Potential Candidates For UNLV’s Next Head Coach
UNLV Fired Head Coach Marcus Arroyo On Monday
The next head coach will try to build off UNLV’s momentum in 2022
In what was a shocking decision, UNLV fired head coach Marcus Arroyo after three seasons on Monday.
The news came less than 48 hours after UNLV finished a 5-7 season. When he was fired, UNLV still had hopes of reaching a bowl game. UNLV had increased expectations for the program and wanted to move on from Arroyo.
With Arroyo’s firing, UNLV will have an important decision to make. There is an opportunity for the program to build off of Arroyo’s successful 2022 season. UNLV will need to bring in the right replacement to keep the program trending in the right direction.
When UNLV hired Tony Sanchez after the 2014 season, he was hired in favor of other coaches like Ed Orgeron and Houston Nutt. Most recently, Sanchez was replaced by Arroyo after the 2019 season. UNLV selected Arroyo over Keenan McCardell and Troy Taylor.
This time around, UNLV can hire a notable name with a strong background in coaching. Here are some names that could take over UNLV’s program:
Bryan Harsin (Former Auburn And Boise State Head Coach)
While it is unclear what Harsin’s next career move will be, he is very familiar with the Mountain West. In his time as Boise State’s head coach, Harsin posted a 69-19 record in seven seasons. Harsin’s time at Auburn did not end well, but UNLV could be a place for him to get his coaching career back on track.
Tim Skipper (Fresno State Asst. Head Coach/Linebackers Coach)
This would be another coach with a decorated background in Mountain West football. Skipper is currently in his second stint at Fresno State and he is in charge of the linebackers. He would be a defensive-minded head coach, which would bolster UNLV’s defense.
Keenan McCardell (Minnesota Vikings Wide Receivers Coach)
This would be a hire that would excite the alumni. McCardell was a great player at UNLV before he played in the NFL for 17 seasons. Recently, McCardell has worked with several NFL and college teams as a wide receivers coach. He is currently the Minnesota Vikings wide receivers coach. With more than 10 years under his belt as an assistant coach, he could be ready to make the jump as his alma mater’s head coach.
Deion Sanders (Jackson State Head Coach)
UNLV has not emerged on Sanders’ radar, but that could change with this opening. Sanders is being targeted by Colorado and South Florida. Since UNLV had an improved season in 2022, Sanders could be a viable candidate to get the program over the hump. He would be a splashy hire with a proven track record to turn programs around. In three seasons at Jackson State, Sanders posted a 26-5 record. He would also be able to bring key players with him to UNLV.
Troy Taylor (Sacramento State Head Coach)
In 2019, Taylor was on UNLV’s radar for the previously vacant job, but he remained at Sacramento State. Nearly three years later, Taylor could still be in play to become UNLV’s next head coach. Under Taylor, Sacramento State has developed into one of the best teams in the Big Sky Conference. He is also a target of other schools like Stanford.
Scott Frost (Former Nebraska Head Coach)
In September, Frost was fired as Nebraska’s head coach in less than five seasons. It will take some time for Frost to regenerate the buzz that he had when he was at UCF in 2017. It would be worth a look for UNLV to see Frost’s interest. He has experience coaching in a Group of Five conference and would be able bring his experience to Las Vegas. This could be a good job for Frost to get back into coaching.
Ed Orgeron (Former LSU Head Coach)
In 2014, Orgeron was in the mix for UNLV’s vacant head coaching position. Although Orgeron eventually landed at LSU, he could decide to take a head coaching job at an upstart Mountain West program. He won a national championship at LSU in 2019 and would be able to help UNLV reach a bowl game for the first time since 2013. Las Vegas could be an attractive destination for Orgeron.
Jay Hill (Weber State Head Coach)
Hill, who is in his ninth season at Weber State, is one of the best FCS coaches in the country. He is the all-time leader in wins at Weber State and could be ready to make the jump to an FBS program. Hill’s name is also mentioned in the conversation to be BYU’s defensive coordinator.
Andy Ludwig (Utah Offensive Coordinator)
Since 2019, Ludwig has been Utah’s offensive coordinator. Ludwig has more than 30 years of experience as an offensive assistant. He is likely to be at the very least talked about the potential successor to Kyle Whittingham at Utah — that job is likely going to current Ute defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley. He could try to land a head coaching job to prove that he could lead the Utes in the future.
Manny Diaz (Penn State Defensive Coordinator)
In his first season as Penn State’s defensive coordinator, Diaz turned the Nittany Lions into one of the best defenses in the Big Ten. In the past, he accepted a job as Temple’s head coach, which showed that he was interested in a Group of Five job. Reportedly, Diaz could be a candidate for Florida Atlantic’s head coach vacancy. If he wants to move West, Diaz could be an impactful hire for the Rebels.
Brennan Marion (Texas Wide Receivers Coach)
After one season at Texas, Marion could be ready for his first job as a head coach. Marion’s alma mater, Tulsa, is reportedly interested in him as the program’s next head coach.
If UNLV reaches out to Marion, he could hold off on accepting a job at Tulsa. Marion was Hawaii’s wide receivers coach in 2020, which meant that he was familiar with UNLV and the Mountain West. In 2021, he left Hawaii for Pittsburgh and coached Biletnikoff Award winner Jordan Addison. Also, Marion runs the fun go-go offense.