UNLV and head football coach Tony Sanchez have announced that they have agreed in principle to a new 3 year deal to keep coach Sanchez in charge of the Rebels football program through the 2021 season on Friday. Coach Sanchez is 7-17 two years into his 4 year deal signed a little over 2 years ago. But Sanchez has meant much more to the Rebels football program then wins and losses. He took over arguably the worst football program in the FBS and has turned the Rebels into one of college footballs up and coming programs armed with the Fertitta Football Complex (scheduled to open in the fall) and helping secure the new Las Vegas Stadium (which they will share with the Raiders) and tens of millions of dollars to the football program and projects.
I spoke to Coach Sanchez this evening and asked him what this means for the Rebels future and how excited he is about getting the extension done:
I'm pumped about it (the extension) getting done! One of the biggest things it shows is stability and confidence in the program going forward. It also shows the administration has confidence in me and is behind the program. To be able to know that that not only myself, but the assistant coaches will be here for at least this classes entire time at UNLV is huge. The stability of a program is big for it's success and that leads to even more enthusiasm for the program from in the building and around Las Vegas. The future of the program is bright and we look forward to competing for a bowl not just this year but for years to come.
In a prepared joint statement UNLV President Len Jessup, Athletic Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy and Head Coach Tony Sanchez said the following:
Jan. 27, 2017
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV President Len Jessup and Director of Athletics Tina Kunzer-Murphy announced Friday that they have agreed in principle on a three-year extension of the contract of football head coach Tony Sanchez.
Sanchez originally signed a four-year contract in December 2014 and now has a deal that will keep him at UNLV through at least the 2021 season. University leaders are working on terms of the agreement, which will be announced when finalized.
“Tony signed a four-year contract and halfway through it, we are even more convinced he is the answer to the question of how to make UNLV Football consistently successful,” Kunzer-Murphy said. “Continuity is important in turning this program around and Tony’s success in building a roster, building the brand and building interest and support throughout the community has earned him an extension to see that vision realized.”
The 11th head coach in UNLV history, Sanchez (7-17 overall) in 2015 became the first Rebel coach to win at least three times in his first season since Hall of Famer John Robinson in 1999. Sanchez also became only the third UNLV coach to win the fabled Fremont Cannon by defeating in-state rival Nevada, Reno in his debut campaign and the first to do it on the road. Under Sanchez, last year marked only the third time in program history and first time since 1999-2000 that UNLV won more games than the previous season for a second straight year.
“Tony is building a foundation for long-term success in every phase of the Rebel football program,” said Jessup. “With his high-energy style and passion for the game, Tony is creating a new culture for UNLV Football that is generating tremendous community support and has Rebel fans excited for the future.”
“I want to thank President Jessup and Tina for their continued support along with the entire Southern Nevada community, which has been unbelievable throughout our first two years here,” Sanchez said. “I am so excited to be leading UNLV Football for years to come.”
With National Signing Day this coming Wednesday, this is HUGE news as Sanchez and staff host recruits this weekend and do their best to "close out strong" and will defiantly use the extension, Fertitta Football Complex and LV Stadium as selling points.