Since becoming the athletic director, Desiree Reed-Francois has made six head coaching hires at UNLV. She has shown us a trend.
Reed-Francois loves to hire up and comers. Of those six head coaches, only two have had prior head coaching experience at the collegiate level. Men’s basketball coach T.J. Otzelberger was at South Dakota State for three seasons and softball coach Kristie Fox led UT Arlington for five years.
But Marcus Arroyo (football), Lindy La Rocque (women’s basketball), Jen Ruiz (women’s soccer) and Dawn Sullivan (volleyball) all became first time head coaches thanks to Reed-Francois.
If you are hoping UNLV is going to hire Rick Pitino, Tim Miles or any other former head coach, don’t hold your breath. They simply don’t fit Reed-Francois’ profile.
Kevin Kruger does though!
Much like the coaching search that led to Otzelberger, it wouldn’t be surprising to see UNLV land an under the radar coach.
The Otzelberger and Arroyo hires have not been impressive. But the style has worked in other sports. UNLV has improved in softball, volleyball and women’s basketball with new hires. Jen Ruiz has the women’s soccer team at 2-1-1 in her first season, so we’ll wait to see how that program fares.
Yes, the success of those programs is irrelevant to UNLV fans if football and men’s basketball are not successful. But Reed-Francois’ type has produced success at UNLV.