According to reports, UNLV head coach Dave Rice has an offer in hand to be the new head coach at USF. Rice was in Tampa yesterday, will meet with his athletic director Tina Kunzer-Murphy this evening, then make a decision as to where he'll coach next year. Rice confirmed this account to Fox 5 in Vegas.
If Rice ends up here, there's still a lot of questions. Rice has been at UNLV, his alma mater (he was a member of the '90 NCAA title team) as head coach for three years, and has won at least 20 games each season. But the Rebels missed the NCAA's for the first time in his tenure in 2014, and issues with the team have been pretty public the last few months. And keep in mind a monster recruiting class is scheduled to head to the Thomas & Mack Center next season.
The rumor is Rice doesn't really want the cash for himself, but wants some long-term job security and more cash for his program.
Source confirms that if UNLV extends Dave Rice, he will likely stay. He wants extra $$ put back into the program, not for his pockets.— edgraney (@edgraney) March 28, 2014
I lived in Vegas briefly and can vouch the Rebels don't get the financial support you would think as the only game in town. They're always having money problems, and some massive cuts to the university from the state a few years ago means there isn't much appetite for huge institutional support for sports.
This seems like Rice is gettin' all Marc Summers up in here, Double Daring his employer and alma mater to take the physical challenge. I guess the question becomes is... how bad does UNLV want Rice to stay, and vice versa?
If he does stick it out in Vegas, congrats USF!! You've been used as leverage yet again!! Get excited for the press conference for the (at minimum) third choice guy for this job!!
If he's heading back to Vegas to say goodbye to his team in person, then we can start to evaluate the hire on the merits over the next day or two. But if it's just to get more money, facilities, and charter flights for his current job... the Bulls simply got outflanked here.