Former UNLV Head Coach Dave Rice becomes Assistant at Cal Baptist

Dave Rice joined Rick Croy’s staff at California Baptist University in August of 2023. 

In his most recent 10 seasons as a Division I assistant, Coach Rice has worked at Utah State, BYU, Nevada and UW. The cumulative record during those 10 years was 259-82 for a .759 winning percentage. He helped teams reach eight trips to the NCAA Tournament along with two NIT appearances. Overall, teams with Coach Rice on the staff earned six regular season conference titles, two conference tournament titles along with earning six first place finishes and three second-place showings.

Prior to joining the Huskies, Rice was an assistant coach at the University of Nevada where he helped guide the Wolf Pack to its second-most wins in program history with 28 victories. Nevada went on to win the Mountain West regular season and tournament titles en route to earning the team’s first trip to the NCAA Championship since the 2006-07 season. Overall, Rice has been a part of 12 staffs that have advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

Before joining the WolfPack, Rice spent four full seasons as the head coach at UNLV where he led the Runnin’ Rebels to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2012 and 2013, his first two seasons atop the program and recorded an overall record of 98-54. He is the third winningest coach in UNLV history behind Jerry Tarkanian and Lon Kruger.

UNLV went 26-9 in his first season as its head coach, as he became the winningest first year head coach, while his 51 wins over his first two seasons were also the most by a second-year head coach at UNLV.

Rice won 20 games in three of his four full seasons and he mentored four players that went on to be drafted by the NBA, including the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Anthony Bennett. During his historic first season, his UNLV squad was ranked in the nation’s top 25 for 13-straight weeks and 14 overall, reaching as high as No. 11. He also guided the Runnin’ Rebels to 10 wins over top 25 teams during his tenure, including an upset over No. 1 North Carolina (11/26/11) and No. 3 Arizona (12/23/14).

During his time at UNLV, Rice helped bring two top 10 recruiting classes to along with a No. 11 class during his five seasons. Rice oversaw the development of Mountain West Freshman of the Year Rashad Vaughn who went on to be drafted No. 17 overall in 2015.

Rice spent 18 years as an NCAA Division I assistant coach prior to earning the head job at UNLV. From 2005-11, he worked at BYU, first as an assistant before spending his final three seasons there as the associate head coach. While at BYU, the Cougars posted five consecutive 25-win seasons and earned five straight trips to the NCAA Tournament. BYU reached the 2011 Sweet 16 and finished that season ranked 10th after being led by National Player of the Year Jimmer Fredette.

In his one season away from the Mountain West Conference, Rice spent a year at Utah State in 2004-05 where he helped the Aggies to a 24-8 record that helped them win the Big West Conference tournament and advance to the NCAA Championships.

As a student-athlete, Rice played two seasons at UNLV (1989-91) as a reserve guard for Hall of Fame coach Jerry Tarkanian.  The Runnin’ Rebels reached the Final Four each season and captured the 1990 title going 35-5.  UNLV went 69-6 and won 45 consecutive games during his time as a player.  Rice played two seasons at Mt. San Antonio College (1987-89) before transferring to UNLV.

Following his playing days he served as a graduate assistant for one season at UNLV.  He then was an assistant coach at Claremont High School under his father Lowell and later coached at Chaffey College.  He returned to UNLV in 1994 and spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach for the Runnin’ Rebels.

Dave and his wife, Mindy have two sons, Travis and Dylan.  At UNLV he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1991 and master’s degree in business administration in 1993.  Rice was a Rhodes Scholar candidate while earning his bachelor’s degree. 

Rice and his wife, Mindy, established the Dave Rice Foundation in the spring of 2012. The foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and support of health initiatives including developmental disorders such as Autism, and other charitable causes. It has awarded over $600,000 in grants to various Autism-related organizations in Nevada.

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