Former UNLV head coach Dave Rice to join Nevada as assistant

(AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
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Former UNLV head coach Dave Rice has found a landing spot, as sources told NBCSports.com that Rice has been hired by Nevada as an assistant coach.

An announcement is expected to be made this week.

What’s makes this hire unique is the rivalry between UNLV and Nevada, the two biggest programs in the state of Nevada. Rice played for the Runnin’ Rebel teams that were winning titles and reaching Final Fours under Jerry Tarkanian. He was hired as head coach of the program back in 2011, and spent four-and-a-half seasons in that position before the school fired him in January of this year.

It’s on a smaller scale, of course, but this is like Roy Williams being fired by North Carolina and joining Duke’s staff as an assistant the following season.

Nevada head coach Eric Musselman revamped his staff this offseason, adding Rice and former Cal assistant Yann Hufnagel, two guys with reputations for being excellent recruiters. Musselman is a former NBA head coach. If Rice and Hufnagel can get Musselman the players, he can coach them up.

Who knows how long any of them will be at Nevada, but on paper, this is a great situation for all involved.