A report from Mark Anderson of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on Thursday that Providence associate head coach Andre LaFleur would join Marvin Menzies staff at UNLV. Menzies was hired on April 16th. This means Ed Cooley is losing his associate head coach for the second straight offseason after Bob Simon took a job on newly hired Alabama coach Avery Johnson’s staff last April. LaFleur and Simon were co-associate head coaches during Simon’s final year with the Friars. LaFleur joined Cooley’s staff at Providence after being at Connecticut under Jim Calhoun from 2001-2011. LaFleur was Calhoun’s point guard at Northeastern. LaFleur grew up in Los Angeles, CA.
The UNLV head coach search to replace Dave Rice has been a whirlwind. UNLV fired Rice way back in January but the process to replace him has been filled with many twists and turns. First, Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin publicly flirted with the Runnin’ Rebel job, allegedly told UNLV officials he was taking the job, only to re-neg on that once he got back to Cincinnati. Next came the hiring of Chris Beard. Before the ink was dry on Beard’s hiring agreement, he left for the recently opened Texas Tech job. UNLV moved quickly to lock up New Mexico State head coach Marvin Menzies. That brings us to today.
LaFleur routinely drew the ire of Providence fans, especially after Simon went to Alabama. Cooley lined up a replacement for Simon quickly by bringing close friend and former Wake Forest associate head coach Jeff Battle onto his staff last spring. There will be several different avenues for Cooley to go down this time to replace LaFleur. One that will surely be popular among Friar fans will be to move graduate assistant God Shammgod into a full-time assistant coaching role. Other internal options would be to bump Coordinator of Basketball Operations Kevin Kurbec or Associate Director of Player Development/Video Ops Ivan Thomas up a chair. With the second live evaluation period set to get underway on Friday, Providence may be down an assistant coach on the road this weekend after Cooley stayed home to host transfer recruits Emmitt Holt, who committed on Tuesday, and Andre Washington, who opted for East Carolina Wednesday.
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