UNLV tabs South Dakota State’s Otzelberger as next coach
UNLV has hired South Dakota State’s T.J. Otzelberger as its next basketball coach.
Otzelberger spent the past three seasons at South Dakota State, going 70-33 while leading the Jackrabbits to the NCAA Tournament twice. South Dakota State won the Summit League regular-season title this season, but ended up in the NIT after losing in the conference tournament.
“When I set out to find the next coach of our Runnin’ Rebels, I sought a hard-working, laser-focused head coach who personifies our core values; who knows what success looks like; who is passionately committed to winning; and who is at ease with being the face of our storied basketball program. T.J. exemplifies these attributes,” UNLV athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois said in a statement Wednesday.
Otzelberger replaces Marvin Menzies, who was fired on March 15 after three seasons.
Otzelberger previously had two stints as an assistant coach at Iowa State, the second time for the 2015-16 season under Steve Prohm. Otzelberger also spent two seasons as an assistant to Lorenzo Romar at Washington.
He takes over a UNLV program that hasn’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 2013.
“I have been fortunate to coach at some amazing universities and it was going to take a very special opportunity to leave Brookings,” Otzelberger said in a statement. “UNLV basketball is one of the most storied programs in the nation and situated in one of the world’s greatest cities. I’m honored to have the opportunity to add to the Runnin’ Rebels’ rich history and my family and I could not be more proud to be the newest members of this world-class university and Las Vegas community.”