Rebels go from playing to coaching

When UNLV brought in Travis Dixon as a graduate assistant for this football season, the Rebels made a little school history.

With C.J. Cox and Jay Staggs returning to the staff, they have three of their own as grad assistants.

UNLV has never had three alumni serve in that role. Then again, until last season, the Rebels never had three grad assistants.

But considering most of their grad assistants over the years have come from other places, it still is a notable step to go with an all-UNLV lineup.

“It’s a little different going from playing to coaching,” Cox said. “I think the days are a little bit longer coaching, but I’d rather be doing this. I stay around the game. I get to impact young guys.”

Cox began is coaching career as an undergraduate assistant in 2012 following his playing days as a running back and linebacker. He became a grad assistant last season, and helps oversee the offensive line.

Dixon, who started at quarterback and safety at UNLV from 2007 to 2010, j0ins the Rebels after serving as a quality control coach last season at Arizona State. He assists with the defense and special teams.

Staggs was a standout safety, earning honorable mention All-Mountain West in 2006. He is in his third season as a grad assistant, and helps with the secondary.

“That job isn’t for everybody,” coach Bobby Hauck said. “You’ve got to get the right guys in. Those guys work hard.”

GETTING PHYSICAL — UNLV’s practices get a little more serious when the Rebels go into half pads at 8 a.m. today at Rebel Park.

But it’s not as if the first two days of training camps were wasted.

“We’re doing a lot of insertion of scheme on both sides of the ball and on special teams, so the meeting times, the walk-through times are valuable,” Hauck said. “To get out there and do it is how guys learn best, so as you go through the first six or seven days, there are a lot of things being put in. Everything’s being put in in terms of scheme, so there’s a lot of teaching and learning going on.”

WAITING FOR CLEARANCE — Hauck is hopeful linebacker Elexious Perkins II will be cleared today to begin practicing. The Rebels are waiting on the NCAA to approve his eligibility after he took classes over the summer.

Perkins (6 feet, 210 pounds) transferred from San Bernardino (Calif.) Valley College, where last season he made 72 tackles, including four sacks. He also blocked five field goals and punts.

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter: @markanderson65.