New UNLV athletic director Jim Livengood is moving quickly to find the Rebels’ new football coach. Montana coach Bobby Hauck will interview Sunday and Dennis Franchione will be in Monday, sources said today.
Hauck, 80-16 at Montana, will try to lead the Grizzlies to the national title tonight when they play Villanova for the Football Championship Series national title.
Franchione, who works for ESPN Radio, has a history of turning around programs, mostly notably at New Mexico and Texas Christian.
A coaching hire is expected to be made soon. Approval of the new coach’s contract is on the agenda for the board of regents’ special meeting Wednesday, though that item can be changed.
Livengood did not comment on any specific candidates, and said he didn’t have a firm number of candidates nor a timeline.
“The most important thing is to get the right person in here,” he said.
Details of Livengood’s contract were revealed. He received a three-year deal that began Thursday with a base salary of $295,000 per year. It is more than the $280,000 base he received as Arizona’s athletic director and the $285,000 previous UNLV AD Mike Hamrick earned.
Livengood said he earned more than the base pay at Arizona, though he wouldn’t go into specifics. He said the important issue was the length of his UNLV contract, that three years is the minimum.
“If I do a good job … I can see being here a long time,” Livengood said. “My first 24 hours here, I’ve liked it a lot. There’s a lot of meet and greet, and I’m doing some work.
“It’ll be exciting, I guarantee that. We’ve got to get the first part of the puzzle.”
He referred, of course, to hiring the football coach.