, visiting the practice facility, academic buildings and talking with officials.

Each of the recruits who committed had energy in their voice when talking about the trip. It appeared Hauck's enthusiasm was contagious.

Only time will tell if Hauck's success of producing winning teams — he was 80-17 at Montana and lead the Grizzlies to three appearances in the Football Championship Series title game — will carryover to UNLV.

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

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 26 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy.

  1. Keep it up, Coach. Recruit in-state. These may not be the 3 or 4 stars recruits the program needs, but I think you're heading in the right direction.

  2. Great job by this new coach focusing on the locals. Recruiting local kids will put their parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. in the stands. I implore to the people of Vegas to take this team in your arms and show them the support they need. Heh, UNLV went out and got a great AD and an awesome coach from what I am seeing. How about us fans working on being a better 12th man for this team and show up at the stadium and go crazy! We need to do our part here! Don't let the fans from Wisconsin get any seats because it is already sold out by the REBEL RED!!!

  3. I think he has allmost earned his contract money just by siging the early local recruits.Now lets see what he can get out of state but I also wouldent care if he got only local kids to play for him...

  4. he needs to get a few kids from Cali,AZ,Texas,etc. I hope we get that QB from Cali, he looks good.

  5. UNLV shall do well with Gerber as the conditioning coach. Gerber is not your friend. I think he may be the meanest coach on the staff. If someone sees him smile please take a camera phone picture. I would like to see that.

    @basir abdul Waahid
    3 and 4 star recruits usually are well marketed. These recruits may very well be as athletic as a 3-4 star player. Its hard to get on the radar in high school especially if you do not go to such camps as the USC camp and otherwise where rivals and reporters are present to take your pic and evaluate you.

    Some players finally get to start on the their team as a senior. If you were unknown/under the radar until then, you can be a 5 star type athlete and still not have 2 stars or even a photo up. You have to send photos in on your own sometimes.

    I say this because I want parents and students to be aware that marketing athletes is a huge part of recruiting success as well as status when it comes to stars.

  6. 5 Tips of marketing yourself:

    1. Hire a camera man for your highlight tape. Have them focus on you even if the position is Defensive Tackle, so you can include that footage with the teams footage of you on the feild as a player. Get the camera man a field pass so you can have ground level footage.

    2. Go to big camps even if it is out of state. USC camps and Nike camps. These camps are about making money at times, so even if you are not invited you should try to get there to get yourself on the radar.

    3. Youtube your highlight tape. There are many recruits who are hard to find even on youtube.

    4. Contact the recruiting coordinator in your town. i.e. for the west coast the guy is Brandon Hufman for
    Send them your youtubed highlight tape through email. Fight for more stars by asking if they can re-evaluate your talent. Do this early because it will take a long time. The reason is because they only rank player at certain times of the year. If you end up getting 3 stars from only having 2 at the end of the recriuting season it will be too late to use your stars as status for recruiting.

    5. Give yourself an A.K.A. like the Birdman for the Denver Nuggets. I do not even know his real name but his marketing is based off of his name, hair stlye, and excitment as he charms the crowd.
    These are a few ways to stand out. If you are on a team with other great player include all of them and give yourselves a hero name. Something like the Fab 5 did. (Example) the Fantastic 4.
    If Nebraska would have claimed to be the Fantastic 4 then you would notice more than just Endomican Suh getting all of the hype. The fact is that entire D Line is monsterous. This would have help all 4 men on that D Line go pro when the time comes. You can do the same for your teamates when it comes to being recruited.

  7. @ rebelsfan Which QB from Cali? Does he play for Servite?
    If so i have seen him play in person this year.
    He is very good. The thing is Herring is Super dooper good. He throws the prettiest catchable ball, he is the fast QB on the UNLV roster as he raced Clausen and Clayton. He makes a play happen like that Dallas Cowboys QB.
    He should start next season if there are no politics involved.

    Herrings father was a star QB as well and it shows in his I.Q.

  8. I love this guy!


    Finally a competent coach with some energy.

  9. Caleb Herring is the future!

  10. Sufferin, we finally agree!!

    John Loyd is visiting soon. Some locals say he has a shot to play on Sundays.

    Cody Fajardo, QB, (bcs, this kid), the MVP of his region in CA, is visting the 22nd with Alex Lewis an OL (wow we need YOU). He is 6'6 245 lbs. Both kids are three-star athletes. Fajardo's coach says the kid is a superstar. If he was 3-4 inches taller, Florida would be on their knees for him.

    On the 15th (this weekend), 2 more kids are visiting. Tim Cornett (All purpose RB, no stars?) from a 5A HS in Texas who some people are raving about will be here. The second is Evan Weinstock from Del Sol HS (here in LV). He is a 6'4 WR who runs a 4.6 forty and has a 36 inch vertical. He is a three-star athlete and also is a highly recruited decathalon athlete and is weighing his options for both.

  11. Who is this Caleb Herring kid??

  12. SMB, did Herring redshirt this year? Any news on how much weight they've been able to put on him? He sounds promising with a great attitude and I'm looking forward to whenever he get his shot...

    I know its going to be a process but I can't remember being so excited about the football program.

  13. Herring did Redshirt. He was up to 190 before winter break.

  14. I just spoke to one of Servites DB coaches who i played with. He said Cody Fajardo can throw on the run, They beat Edison mostly because of his ability to run as well. He is poised, in cruch time he makes plays and still tosses money balls.
    Runs a 4.5 4.6 forty.
    The team has a killer S&C coach who had the players lift wieghts 4 days a week.
    The QB has good feet and stand 6'3 6'4.

    He says they have a killer O Lineman too.
    Servite has a TE/DE that is a monster but is only a junior. I would be the first to offer that guy. The school went all the way in State in their division so schools will be recuiting that school more these days to come.

  15. Good job. Hope it translates to victories!

  16. bcs, good to hear you are in on things. Do you ever get on Rebel-Net? If so, do you lurk or have an account?

    If that OL is any good, offer him. Our O-Line wasn't anything to brag about last season.

    Yes, offer that TE if he is good. A TE who can block well and catch even better is the key to an unstoppable offense. See: Colts, Chargers, Saints.

  17. The offensive line was just fine this past year. And I can promise you a three star kid (Alex Lewis) won't start right away just because he's a three star. If he only weighs 245 hes got a minimum of 30 lbs to put on. At 6'6" that probably won't be too diffucult though. The O-lineman to really look forward to is Sean Tesoro. He was a RS freshman last year and was the only new starter along the front 5. He was doing quite well until he tore his knee up. The kid is going to be an absolute stud up front for the next 3 years. He is an impact run blocker who drives off the line. Perfect if we start to actually run the ball more. Caleb Herring was the 3 star qb Sanford signed last year. He red shirted this year, along with Bradley Randle. Actually, most of Sanfords most impressive kids from last recruiting class either red shirted or gray shirted. Guys like Herring, Randle, Nate Halloway and B.J. Bell and Doug Zismann are going to be bright spots in the teams future.

  18. yes, I was kind of confused to see so many of the key pieces to the 09 class redshirt. It will only benefit them though if they put in the work. I am hoping this team is more solid all-around this year. That will be the key to getting some upsets.

  19. rebelsfan11,
    you ask who is Caleb Herring? you must be a new fan of this football team or just took interest after Hauck's arrival...looks like others on this board have schooled you on him. I will add that he has a great frame at 6'3 and now looks to be up to about 190 after coming in supper slim (probably 165). Back to back 14-0 records, 2 time CIF state champs @ Citris Hill HS in Perris, CA. Should be Hauck's future QB.

  20. Yes, I have not been a Rebel-Netter until about 4 months ago. Also, I was a fan of the football team but not too much because I couldn't stand Sanford. I have a lot of confidence in Hauck though. I am mostly a fan of the basketball team. Hope to see you at the game tonight.


    i likey Evan Weinstock

    @Rebel 11 i do not have an account on rebel-net

    @AJ_C i would so trade BJ Bell to LB and put Starr at Saftey. Bell was a gymnist and can still back flip no hands. He has speed and hits hard. Plus he has a motor all day.
    Starr can be our less tall version of Taylor Maze. Just wishing...
    I spoke to Starr at the top of last years season and he wished they would put him at safety. He spoke on how he is only 215 at LB.

    We will see.

  22. All of this is great for UNLV...But dont start cashing any checks on an account that hasnt been opened yet.. Just saying lets see if this all comes out the way everyone hopes...It looks promising from all the talk,, the action will tell how promising...

  23. I think the reason people are excited is because this team has a lot of talent on both sides of the ball and UNLV finally has a leader, a coach who knows what he is doing & that should translate into good things on the field. UNLV isn't too far behind the top MWC teams in talent. Why can't this program become nationally good? Lesser universities in worse places then Vegas have done it?

  24. Hauck always got the best players in MT. In state kids know who the conference teams are and what it means. They also know what the UNLV vs. reno game means and will fight until the end.

  25. Just saw that Ben Jaekle is laid up with a broken ankle. That could put an interesting twist on the kicker punter question.