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UNLV might play the rest of the basketball season without coach

January 19, 1995

LAS VEGAS (AP) _ UNLV might play the rest of the basketball season without coach Tim Grgurich.

Grgurich said doctors advised him to spend six weeks away from the game, but that he was unsure when he would return.

``Right now, I’m just trying to get myself healthy,″ Grgurich said Wednesday. ``I’m not saying anything about the future.″

Grgurich, hospitalized for a week after showing symptoms related to exhaustion, said he thought he had to go ``100 miles an hour″ when he took over the troubled Runnin’ Rebels program in November. He said it nearly wrecked his health.

``I was at the end of my rope,″ Grgurich said. ``It was time to take a rest.″

Grgurich has been sidelined since Jan. 6, and spent a week undergoing tests at an undisclosed California hospital. He refused to discuss his medical condition, saying, ``That’s between me and the doctor.″

An assistant under former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian, Grgurich returned in November to take over when the school bought out the contract of coach Rollie Massimino for $1.8 million.

A week into practice, Grgurich signed a 3-year contract, leaving his position as an assistant with the Seattle SuperSonics.

UNLV said Grgurich was the man to return the program to national prominence. The pressure apparently was too much, especially with the team getting off to a 4-6 start.

``I was trying to do this thing 100 miles an hour,″ Grgurich said. ``I was thinking it was the only way it could be put together. I came in here thinking I had to work until I fell over.″

Grgurich said doctors want him to ``step back and re-evaluate what’s best for me, best for the kids.″

He said checking into the California hospital was ``the best thing I ever did.″

Grgurich met with his players Saturday night after returning to Las Vegas, and met with his coaching staff Tuesday.

The assistant coaches have taken over all coaching duties while Grgurich has been sidelined.

He said his assistants also are continuing recruiting efforts, particularly among California junior college players.

Grgurich said doctors told him ``This should have happened two years ago.″

``I don’t even know what happened,″ he added.

He admitted that changing his coaching style would be difficult.

``I’m not a stand-around guy,″ he said. ``I’m going to coach the way I know how to coach. I’m a teacher.″

UNLV interim president Kenny Guinn talked with Grgurich on Tuesday.

``I just told him we’d support him in whatever he decides,″ Guinn said. ``I’m very supportive of him taking the time off because the No. 1 thing is his health.″

The Runnin’ Rebels play at Nevada-Reno tonight.

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