Billboard mistake gives Rebels coach a laugh

Dave Rice had no idea he was being replaced as UNLV’s men’s basketball coach.

Actually, Rice isn’t going anywhere. But someone in UNLV’s athletic department must have been living in 2010 as a billboard to push season tickets depicted former Rebels coach Lon Kruger.

The billboard, which was along Interstate 215 at Buffalo Drive Wednesday morning, shows Kruger, now the head basketball coach at Oklahoma, and current UNLV football coach Bobby Hauck, with the slogan “COME TO OUR HOUSE!”

Rice heard about the faux pas and he took it in stride.

“I thought it was humorous,” the third-year coach said. “It’s one of those things that happens. But I’m the last person who would take himself too seriously.

“Hey, if Coach Kruger can help us sell tickets, great.”

Tina Kunzer-Murphy, UNLV’s interim athletic director, was not amused.

“To us, it’s not a laughing matter,” she said. “We think what happened was the billboard company was doing us a favor by posting the ad but our marketing people never saw it.

“But it’s being taken down and we hope to have a replacement with Dave and Bobby up.”