Livengood to UNLV?by Anthony Gimino on Dec. 04, 2009, under Sports
Athletic director Jim Livengood will leave Arizona and has accepted the same position at UNLV, a source told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday night.
UNLV school president Neal Smatresk denied to that paper — and to the Las Vegas Sun — that a hire had been made or that an announcement was pending.
UPDATE: Rebel Nation, an insert in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, cites a source saying that Livengood, if hired by UNLV, would give strong consideration to bringing in UA defensive coordinator Mark Stoops to fill the Rebels’ vacant head coaching position in football. Stoops has been mentioned as a strong candidate at Youngstown State.
Livengood, who has been at Arizona since January 1994, has a contract at UA that expires on June 30. In an interview in February with the Tucson Citizen, he said he would like to continue working past that date, when he will be 65 years old.
“The biggest thing right now is, I think I want to go longer,” he said. “I feel good. I’m healthy. I like what I’m doing. … But Robert Shelton and the board of regents will end up making those decisions.”
University president Robert Shelton hasn’t moved yet to ask the regents for a new contract for Livengood, even though Arizona State on Friday received a four-year extension for its athletic director, Lisa Love.
Given that, it’s not surprising Livengood would be exploring his options elsewhere.
Shelton, talking to the Star’s Patrick Finley about Livengood for a story in Friday’s edition, said that, “I have great admiration for him and what he’s done, and he is known nationwide. So he and I are talking about what his next step should be.”
A call from TucsonCitizen.com to Livengood on Friday night went to voicemail.
UNLV’s former athletic director, Mike Hamrick, left in July to go to Marshall, his alma mater. Jerry Koloskie has been serving as interim athletic director and is believed to be among the candidates for the permanent position, assuming Smatresk and Livengood don’t already have a deal in place.
The other local candidate is believed to be South Point arena manager Steve Stallworth, a former UNLV quarterback. Two sources told TucsonCitizen.com that interviews were supposed to take place Saturday.
Arizona sports information director Tom Duddleston said Livengood was not on the football team’s charter to Los Angeles on Friday but was expected to attend Saturday’s football game at USC.
At Arizona, Livengood has overseen a department whose budget nearly reached $52 million for the 2008-09 school year. Through recent tough times for the economy and athletic departments — with soaring coaching salaries, travel costs and insurance premiums — Livengood has always kept Arizona in the black, even if just barely.
Arizona had $195,091 left over after its 2008-09 expenses of $51,627,538.
It will immediately be an interesting time for whoever gets the UNLV job because the Rebels are looking to hire a football coach after firing Mike Sanford before the end of the regular season.