Dave Rice resigned as UNLV basketball coach midway through the 2015-16 season on Sunday after the Runnin' Rebels dropped their first three games in Mountain West Conference play to teams expected to finish near the bottom of the standings.
Rice, who was in his fifth season at UNLV, will be replaced on an interim basis by associate head coach Todd Simon for the remainder of the season, athletic director Tina Kunzer-Murphy said Sunday.
UNLV fell to 9-7 overall after a 59-57 loss to Wyoming on Saturday night when it led by 17 points at halftime. It was its fifth loss in the past six games.
The Runnin' Rebels failed to reach the NCAA Tournament each of the past two seasons and Rice was under pressure to turn the team around. But he was unable to live up to expectations despite having an experienced nucleus of players returning and a strong recruiting class led by talented Stephen Zimmerman.
Rice posted a 98-54 overall record at UNLV, where he played on the school's 1990 NCAA championship team.
Under Rice, the Runnin' Rebels made the NCAA Tournament field each of his first two seasons at the helm. Last season, UNLV finished with an 18-15 record and was seventh in the Mountain West with an 8-10 conference record.