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Dave Rice has links to glory—here and elsewhere

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Dave Rice, UNLV’s new head basketball coach, smiles as he prepares to take questions from reporters during an introductory news conference Monday, April 11, 2011.
Photo: Steve Marcus

UNLV's new men's basketball coach, Dave Rice takes over a UNLV program that finished third in the Mountain West Conference this past season.

Jerry Tarkanian

• Rice served as a reserve guard for UNLV’s 1990 NCAA championship squad and its 1991 Final Four team, going 69-6 over those two seasons. “He’s a smart guy and a hard worker. He’ll put in the time for that program to be successful,” Jerry Tarkanian, Rice’s coach from his playing days, wrote this week on lasvegassun.com.

• Rice spent 11 years as a Rebels assistant coach—second-longest in the program’s history—working under Tarkanian (’91-’92), Tim Grgurich (’94-’95), Bill Bayno (’95-’01) and Charlie Spoonhour (’01-’04). UNLV went 205-126 over that span. He was not retained by new head coach Lon Kruger for the 2004-2005 season.

BYU's Jimmer Fredette

BYU's Jimmer Fredette

Grant Rice

Grant Rice

• Rice joined the BYU coaching staff in 2005, spending six seasons on the bench for the Rebels’ Mountain West rival. The Cougars amassed a 159-43 record during Rice’s time in Provo, reaching the NCAA Tournament in five straight seasons, culminating with this year’s Sweet 16 run.

• Rice’s younger brother, Grant, is the head coach for area high school power Bishop Gorman. UNLV’s new hire has Rebel fans hoping their team will be in the hunt for Gorman’s top talent, including rising senior 6-foot-6 senior Shabazz Muhammad. “UNLV will be right there,” Muhammad’s father told the Sun this week.

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