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In our first version of Inside The Rebels, we discusses the rumor of the Rebels interest in Cincinnati Head Basketball Coach Mick Cronin.
I was told late Saturday night that UNLV President Len Jessup was at the Bearcat's game Friday to talk with and gauge interest in Cincinnati Head Basketball Coach Mick Cronin. Well, apparently there must have been enough interest on Cronin's end because on Sunday rumors started to swirl that UNLV is sending a private plane to Cincinnati to pick up Cronin and the Bearcat head coach will be in Las Vegas late Monday night and/or early Tuesday to discuss the UNLV Head Basketball Coaches job further as well as tour the facilities and discuss the future of the Rebels basketball program.
Cronin, 44, is a Cincinnati native who attended Cincinnati's La Salle High School as well as the University of Cincinnati prior to becoming the Bearcats head coach 10 years ago. During his tenure as Cincinnati's head coach, he has complied a 207-129 record and has reached the NCAA Tournament each of the last six seasons. This past season his Bearcats went 22-11. Cronin signed a seven-year contract extension with Cincinnati in 2014, and that deal could pay him make up to $2.2 million per season, more then UNLV has paid for a coach in a number of years, if ever.
Other schools have approached Cronin in the past, but he has resisted their overtures. "I'm the only guy who has an agent that doesn't need one. I have no interest, none. The only job I have an interest in is the Cincinnati job." he said in 2015 when asked about other opportunities.
Cronin does have a young daughter as well as his entire family in the Cincinnati area and it remains to be seen whether those ties will keep him in Cincinnati. Conversely, Cronin probably has done as much as he can with the Bearcats program and will always be in the shadow of the programs former iconic head coach, Bob Huggins (now at his alma matter West Virginia). To this point in his career, Cronin has not showed any interest in leaving the Bearcats, but his thought process could be changing since he did meet with Jessup on Friday.
Mike Bohn, Cincinnati's Athletic Director, had this to say via text (to the Cincinnati Enquirer) on Sunday when asked about UNLV's interest in Cronin "I will not be providing any quote on speculation."
Cronin does have a radio show scheduled for Monday (at 8pm eastern time). There are ways for Cronin to do the show (in studio) from Las Vegas and make it sound as if he was in studio in Cincinnati (via an ISDN line). The show could also be pre-recorded earlier in the day. Cronin could do the show as scheduled and leave for Las Vegas immediately after the show or he could decide not to do the show at all Monday.
Stay tuned, this could get interesting real quick.