Tony Sanchez UNLV

The announcers during the UCLA visit to UNLV on Saturday Night said that Tony Sanchez is the 5th high school head coach to go directly into the college ranks as the head guy.

As far as I can remember, or tell from research, they are correct.

The others were Paul Brown from Massillon, Ohio who went to straight to Ohio State and then in just a few years to the NFL and he has some team in Cleveland named after him. You might say that Paul Brown going directly from high school to the major college ranks worked out fairly well.

In the state of New Mexico, which has never been much of a factor on the football field, they had their own legend in a high school coach named Jim Bradley. New Mexico State noticed him and they hired him in 1973 to take over their traditionally weak program. He last through the 1977 season and went back to the high school ranks after posting a 21 – 31 – 1 in 5 years at New Mexico State.

As a high school coach, Jim Bradley won 310 football games and multiple state championships.

He bombed at New Mexico State, but I am not sure that Nick Saban or Urban Meyer could win there.

Then, there was Gerry Faust who I blogged about here: Gerry Faust

The failures of Faust are well documented and there were very few better high school football coaches than this guy.

Over in Texas which is known for it’s high school football, Todd Dodge was on a run of is own in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Dodge was the coach at Southlake Carroll High School and won his first state impressively in 2002. In the 2003 season, Southlake Carroll lost in the state championship game to another Texas High School powerhouse, Katy, by a single point.

That loss apparently motivated the Southlake Carroll Dragons and they reeled off 3 straight state championships. In 7 seasons at Southlake Carroll, Dodge’s teams went 98-11.

North Texas hired Todd Dodge to take over their struggling program for the  2007 season. After 4 seasons and a 6-37 record, the Mean green let Todd Dodge go.

Now, he’s back in the high school ranks and his teams are putting up huge numbers just like the old days.

Tony Sanchez is the latest to make the transition to the college ranks.

If you’ve never heard of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman’s High school football team, then you probably don’t follow the sport. They win the state of Nevada state championship nearly every season and they are loaded with talent season after season.

Sanchez, who is ironically from the same area of New Mexico as Jim Bradley, became the head coach at Gorman in 2009 and proceeded to win the state championship every season while at Bishop Gorman. Over that time period, Sanchez recorded an 85-5 record at Bishop Gorman.

The University of Nevada Las Vegas hired Tony Sanchez to take over their program for the 2015 season. Last year’s coach Bobby Hauck resigned after finishing 2-11 and turned the reigns over to


After two games in 2015, UNLV is 0-2 on the year with losses to Northern Illinois and UCLA.

5 coaches have gone straight from the head guy in high school to the head guy in college without taking an assistant job on the college level first.

The jury is still out on Tony Sanchez, clearly, but of the other 4 only 1 has been successful. Paul Brown did so well that NFL teams are named after him and that’s a great dream for any high school coach.

However, somehow, I don’t see an NFL team into play in the city of  Las Vegas being named the Sanchez’s. Stranger things have happened.

2 thoughts on “Tony Sanchez UNLV

  1. Herkie

    I’ve always wondered who Las Vegas Bishop Gorman plays. Outside of Vegas and Reno, what other bigger schools are even in that state? It’s not like it’s California, or Texas, or Florida, or Ohio.
    But, to give them credit, they will play anyone at any time and they do well nationally. Plus, they have some good players year after year. Of course, those private schools recruit almost as hard as colleges do. Muhammad Ali’s grand son is on this year’s team and he’s pretty good. Then, there’s 5 star QB Tate Martell.


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