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UNLV approves contract for Marvin Menzies

Posted at 10:22 AM, Apr 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-22 22:02:30-04

The Board of Regents for UNLV has officially approved Marvin Menzies as the new coach of the men's basketball team.

Menzies was hired the day after it was announced that Chris Beard had decided to go to Texas Tech after accepting the job as UNLV's head coach.

Menzies was formally introduced as the head coach at a press conference at 11 a.m. Friday.

He signed a 5-year deal. He'll reportedly make at least $700,000 a year for the first three, at least $800,000 for the final two, and receive bonuses for things like winning a conference title.

He most recently served as head coach for New Mexico State for 9 seasons, breaking into the NCAA Tournament 5 times.  Menzies takes over for  Chris Beard who walked away after just a week on the job, deciding to coach for Texas Tech instead. Menzies task is to turn the team around after a rough last two seasons.

"I don't think any job, to be quite honest with you, is going to be complete without some challenges,” Menzies told the media at the press conference. It's rewarding to have that in front of you to be able to attack and make your job more satisfying."

Anyone who follows UNLV basketball knows that the last three months have been full of ups and downs.

"I was the coach that wanted this job the most out of that candidate pool,” Menzies says. “I also know that if you gave me a choice of any university in the United States to coach, my first choice would have been UNLV."

At the press conference, Menzies challenged his critics to move on from the past and look forward to the future. If you can remember, he was on the UNLV coaching staff for one season from 2004 to 2005.

Menzies first step in his new role includes strengthening his coaching staff. Today, he revealed he's already tapped former colleagues from New Mexico State. The next task is getting current team members to stay and finding new ones.

"We got to establish this roster in a way that will enable the fans of the city of Las Vegas to be really really proud of what we put on the floor," he said.

Menzies says finding local talent is one of his priorities. The deadline to sign new players is May 18.