Todd Simon will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
Social media was buzzing before, during and after #UNLVmbb's 80-69 win over No. 15 @OregonMBB
Senior makes five 3-pointers and scores team-high 19 points to lead the Runnin' Rebels to their second win over a ranked team this year.
Runnin' Rebels went 2-1 in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational.
Here's how the the Runnin' Rebels trip to the Maui Invitational has played out on social media so far...
Be sure to check out this year's first Rebel Short video featuring new Runnin' Rebel head coach Dave Rice, director of athletics Jim Livengood and a cast featuring a number of UNLV Athletics representatives. Let's Run.
UNLV fell to 0-3 in Mountain West conference play after its two-point loss to the Cowboys.
Check out the photo gallery from the Colorado State men's basketball game against UNLV.
Dec. 30, 2015
The Runnin' Rebels beat the UC Riverside Highlanders Saturday evening.
UNLV vs. Wichita State
Dave Rice is in his fifth season as the head men's basketball coach at UNLV.
On April 10, 2011, Rice returned to the school where he was part of the 1990 National Championship team as a player, was a Rhodes Scholar candidate while earning his bachelor's degree in political science (UNLV '91), earned his master's of business administration (UNLV '93) and served as a Runnin' Rebel assistant coach for 11 seasons (1991-92 & 1994-2004).
In his first season back at the school, the 11th full-time head coach in UNLV men's basketball history led the Runnin' Rebels to a 26-9 overall record and became the winningest first-year head coach in the program's existence. In his second season, Rice led his squad to another 25-win campaign and back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances. He also led UNLV to its highest NCAA Tournament seed in 22 years as the Runnin' Rebels were awarded the No. 5 seed in the East for the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
In 2013-14, the Runnin' Rebels again achieved a 20-win season giving Rice a total of 71 victories over his first three seasons and giving him the second-most wins by a UNLV coach in his first three years at the school. (Hall of Famer Jerry Tarkanian had 73 wins in his first three seasons in Las Vegas). In his four years leading the program, the Runnin' Rebels have won 89 games (an average of over 22 victories per season).
Additionally, in his time as UNLV's head coach, Rice has led the Runnin' Rebels to eight wins over top-25 teams, including victories against two top-five teams: then-No. 1 North Carolina, which was the program's first win over the nation's top-ranked team in 22 years and the first time a MW school has ever defeated the No. 1 team in both polls, and then-No. 3 Arizona during the 2014-15 season at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Rice, 47, coached his first Runnin' Rebel team to UNLV's best start to a season (22-5) since 1991-92 and had the team ranked in the top 25 for 13 straight weeks (14 overall), climbing to as high as No. 11 in the country. His second team was ranked for 11 straight weeks.
He also guided his first team to a 17-1 record at the Thomas & Mack Center, which included a perfect 16-0 mark during the regular season, UNLV's first undefeated home regular season in 20 years. That team recorded 20 wins before the start of February, which was a first for UNLV since 1987. His second team recorded a mark of 18-3 at the Thomas & Mack Center and Rice's career record in the building is an impressive 59-17 (.776).
UNLV was second in the nation in assists per game in 2011-12 (17.6) and also second in the country in percentage of field goals assisted (65.4). That team also led the Mountain West in scoring (76.3 ppg), assists and steals (8.5 spg). The 2012-13 team was in the national top-10 in assists, rebounds and blocks, while the 2013-14 Runnin' Rebels were in the top-10 nationally in blocks and rebounding, leading the league in both categories. Last season, the Runnin' Rebels were third in the country in blocked shots, while playing the third-toughest non-conference schedule in the nation.
In Rice's four years at the helm of the Runnin' Rebel program, he has coached in front of 22 Thomas & Mack Center crowds of more than 15,000, including six sellouts of at least 18,500. Prior to the 2011-12 season, UNLV had three total sellouts during the previous 19 years. Under Rice, crowds at the Thomas & Mack Center have been the largest in 22 years and the home attendance has consistently ranked in the nation's top 25.
Rice and his staff have also spent considerable time working toward the future and upgrading the talent on UNLV's roster. Their 2012 recruiting class was ranked as the seventh-best in the nation by ESPN, ahead of schools such as North Carolina, Michigan State, Indiana, Duke and Kansas. They pulled in an even higher-ranked class in 2014, which was ranked No. 5 in the country by Rivals (ahead of North Carolina, Louisville, UCLA, Georgetown and Florida), and their 2015 group is rated No. 11, which is led by Las Vegas product and McDonald's All-American Stephen Zimmerman Jr. UNLV was the only MW school in the top 15 in any of those rankings for those years.
The 2012 class included Anthony Bennett, who was UNLV's first MW Freshman of the Year since 2000 and also became its second top overall NBA Draft pick when he went No. 1 to Cleveland in 2013. UNLV is one of only 17 schools to ever have multiple No. 1 NBA Draft picks and the Runnin' Rebel program is just the third with multiple top picks in the last 24 years.
The 2014 class included Rashad Vaughn, who also earned the league's Freshman of the Year honor and was taken No. 17 overall in the NBA Draft by Milwaukee, making him the second Runnin' Rebel in three years that Rice coached to be selected in the first round of the draft. Christian Wood, who is with the Philadelphia 76ers, was also recruited and coached by Rice.
Rice and his staff also coached former Runnin' Rebel forward Khem Birch to the league's Defensive Player of the Year award in 2013, marking the first for the program since 2007 (Joel Anthony, who has gone on to win two NBA championships with Miami was that year's winner). Birch then earned the same award for a second consecutive season in 2013-14.
In September of 2012, Rice was rewarded with a five-year contract by the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents, and then in April of 2014 he was given a two-year extension securing him in Las Vegas through at least the 2018-19 season.
Prior to accepting his first head coaching job, Rice accumulated 18 years of experience as an assistant coach at the Division-I level.
Rice joined Dave Rose's BYU staff in 2005 as an assistant coach, then was promoted to associate head coach in 2008. He helped BYU to five straight 25-win seasons and five consecutive NCAA Tournament berths, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2011. BYU finished that season as the nation's 10th-ranked team, won the MW regular-season championship and finished with an overall record of 32-5. The Cougars, led by National Player of the Year Jimmer Fredette, climbed as high as No. 3 in the polls, which is the highest a MW team has ever been ranked.
Rice was in charge of coordinating BYU's high-powered offense as well as the program's recruiting efforts. He developed a stellar reputation in the industry and was regarded as one of the top assistant coaches in the nation. In 2010 in a FoxSports.com poll, he was selected by other conference coaches as the top assistant coach in the MW. Rice also became known as one of the top offensive minds in all of college basketball as the Cougars led the MW in scoring offense in all six of his seasons at BYU.
With Rice's help, BYU had some of the most successful teams in school and MW history. From 2005-11 the Cougars compiled an overall record of 159-45, including 78-18 in MW action. During that span BYU won four MW championships and in each of his last five seasons with the school, it finished ranked in the top 25. The Cougars also ranked in the top 20 nationally in several offensive categories over his last six seasons.
Rice also spent a year (2004-05) as assistant coach at Utah State under Coach Stew Morrill after his long tenure as assistant at UNLV.
During his lone season at Utah State, the Aggies recorded a 24-8 overall mark, finished second in the Big West Conference during the regular season and won the conference tournament title to earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The first former player to become head coach of the program, Rice played for two seasons (1989-91) at UNLV as a reserve guard on two of Coach Tarkanian's Final Four teams. His 11 seasons as a UNLV assistant coach still stands as the second-most in school history behind only Tim Grgurich's 12.
During his time as an assistant at UNLV, the Runnin' Rebels made two NCAA Tournament appearances, played in the NIT five times, tallied two regular-season conference championships and two conference tournament championships.
Rice got his start in coaching when Tarkanian approached him about entering the profession after his playing career was over. Rice actually served as a graduate assistant on Tarkanian's staff during the legendary coach's final season at UNLV in 1991-92.
Rice has played alongside or helped guide 17 players that went on to play in the National Basketball Association, 11 of whom were drafted in the first round, including nine lottery picks.
Rice also spent a season (1993-94) as an assistant coach at Chaffey (Calif.) College. That team recorded a 32-6 mark, won its conference championship and reached the California Community College Final Four. He spent the previous season as the assistant coach at his alma mater, Claremont (Calif.) High School. At CHS, he served under his father, Lowell, a longtime high school coach. That team went 21-7, winning the Baseline League Championship and reaching the CIF quarterfinals.
During Rice's time as a player for the Runnin' Rebels, the squad posted a 69-6 record, which included winning a school-record 45 consecutive games. In addition to the national title and the two Final Four appearances, those teams captured the Big West regular-season title twice along with two conference tournament crowns. Prior to transferring to UNLV, Rice played at Mt. San Antonio College from 1987-89, where he earned All-South Coast Conference honors as a sophomore and was chosen from among more than 13,000 student-athletes as the 1989 California Junior College Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Rice was also a two-time winner of UNLV's Scholar-Athlete of the Year award.
Rice is the sixth UNLV graduate in any sport to become a head coach at the school, following Tina Kunzer-Murphy (UNLV's current athletics director) in women's tennis (head coach from 1978-81), Wayne Nunnely in football (1986-89), Dan Abdalla in women's soccer (2000-04), Kathy Olivier in women's basketball (2008-present) and Rich Ryerson in men's soccer (2010-present).
Dave and his wife, Mindy, who is also a UNLV graduate, have two sons, Travis, 18, and Dylan, 13.
The couple established the Dave Rice Foundation in the spring of 2012, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and support of health initiatives including developmental disorders such as Autism, and other charitable causes.
Since its inception, it has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to various Autism-related organizations in Southern Nevada. The board of directors of the Foundation includes Las Vegas natives Jimmy Kimmel (late night television host) and Greg Anthony (CBS sports broadcaster, former Runnin' Rebel and NBA star), along with D.J. Allen (Founder and President of Xs & Os of Success) and Donna Findlay.