UNLV Fires Marvin Menzies After 3 Seasons

March 15, 2019 - 3:29 pm

LAS VEGAS (KXNT) - The UNLV Rebels will once again be looking for a head basketball coach after the school parted ways with Marvin Menzies Friday.

Menzies completed his third season on the UNLV sidelines Thursday as the team suffered a quarterfinal 63-55 loss to San Diego State in the Mountain West Tournament. 

The Rebels finished with a disappointing 17-14 record in the 2018-2019 campaign. Menzies posted a 48-48 record in his three years with the Rebels.

The firing ends the 57-year-old coach's second tenure at UNLV. Menzies workes as an assistant with the Rebels during the 2004-2005 season.  

After struggling to an 11-21 record during his first shorthanded season at UNLV, the team posted a 20-13 record in 2017-2018 before backsliding this season.

"If I'm not confident in where we're headed, we need to make a change," UNLV athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois said.

Menzies was hired in 2016 to replace Dave Rice and hopefully get UNLV back to the NCAA Tournament for first time since 2013. He was the first full-time African American coach to lead the program.

UNLV initially offered the job to Cincinnati's Mick Cronin, who turned it down. Chris Beard took the job, but left for Texas Tech after a month.

Menzies, the former New Mexico State coach, was able to bring in some of the nation's top recruits, but couldn't win consistently.

UNLV also struggled to generate even a small portion of the excitement the program once had in Las Vegas, with small crowds dotting the massive Thomas & Mack Center.

"I want someone who knows what success looks like," Reed-Francois said. "Someone who is relentlessly committed. Basketball is in their blood. Figuring out how to run this program and be a part of this community."

Menzies had success at New Mexico State, leading the Aggies to NCAA Tournament five times in nine seasons.

With more time to recruit, Menzies had one of the nation's top recruiting classes for his second season, highlighted by McDonald's All-American Brandon McCoy, and won 20 games.

UNLV was not able to sustain its climb this season, finishing fourth in the Mountain West.