The Muss Bus has left Reno.
After four winning seasons as Nevada’s basketball coach, Eric Musselman has been hired to coach Arkansas. The news on Sunday wasn’t necessarily a surprise but unpleasant to learn for Wolf Pack supporters.
“I hate to see him go, but hey, money talks, right?” said Ron Semenko, who has been a season-ticket holder since Lawlor Events Center opened in 1983. Semenko was on campus at Peccole Park to watch the Wolf Pack baseball team play San Diego State.
Scott Seamons, father of Nevada outfielder Nick Seamons, said: “It’s really sad to see, he’s done so much for the program over the years. It’ll be a true loss for the team. But It’s a great opportunity for him and I certainly understand it and I’m happy for him and the rest of his family.”
Musselman, 54, hasn’t stayed in one place very long. His four years with Nevada are his longest tenure at any of his coaching jobs, with includes head coach with the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings, Reno Bighorns of the D League and assistant coach with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic, Memphis Grizzlies and Atlanta Hawks.
He began coaching at the colleges level in 2012 as associate coach with Arizona State and later LSU before taking the head job at Nevada in 2015. He won 110 games with the Wolf Pack, winning or tying for the Mountain West Conference championship the last three years.
“I want to thank Eric Musselman for four thrilling seasons with the Wolf Pack and for elevating the Nevada men’s basketball program to the top of the Mountain West Conference,” Nevada Athletics Director Doug Knuth said in a press statement. “We wish Eric and Danyelle nothing but the best moving forward.
“We will immediately begin a national search for the next leader of the Wolf Pack men’s basketball program and will have no further comment until that search is completed.”
“I’m worried that his departure may have an impact on the transfer status of some of our redshirts,” longtime fan Seamons said. “So hopefully Doug Knuth can secure somebody that has a good brand name.”
“It’s tough to see, but we’ll move on and find someone else,” Semenko said.” I’m used to all the hoopla by now.”
Rex Walters is an obvious candidate to be the next Nevada coach. He joined the Wolf Pack staff before the start of the 2018-19 season. A former All American at Kansas and NBA player for 10 seasons, Walters has 10 years head coach experience with Division 1 schools San Francisco and Florida Atlantic. He also coached one year in the NBA D League with Grand Rapids.
A number of Nevada basketball players tweeted their thanks and well wishes to Musselman, and noted he changed the culture at the university. The Martin brothers, Cody and Caleb, threw their support to assistant coach Gus Argenal to be the next head coach. If that happens, Nevada could rebrand the Muss Bus to the Gus Bus.
— Isaiah Burrows and Tim Parsons