Skip to main content

College Football Coach Releases Statement Following Stunning Firing On Monday

Former UNLV coach Marcus Arroyo

Former UNLV coach Marcus Arroyo

One of the big surprises of the college football coaching carousel came earlier this week when UNLV fired third-year head coach Marcus Arroyo.

Arroyo, the former Oregon offensive coordinator, had improved the Rebels from 0-6 during his first season to 5-7 this year. But UNLV athletics director Erick Harper decided to move on from Arroyo on Monday.

Arroyo has now responded to the news with a lengthy statement posted to social media.

Arroyo largely took the high road, although it's not hard to sense his frustration with the decision considering his team's improvement this season.

"I am incredibly grateful to have served as the Head Football Coach at UNLV and I want to thank the entire UNLV family for your support," Arroyo wrote. "As you might expect, I am disappointed we're not going to be able to finish what we started here just three years ago. As an incoming staff in the early months of 2020, we were setback by the COVID pandemic as so many others were, but we believed that over our two full seasons, our program had made great strides in our culture, in player development, in recruiting and in the classroom, and it was beginning to translate to competitiveness every week on the field. We were looking forward to coaching our first recruiting class coming back for its senior year and fielding an experienced team. We are very proud of how this roster was rebuilt with good students, good community members and good players.

"UNLV football is now set up for imminent success. We are on the brink of the program's fourth possible bowl game in the program's 45-year history. Our Academic Progress Report (APR) rate is at an all-time high, which will likely result in our student-athletes earning UNLV's first bowl game invitation in eight years."

As Arroyo alluded to, while UNLV finished this season with five wins, it could still earn an invitation to a bowl game. 

Update: Sources have confirmed to us that Marcus Arroyo was not given the chance to coach UNLV if the school receives an invite to a bowl game, despite a report suggesting otherwise. 

Linebackers coach Kenwick Thompson will serve as the Rebels' interim head coach if the team does indeed receive a bowl bid, according to an ESPN report.

UNLV started this season 4-1 but lost six games in a row before beating Nevada on Saturday.

Arroyo's surprising firing has led to some speculation that Bryan Harsin could be a candidate at UNLV. Harsin, who was fired by Auburn midway through his second season, has a track record of success in the Mountain West, as he went 69-19 in seven seasons as the head coach of Boise State.