An emotional Devante Davis said the impact Bobby Hauck had on him in his four years at UNLV extends well beyond the football field.
“I felt like I played for the greatest coach in the country,” Davis said Saturday night after his final collegiate game. “He really taught me a lot, not just football but how to be a man and how to carry myself.
“This staff gave me a shot when nobody else wanted me. Walking off that field was hard. I loved the four years I spent here. I had a great time. I grew up from a smart-mouthed young kid who made bad decisions at times to a man who kinda understands what’s right and wrong and how to carry myself.”
Hauck announced his resignation as football coach at UNLV on Friday, a day before the team concluded a 2-11 season with a 49-27 loss to rival UNR at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Davis said he thinks the program is losing a valuable commodity.
“There’s no better person for this job, but we understand how this game goes. Things have to happen because everybody always thinks winning and losing are the most important thing,” Davis said. “This guy did a great job of teaching us and making us become better men. I’ll stick to that statement saying there’s no better coach for this job. There’s no better coach that I’ve ever played for.”
Hauck concludes his UNLV tenure with a 15-49 record in five seasons, including a bowl appearance last year.
Senior offensive lineman Brett Boyko concurred with Davis after his final game in a UNLV uniform coincided with the end of Hauck’s run at the school.
“Obviously, I was sad. He was a guy who took a chance on me when nobody else did,” Boyko said. “We’ve always had a great relationship. I’ve been able to talk to him about anything. He’s always been there for me, and I’m going to miss him.”
Boyko seemed to indicate that the school would need to increase its commitment to football to find success.
“You have to put countless time and dollars and football,” he said. “It’s what it is. You just have to keep building that foundation.”
Davis said he thinks Hauck’s staff was on the right track.
”Just keep doing what you’re doing. They’re bringing in good guys,” he said. “Coach Hauck and his staff did a great job of recruiting great players. You guys will be seeing that with a different coach next year. You’ve got young freshmen and sophomores who blossomed this year and are coming back next year.”
They’ll be returning with a new coaching staff. UNR coach Brian Polian said he thinks UNLV will be losing a good man.
“I thought it would be difficult for us because I know Bobby’s team loves him, and they should. He’s a wonderful man,” Polian said. “I knew they’d play hard for him tonight to try to send him out with a win and it was going to be a challenge for us.”
Now the challenge is to the UNLV administration to try to find a replacement.
Contact reporter Adam Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.