UNLV Introduces New Football Coach Tony Sanchez|
Dec. 11, 2014
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - Tony Sanchez, who built a national powerhouse at Las Vegas' Bishop Gorman High School, will now attempt to create another consistent winner in town as he was introduced Thursday as the choice to become the 11th head coach in Rebel football history by UNLV Director of Athletics Tina Kunzer-Murphy. Sanchez' hiring is pending approval of terms by the Board of Regents at a special meeting called for Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.
Sanchez, 40, is a rising star in coaching circles after spending the last six seasons leading Bishop Gorman to an overall record of 85-5 and six consecutive state 4A championships to go with a top 25 national ranking each year. His 2014 top-ranked Gaels squad finished 15-0 and is expected to be named the national champion when the final rankings are released later this month. His overall record as a head coach is 120-26 after having also spent five seasons leading California High School in San Roman, Calif., before coming to Southern Nevada.
"Tony Sanchez may be a new face to the college game but he is a dynamic leader, a proven winner and an outstanding coach," UNLV President Donald Snyder said. "He also understands the importance of academics. He has the passion and dedication to elevate UNLV football and provides a strong connection to the Las Vegas community.
"Athletics are part of the overall student experience at a major university and we need to be competitive. Given the state of our football program, it was time for a completely new approach. We have tried the traditional route in the past and it has not worked. This begins a new era of UNLV football. We want to generate excitement and energy for the fans, the alumni and all of Southern Nevada."
The winning head coach at the 2014 All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Sanchez has seen 34 of his players earn collegiate football scholarships during his time in Las Vegas, including 25 to FBS programs.
"We are delighted to welcome Tony Sanchez as the head football coach at UNLV," Kunzer-Murphy said. "We aren't changing the coach of our program today, we are changing our program. In Las Vegas, we aren't afraid to take a bold approach to responding to challenges and this qualifies. We have been talking about changing the entire culture of this program and that's what today's announcement signifies. With the support of the University and of our community, we are confident Tony Sanchez is the right person to change the culture of UNLV Football. Having already become a big part of this city, he has first-hand knowledge of the challenges facing Rebel Football while also recognizing and embracing the tremendous opportunities that exist in this unique community to help us make a lasting change."
Sanchez is a graduate of New Mexico State University and lettered two seasons as a wide receiver for the Aggies before starting his coaching career at his alma mater as an undergraduate assistant during the 1996 season.
"I am extremely excited to be UNLV's head coach," Sanchez said. "I'm fired up and ready to create excitement in the Las Vegas community and make the Rebels everybody's football team. I'm grateful to Tina, President Snyder and our incoming President, Dr. Len Jessup, for giving me the opportunity to make a difference here."
The 1992 graduate of Granada High School in Livermore, Calif., was a decorated two-way player and went on to become a standout receiver at Laney College in Oakland before earning a scholarship to NMSU. He finished his senior season with 42 receptions for 546 yards, including grabbing five passes for 80 yards at Sam Boyd Stadium when he played against UNLV on Nov. 18, 1995.
Sanchez, born Jan. 25, 1974, earned both bachelor's degree from New Mexico State in 1994 and his master's in 1998. He and his wife, Tessie, have two children: daughter, Alyssa, and son, Jason.
THE TONY SANCHEZ FILE
COACHING EXPERIENCE 2009-14 Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas) - Head Coach, Offensive Coord. 2004-08 California High School (San Ramon, CA) - Head Coach, Offensive Coord. 2003 Onate High School (Las Cruces, NM) - Defensive Coord., Defensive Backs 2001-02 Onate High School (Las Cruces, NM) - Defensive Backs 2000 Irvin High School (El Paso, TX) - Wide Receivers 1998 Onate High School (Las Cruces, NM) - Wide Receivers 1996 New Mexico State - Undergraduate Assistant - Offense