T.J. Otzelberger Leaves UNLV Basketball For Iowa State: What's Next?

  • March 19, 2021, 02:39 PM
  • Chris Johnson
T.J. Otzelberger Leaves UNLV Basketball For Iowa State: What's Next? Photo by Lucas Peltier T.J. Otzelberger gets introduced before a Runnin' Rebels home game this past season. Otzelberger is leaving UNLV to coach Iowa State.
After two years at the helm of the Runnin’ Rebels, Head Coach T.J Otzelberger is going back to his familiar school Iowa State.

UNLV’s Director of Athletics, Desiree Reed-Francois confirmed the resignation of UNLV men's basketball coach, T.J. Otzelberger Thursday, after he accepted the head coach position to lead the Iowa State Cyclones. 

Otzelberger’s departure came as a shock to some after his two campaigns. In his first year, he led the team to tie for second place in the Mountain West, the team's best regular season finish in 12 years. This past season, he managed to set the men's basketball program up with a record high GPA of 3.75.

With an overall record of 99-63 in his five years as a head coach ,both with the Rebels and South Dakota State, he returns to Iowa State, where he was an assistant coach for eight years. 

“I want to thank our student-athletes, coaches, staff, and fans,” Otzelberger said before leaving the program, “I especially want to thank Desiree Reed-Francois for providing me with the incredible honor of leading the Runnin’ Rebels.” 

UNLV says they will conduct a national search for a replacement head coach immediately. The Program will miss Otzelberger and all he has done for the student-athletes and community.

“When our coaches are being pursued by others, it is a testament to what we are building,” Reed-Francois said. “We appreciate Coach Otzelberger’s contributions to our men’s basketball program and we with T.J. and his family all the best as they continue their journey.”


Chris Johnson



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