College football coaches get fired all the time.
Sometimes firing a coach makes sense; other times, it doesn't.
UNLV firing Marcus Arroyo is one of those times where it doesn't make much sense.
Reasons To Fire Coach Arroyo
Sure, there are a couple of good reasons to fire coach Arroyo.
First of all, he went 7–23 with no winning records in three seasons.
UNLV Athletic Director Erick Harper correctly pointed out that coaches must win to keep their jobs.
“Anyone coaching Division I football, Division II, Division III, it does not matter, the ultimate goal is to win and win consistently.” -Erick Harper
Reasons Why Firing Coach Arroyo Doesn't Make Sense
While his record didn't do him any favors, there are still plenty of reasons why firing Coach Arroyo doesn't make sense.
Coach Arroyo has two years left on his contract. That means he will receive $2.3 million over the next two years.
$2.3 million might not seem like a lot to a D1 athletic department, but it's money that could be better spent elsewhere.
Finish the season
Believe it or not, 5–7 UNLV still has a shot at making a bowl game. If that happens, associate head coach and linebackers coach Kenwick Thompson will serve as the interim coach.
It seems unnecessarily cruel that coach Arroyo won’t be coaching if the Rebels make their first bowl appearance since 2014.
Tough place to win
7–23 isn't a good record by any stretch of the imagination. But, let's be honest, UNLV has historically been a tough place to win.
- Since 1988, UNLV has had just 4 winning seasons.
- UNLV's last winning record was a 7–6 finish in 2013.
- Their last bowl appearance was a loss in the Heart of Dallas Bowl in 2014.
The team's improvement is the biggest reason Coach Arroyo shouldn't have been fired.
Every year of Coach Arroyo's time in Las Vegas has come with an improved record.
- 2020: 0–6
- 2021: 2–10
- 2022: 5–7
It would have been nice to see this trend continue.
Coach Arroyo's firing is brutal. Many of his players are sad to see him go.
But that's life as a D1 football coach. It's a tough business.
Hopefully, the next coach, whoever that might be, will be able to continue the momentum that Coach Arroyo started.
And hopefully, Coach Arroyo will land on his feet and find success elsewhere.