Monday, Oct. 3, 2016 | 7:20 p.m.
UNLV Athletics Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy is expected to stay in her position through spring and then possibly move to another job within the university, multiple sources confirmed, though Kunzer-Murphy said late Monday that nothing had been decided.
“Nothing has been finalized,” Kunzer-Murphy said. “We’re talking about it but haven’t come to any resolution.”
Kunzer-Murphy’s current contract, which pays her $240,000 annually plus bonuses, expires Dec. 31, 2016. Throughout the year there has been speculation about her future, and Kunzer-Murphy said she expects a decision in the next couple of weeks.
One reason for staying in place longer than her contract, according to a source, is that the university wants to maintain continuity for the student-athletes through the end of the school year. Of course, it was only 10 months ago that UNLV forced out men’s basketball coach Dave Rice midway through the season.
Kunzer-Murphy said the discussions about her future with President Len Jessup have focused on serving the best interest of the program and herself.
“Len and I will continue to talk and figure out what’s going to work best for the university and what’s going to work best for me,” Kunzer-Murphy said.
Many of UNLV Athletics’ programs have had great seasons under Kunzer-Murphy, including several nonrevenue sports competing this fall. Over the weekend, the volleyball team and men’s and women’s soccer teams combined to go 6-0, and volleyball is 15-1 on the year.
However, an AD’s job performance is largely judged on the results in men’s basketball and football. There have been major steps forward off the field in football, but it wasn’t long ago that Kunzer-Murphy gave Bobby Hauck an extension before firing him a year later. And the basketball program is in complete rebuild mode under first-year coach Marvin Menzies, who was hired after a long and winding search process that had to be opened back up after Chris Beard left less than a week officially on the job.
Similar to Hauck, Kunzer-Murphy pushed for a new deal for Rice not too long before pushing him out the door, decisions that cost the school money. And the prolonged men’s basketball coaching search — even though UNLV was the first place with an opening — wasn’t a good look, although Beard bolting for Texas Tech was bad luck more than anything else.