Coach Tony Sanchez out after 5 seasons at UNLV

LAS VEGAS (AP) — UNLV coach Tony Sanchez has been fired after five seasons in charge.

The school announced Monday that it is parting ways with Sanchez after this season, which wraps up with UNLV facing rival Nevada for the Fremont Cannon on Saturday. UNLV said it will immediately begin searching for a new coach.

Sanchez made the leap to the college ranks when he was hired by UNLV in December 2014 after six years as the coach at Las Vegas prep powerhouse Bishop Gorman High School. Sanchez is 19-40 at UNLV, including 3-8 this season, and 12-27 in the Mountain West.

He has two years left on a contract that pays him a base salary of $300,000 per year.

“I’m grateful for my time here and proud of the strides we made as a football program, on and off the field,” Sanchez said. “I’m proud of our student-athletes and our staff and how we have positioned the program for future success. I look forward to finishing the season strong with these young men.”

UNLV credited Sanchez for his fundraising efforts that helped in the construction of the $34 million Fertitta Football Complex, which opened on campus this fall.

“We appreciate everything that Tony has done for our university and football program,” athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois said in a statement.

The Rebels never reached the postseason under Sanchez and have had just one winning season since 2000.

UNLV is set to begin playing its games in the domed stadium being built to house the NFL’s Raiders, starting next season. The new stadium and football facility could make the UNLV job more attractive than it has ever been. UNLV has participated in only four bowl games in its history.