Veteran coach Dennis Therrell enters his third season with the UNLV program and second as defensive coordinator.
He also moves over to coach the Rebel safeties in 2009 after spending the previous two seasons mentoring the UNLV linebackers.Therrell served as position coach for 2007 Mountain West Conference Player of the Year Beau Bell, who would go on to be selected by the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round of the NFL Draft.
Therrell has more than 25 years of college coaching experience and spent the 2006 season as a volunteer coach with Auburn, where he worked under current Texas coach-in-waiting Will Muschamp.
"Dennis Therrell is an experienced defensive coordinator and he will bring great knowledge and ability to the position," head coach Mike Sanford said. "He did a great job as our linebackers coach during his first year on the staff, including helping make Beau Bell a more complete player."
Before Auburn, Therrell spent two seasons as defensive coordinator at Murray State from 2004-05, and the Racer defense ranked fourth in the country in 2004. Before coming to MSU, he spent four years at Army under current UNLV offensive coordinator Todd Berry, who was head coach of the Black Knights.
Previously, Therrell was the defensive coordinator at Illinois State from 1997-99, helping the Redbirds to the 1999 NCAA Division I-AA semifinals. He also was the head coach at Division-II Lock Haven University from 1990-1995 after serving as the school's defensive coordinator from 1987-89. Therrell spent two seasons at Middle Tennessee coaching defensive ends and he served as a graduate assistant at Tennessee in 1983-84.
A native of Pikeville, Tenn., Therrell played at Tennessee Tech, helping lead the Golden Eagles to the 1975 Ohio Valley Conference championship. He earned his bachelor's degree in education from the school in 1978 and then his master's in education from Tennessee in 1985.
Therrell and his wife, Dawn, have two sons, Cody (15) and John (18) -- a defensive back who signed to play at UNLV this year -- and a daughter, Abby (10).
THERRELL AT A GLANCE
Born: August 30, 1956 Wife: Dawn Children: Sons - John (18), Cody (15) Daughter - Abby (10) Education: Tennessee Tech, 1978 - bachelor's of science in secondary education University of Tennessee, 1985 - master's degree in education Coaching Experience: 2009-pres. UNLV - defensive coordinator, safeties 2008 UNLV - defensive coordinator, linebackers 2007 UNLV - linebackers 2006 Auburn - volunteer coach 2004-05 Murray State - defensive coord. 2000-03 Army - defensive coord. 1997-99 Illinois State - defensive coord. 1990-95 Lock Haven University - head coach 1987-89 Lock Haven University - def. coord. 1985-86 Middle Tennessee - defensive ends 1983-84 Tennessee - graduate assistant UNLV Recruiting Area: Dallas E-mail Address: email@example.com