LAS VEGAS -- UNLV coach John Robinson will retire at the end
of the season because of family issues, leaving the struggling
program with one year left on his contract.
"I just feel like it's time," Robinson said Sunday. "I've
been thinking about it for a while for two major reasons. There are
some ongoing health issues in my family that are not going away.
And obviously there is a pressure building up on this team
surrounding all of this."
The Rebels fell to 0-4 after a 31-21 loss at home to Utah State
Robinson, who had two coaching stints at Southern California and
another with the NFL's Los Angeles Rams, is 26-37 in six season
with UNLV. He is 18th among active coaches in Division I-A with a
.641 winning percentage (130-72-4).
Robinson turned around a UNLV program that had lost 16
consecutive games when he was hired in December 1998. He was named
2000 Mountain West Conference co-coach of the year after leading
UNLV to an 8-5 record and a Las Vegas Bowl victory over Arkansas.
"I appreciate everything that John Robinson has done for this
program," UNLV athletic director Mike Hamrick said. "I learned a
great deal from coach and it has been a privilege and honor to work
with him over the past year."
Robinson was also named the school's athletic director in
January 2002, but stepped down 17 months later. He has matched Tony
Knap for longest coaching tenure at UNLV.
With USC, Robinson was 104-35-4. He took over for John McKay in
1976 and led the Trojans to three Rose Bowls, and a co-national
championship in 1978. He left USC for the NFL after the 1982
Robinson coached the Rams from 1983-91, then returned to
Southern Cal in 1993.
His second stay with USC wasn't as successful. The Trojans went
to the Rose Bowl once (1996) from 1993-97.