NCAA Basketball: Bob Knight Among Long Shots to Fill UNLV's Coaching Vacancy

Mick AkersAnalyst IApril 4, 2011

WINSTON-SALEM, NC - MARCH 15:  Head coach Bob Knight of the Texas Tech Red Raiders reacts from the sideline in the second half against the Boston College Eagles during the First Round of the 2007 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum on March 15, 2007 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

As the UNLV Rebels basketball coaching job search heats up only days after former coach Lon Kruger made a surprising exit, new names of interested candidates are beginning to emerge.

Besides the two favored candidates to become the Rebels next coach, former player and current associate head coach of BYU Dave Rice and former UNLV and NBA star Reggie Theus, a list of long shots is starting to fill up.

Larry Johnson, the most beloved former Rebel of all time, is in the mix of possible candidates. Grandma-ma himself has contacted his former running mate, Stacey Augmon, who is currently with the Denver Nuggets as an assistant to possible bring the duo here as head coach and assistant coach according to Fox 5 in Las Vegas.

Even though Johnson has no prior coaching experience, his overall basketball knowledge and celebrity status could do him wonders at UNLV. What recruit wouldn't be excited to play for a former top NBA star who won a national title in college as a part of one of the most notorious teams in college basketball history?

An even longer shot to fill the void left by Kruger is Bob Knight. Listed as an 10,000-1 possibility to become the next head coach at UNLV, according to the Wynn Hotel and Casinos. This is for entertainment-purposes-only odds at the beginning of the coaching search on Friday, there has been some new buzz surrounding Knight.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal's sports department, Bob Knight has expressed some interest in taking over the one-time college basketball powerhouse.

The possibility the sometimes controversial Knight coming to Vegas would be an electric mix. He is one of the most successful coaches of all time and could really bring UNLV back to relevance in the college basketball world.

He would have an immediate impact on the program as opposed to the favored candidates, Theus and Rice, who could take a few years to get UNLV where it wants to be due to his legendary status. Top recruits would have to think twice about not signing with UNLV and could help UNLV land those star recruits that Lon missed out on time after time.

With the decision expected to be made within the next two weeks as to who will be the next head coach of the Rebels program, there are sure to be more names coming out of the woodwork as interested candidates.

Who knows? Maybe a long shot will finally pay off in Vegas and help UNLV hit a jackpot paving the way for a future brighter than the Las Vegas Strip for UNLV.