UNLV fires head coach Dave Rice

Dave Rice (USATSI)
UNLV coach Dave Rice has been fired. (USATSI)

UNLV has fired head coach Dave Rice midway through his fifth season at the school, a source told CBS Sports on Sunday night.

An official announcement is expected soon.

Rice was on his way to missing the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year when officials decided to remove him and make assistant Todd Simon the interim coach. The Runnin Rebels are 9-7 overall and 0-3 in the Mountain West thanks to a three-game losing streak and despite the presence of a talented roster featuring McDonald’s All-American Stephen Zimmerman.

A source told CBS Sports that relevant boosters were essentially behind the firing.

“The money-people are ready for a change,” a source said. “That’s why it happened now.”

Rice, 47, went 95-54 at UNLV and made the NCAA Tournament twice. But the UNLV graduate never advanced in the Field of 68, and his lack of success relative to the talent in place was always a point of frustration for UNLV supporters. He was previously an assistant at BYU.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal earlier reported the development.

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