Hot seat cools off, Hauck retained as coach
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Football head coach will remain with team next year
For those who believed that Bobby Hauck’s tenure at UNLV concluded this past weekend, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
The Rebels wrapped up their third straight two-win campaign under Hauck in this past Saturday’s 38-point blowout loss to the University of Hawai’i, ending another disappointing year with a 2-11 record and finishing seventh in the Mountain West Conference.
Hauck has had six wins in three years as UNLV head coach, and in his mind, that’s how many games the Rebels need to win next season, or 2013 will be a bust.
“We probably need to be bowl eligible next season,” Hauck said. “I think that’s fair.”
Being in a bowl game is territory that UNLV hasn’t come close to since 2000, and since that time, the Rebels have gone a combined 39-98, and that year marked the last time that the program has had a winning record.
The Rebels could have very well been a bowl team this season, having lost five home games by single digits and a couple of games against Utah State University and San Diego State University where UNLV kept those games close in the fourth quarter.
This was arguably Hauck’s most successful season as UNLV head coach, and he may have the tools in place on the field to get some momentum going next season.
On the sidelines, however, it may be a different story. Hauck said that he will meet with his personnel one-on-one to evaluate each coach’s performance within the coming weeks.
Hauck also said that he expects to meet with Athletic Director Jim Livengood about expectations in the upcoming season, but he said that the six-win mark is his own goal.
“We’re going to have those talks,” Hauck said. “I would think Jim’s thinking pretty much along those lines.”
That six-win goal won’t be an easy task at the start for the Rebels, with their 2013 non-conference schedule featuring three teams — University of Arizona, University of Minnesota and Central Michigan University — that are all bowl eligible this season.
“I know what it takes, but we didn’t get there,” Hauck said. “If I didn’t think we could get there, we wouldn’t be sitting here right now. Because it’s hard, you invest a lot.”
Hauck said he’ll look at bringing more junior college players to next year’s roster than usual, but he hopes to have a balanced recruiting class.
But at the end of the day, no matter who the coaching staff can reel in, it’s all about making sure the upper management is happy, and that’s what Hauck hopes to make happen for Livengood and UNLV President Neal Smatresk.
“I’m grateful to Neal and Jim for believing we’re on the right path,” he said. “They’re going to get what they want.”