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UNLV Hires Former Wyoming Coach Heath Schroyer

After being fired on February 8th Heath Schroyer took some time off before doing some television work.  Next Fall he will again be on the sidelines of a Mountain West school.  The UNLV Rebels new head coach Dave Rice is filling out his staff and Schroyer was one of two assistants hired on Tuesday according to the Las Vegas Sun.  He is expected to complete the paperwork on Wednesday.

Rice worked with Schroyer previously at BYU and he was also considered as a replacement for Rice in Provo.  The Sun touts Schroyers resume:

Schroyer, 39, is originally from Maryland and still has strong East Coast and international recruiting ties. He's held assistant coaching jobs at BYU (1997-2001), Wyoming (2001-02) and Fresno State (2005-07), while enjoying one successful head coaching run at Portland State (2002-05).     

Too bad for Wyoming fans Schroyer didn't use those strong recruiting skills to the best of his ability.  Most of the players he recruited had ties to Stoneridge Prep the California school that was coached by Babacar Sy.  Current or former Pokes who attended Stoneridge include: Arthur Bouedo, Djibril Thiam, Amath M'Baye and Boubacar Sylla.  Once Sy was fired from Stoneridge then the international recruits stopped coming to Laramie.

M'Baye was the best of the bunch but that mostly happened after Schroyer was fired.  Francisco Cruz has been the best of the recent JUCO recruits so far.  However Schroyer drove off nearly as many recruits as he brought in to Wyoming.

As a head coach Schroyer ran the Wyoming program into the ground.  He has had success as assistant before and that may ultimately be his best fit as a coach.  On Tuesday another article came out about the return of Larry Shyatt that also shed some important light on the final days of Schroyer in Laramie.

Andy Katz from ESPN wrote a solid article on Shyatt once you get past the usual Laramie bashing that Katz tends to do.  He interviews Wyoming AD Tom Burman and goes over how Schroyer was fired.  This is the first time that Burman has given this much detail on the firing of Schroyer. 

"It was jointly made," Burman said. "He asked me, 'Am I going to get fired at the end of the year.' I said, 'Yes, unless there is a dramatic turnaround. We have to have a reason to sell to our fans.' He said, 'Then if that's the case, I want out.' I would probably have done it differently.

So Schroyer could have finished out the year in Laramie and been fired after the MWC Tournament.  Instead he decided to quit in the middle of the season and abandon his players.  San Diego State coach Steve Fisher blasted Wyoming for firing Schroyer in the middle of the year during the weekly teleconference.  He should have gone after Heath for abandoning his players with several weeks left in the season.

That left a 50 day window for Wyoming players not knowing who would be their coach in 2011 and plenty of time to start looking at options for transferring elsewhere.  Perhaps if the transition time had been smaller then Wyoming wouldn't have lost three players to transfers including top scorers Desmar Jackson and Amath M'baye.

Too late to go back and changes thing now.  One thing that Wyoming fans will be waiting for is when the UNLV Rebels make their annual trip to Laramie.  The reception for Schroyer should be interesting unless he happens to be on the "recruiting trail" that weekend. 

So far the reaction from Rebel fans on hiring Schroyer ranges from "Decent hire" to "WTF".  Poke fans are solidly in the latter category.