It's been a couple years since Jim Fassel's name was being thrown around for job openings, but the former New York Giants head coach is looking to change that this offseason.
One opening in particular intrigues the 65-year-old, and it just so happens to be in his backyard: UNLV, which recently started a coaching search after Bobby Hauck resigned last month.
"I would have to sit and talk with (UNLV officials) and really see where things are and what it would take," Fassel told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "The thing I love about college coaching is that the kids are still very much in a developmental stage. They have school to attend and play football. They aren't making $5 million a year with guaranteed contracts. It's a very influential times in their lives, and that's a lot of fun for a coach."
Fassel was named NFL Coach of the Year in 1997 and took the Giants on an unexpected run to the Super Bowl during the 2000 season. He spent two seasons as the Ravens' offensive coordinator after being let go in New York and eventually landed a head-coaching gig leading the Las Vegas Locomotives in the now-defunct UFL from 2009-2012.
"My daughter and her husband and family moved here for a job opportunity. We bought a house. My wife said, 'I like it here. Let's stay.' We're not moving. This it is. I'm not going anywhere," Fassel added. "I get calls about (NFL) jobs, but I'm not leaving Las Vegas. We have a beautiful life here."
The Review-Journal notes that Fassel has a good relationship with Rebels athletic director Tina Kunzer-Murphy and would be a big name for a program that has struggled the past decade in finding some consistency. Fassel does have prior college coaching experienced, having served as an assistant at Stanford and Utah before jumping to the NFL.
Tony Sanchez of local high school powerhouse Bishop Gorman is considered a leading candidate to land the UNLV job due to his ties with a number of school boosters. Former Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt and popular former USC assistant coach Ed Orgeron also reportedly interviewed for the opening. Innovative offensive mind Bob Stitt of the Colorado School of Mines has also expressed interest in the position.
The Rebels finished 2-11 during the 2014 season, closing the year out with six straight losses that resulted in Hauck's resignation.