UNLV coaching searches always bring out former coaches that would love the chance to coach the Runnin’ Rebels. 2021 is no exception.
According to the Review Journal, Steve Lavin is desperate to jump back into coaching with UNLV.
“A person close to the UNLV program says he ‘really wants the job,'” Sam Gordon of the Review Journal wrote.
The last time Steve Lavin coached was 2015 with St. John’s, when he took them to a nine seed in the NCAA Tournament. Lavin had two runs to the NCAA Tournament with the Red Storm in his five seasons.
He also coached UCLA from 1996-97 to 2002-03. UCLA appeared in the NCAA Tournament in all but one season under Lavin, advancing to the Elite 8 once and the Sweet 16 four other times.
This is not the first time Lavin has been connected to the open UNLV job. (Maybe that should be expected when the job has been open three times in five years.)
Back in 2016 UNLV reached out to Steve Lavin. Former athletic director Tina Kunzer-Murphy hired Chris Beard, lost him to Texas Tech and fell back on Marvin Menzies over Lavin.
Lavin has had collegiate success. He is responsible for 2 of the 3 St. John’s NCAA Tournament appearances over the last 19 seasons. Plus he had more Sweet 16 teams at UCLA than Ben Howland or Steve Alford, his two successors.
But a former head coach who hasn’t been on the sidelines since 2015 doesn’t fit Desiree Reed-Francois’ type.