That’s an interesting move…Cronin has done decently at Cincy but that’s about it…62% win percentage overall in 10 years and 54% in league games between the Big East and the American. Some thought that this may be a money play (trying to leverage UNLV to get an improved contract at Cincy) but UNLV does have attractive elements to the job. He’s a Cincinnati native and alum, so once again that end of things is playing into a coaching hire story.
This one is tougher to gauge. The American and Mountain West are relatively similar conferences…usually multi bid leagues but outside the Power 5. Cronin signed a deal 2 years ago which pays him $2.2 million annually. Dave Rice was making roughly half that when he was fired, from what I could find. I don’t doubt that UNLV has resources and a booster base to get into the $2 million plus range but A. isn’t it going to take more than that? and B. Do you really want to spend that much on Mick Cronin?
Also worth noting that apparently Cronin has been pushing for either a new arena or serious renovation to their current US Bank Arena. So this may be about resources/facilities as much as salary in terms of a squeeze play on Cincy.
Also worth noting that he had some health problems that sidelined him for half of last season (14-15). He’s reportedly healthy now and got through this season without complication, but you have to take that into consideration as well.