Hauck optimistic 2013 will be a fun season for Rebels

UNLV coach Bobby Hauck has seen the story in Athlon’s college football preseason magazine.

You know, the one that has him listed REAL high in the “Top 10 Coaches on the Hot Seat” section right behind USC’s Lane Kiffin.

“Maybe I should give Lane a call,” Hauck joked with reporters at Mountain West Media Days at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas this week.

But after back-to-back-to-back two win seasons, Hauck is smart enough to know the Rebels will need to improve greatly upon their win total this season if he is to be around to coach a fifth season in 2014.

With 18 starters returning on a veteran squad that includes 17 seniors and 31 juniors, Hauck is optimistic that this is finally the year that UNLV can break out and make a bowl game for the first time since 2000.

“I think we have a really good team,” Hauck said. “We were really close a year ago. Our first two years we weren’t close. We weren’t ready to play the scheduled that we played. We had a nice off-season. We’ve got everybody back from a team that was pretty good at times last year.”

The Rebels, who were competitive in every home game last season, play seven games at Sam Boyd Stadium including at least three – Sept. 14 vs. Central Michigan, Sept. 21 vs. Western Illinois and Oct. 12 vs. Hawaii – that they’ll be favored.

“Rebel fans have been good to us,” Hauck said. “We haven’t been all that loveable but I think the majority of people have seen progress. It’s my goal that people that come out to our games this year come out and have a lot of fun. This is going to be a fun season in UNLV football.”

Hauck discusses topics like coaching under an interim athletic director, the addition of his brother, former NFL assistant Tim Hauck, as defensive coordinator and secondary coach, and who could be breakout players for the Rebels in the VIDEO above.

UNLV, picked to finish fifth out of six teams in the West Division after going 2-11 a year ago, opens its season at Minnesota on Aug. 29.

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