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UNLV’s Todd Simon named Southern Utah basketball coach

As UNLV searches for its next basketball coach, its most recent one was hired Tuesday.

Todd Simon, who became the Rebels’ interim coach Jan. 10, was named Southern Utah’s coach.

“My family and I are thankful for the opportunity to become the newest members of the SUU family,” Simon said in a statement. “We are eager to get ingrained into the SUU and Cedar City community. I could not be more excited for the opportunity ahead and look forward to bringing an exciting brand of basketball to the Centrum.”

Attempts by the Review-Journal to reach Simon were unsuccessful.

Simon, 35, took over the Rebels after Dave Rice was fired three games into the Mountain West season. The Rebels lost several players to injuries and other issues, limiting them to six scholarship players by season’s end. UNLV went 9-8 under Simon and 18-15 overall.

He was on the Rebels’ staff for three seasons, and before that coached Findlay Prep to a 35-1 record in the 2012-13 season. Findlay Prep made the semifinals of the ESPN National High School Invitational.

“As we entered this process, we were focused on identifying a leader that could elevate this program into a consistent winner and Big Sky Championship contender,” Thunderbirds athletic director Jason Butikofer said in a statement. “After conducting the search, I felt that Todd was the perfect fit to get us there.”

A news conference has been scheduled for Thursday at Southern Utah to formally introduce Simon. He replaces Nick Robinson, who was fired March 9 after a 5-24 season.

“(Simon’s) ability to connect with and move student athletes to their potential and recruit both the West Coast, internationally and beyond, will be extremely valuable assets as we look to quickly move this program to new heights,” Butikofer said.

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

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