On Tuesday, UNLV lost defensive line coach Joe Seumalo, who helped the Rebels make the second-biggest improvement in run defense in the FBS last season.
On Friday, according to multiple reports, UNLV replaced Seumalo with Tony Samuel, who oversaw the nation’s most-improved run defense last year at Georgia State.
In Samuel’s only season at Georgia State, the Panthers allowed 181.1 rushing yards per game, an improvement of 122.3 ypg over 2014, when they gave up 303.4 ypg.
In Seumalo’s only season at UNLV, which he left to accept the same position at Arizona State, the Rebels allowed 216.7 rushing ypg, an improvement of 77.1 ypg over 2014, when they gave up 293.8 ypg. UNLV was last in the FBS in sacks, with nine.
Samuel also helped Georgia State improve its scoring defense, allowing 28.3 points per game last season after giving up 43.3 ppg in 2014.
The 60-year-old Samuel played at Nebraska (1974 to 1977) and coached there for 11 seasons (1986 to 1996) under coach Tom Osborne, helping the Cornhuskers to consecutive national titles in 1994 and 1995. He was head coach at New Mexico State from 1997 to 2004 and at Southeast Missouri State from 2006 to 2013.
Seumalo was the only assistant to leave second-year coach Tony Sanchez’s staff from last season, when UNLV went 3-9.
The Rebels start spring practice on March 7 at Rebel Park.