Per a late report from ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, it appears that LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda is no longer a candidate to become the next head coach at UNLV:
Sources now telling me #LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda is not expected to be the next #UNLV coach. There were some initial talks from both sides but no offer was made. #Oregon offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo remains a strong candidate for the UNLV job.— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) December 11, 2019
Sources at LSU had stressed to me that Aranda hadn’t made his decision as of 8:30 or so last night, with this tweet coming a few hours later. Both Delly and Feldman have also now stepped back from their previous reports.
As others have reported, Dave Aranda will remain at #LSU, for now. Will be interesting to watch his future, as it’s pretty clear he’d like to move into an HC role.— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) December 11, 2019
This doesn’t mean that Aranda is definitely staying; NFL jobs are still a few weeks from becoming available as well, which are what I’ve always thought would be the bigger threat. If you’re a listener to Podcast Ain’t Played Nobody, UNLV has received a ton of positive talk in recent weeks. They have a new financial backer in Lorenzo Fertita, and will move into a brand new stadium next year with the Las Vegas Raiders. So the idea that the job could become a bridge to bigger West Coast jobs, a la the University of Houston, makes some sense.
But, as my source noted earlier in the week, “Dave can be picky.” He has a good job now, and doesn’t have to jump at the first head job offered to him. There may have been some balking on UNLV’s end with regards to staff pool, analysts, etc... Or Aranda may have just decided it wasn’t the right time. I do not expect any new extensions or raises to come on LSU’s end, outside of maybe a customary rollover year or something like that.
However, there are still dominoes falling in the coaches carousel. We’ll see if the Tiger defensive coordinator draws any other interest.