Hyde during a broadcast of the "USC Gameday Show" for ESPN Radio 710
|Born||July 12, 1939|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Pasadena CC (assistant)
Long Beach State (associate HC)
|Head coaching record|
The Rebels had unprecedented success in the 1984 season; with star quarterback Randall Cunningham, UNLV went 11-2, won their conference title and defeated Toledo in the California Bowl. It was UNLV's only 11-win season. Hyde was at one point a candidate for the vacant head coaching position at Arizona State.
However, it was later discovered the Rebels had used ineligible players, and the Big West Conference had the Rebels forfeit all the wins from the 1984 season, though the wins were not stricken from NCAA and UNLV records. Although none of the ineligible players were used in the bowl game, the California Bowl was among the games forfeited. The issue erupted at the same time the university president, Robert Maxson, was in the middle of an hostile relationship with the school's famous head basketball coach, Jerry Tarkanian, over similar off-the-court issues with players. The athletic director at the time, Brad Rothermel, noted in later years that Maxson wanted to fire Hyde because of the coach's friendship with Jerry Tarkanian's brother, Myron, stating "When President Maxson discovered (that friendship), he did what he could to level the legs of the football program. We didn't recover from that." During the 1985 season, one of Hyde's players was Marion "Suge" Knight. Among his coaching staff was future Fresno State head coach Pat Hill.
Things became more difficult for the embattled coach, as nine of his players got involved in various scrapes with the law ranging from theft to assault. Finally, on April 23, 1986, Hyde was fired by Maxon with three years left on his $62,500-a-year contract, which the university said it would honor. One of his assistant coaches, Wayne Nunnely, was named interim head coach through the 1986 season, before being chosen as his permanent successor. His firing marked a period of decline for the Rebels that lasted for over two decades.
Hyde coached football one last time in 1990, as George Allen's associate head coach, recruiting coordinator and running backs coach at Long Beach State. During that year, Hyde recruited future National Football League star Terrell Davis. Their tenure would only last one season as Allen died just after the end of the regular season, in part due to weak health after his players drenched him with ice water to celebrate a season-ending victory over UNLV. In interviewing to be the permanent head coach of Long Beach State, a program which was under financial duress, Hyde offered radical ideas of having the team play only road games, recruit only junior college players and use only one set of uniforms; he was not selected and the program only lasted one more season before finally shutting down.
- KSHP Programming Schedule as of September, 2007., KSHP, Accessed November 3, 2008.
- Ron Kantowski, Ron Kantowski chats with former Rebels football coach Harvey Hyde about talking sports here and in California, Las Vegas Sun, November 11, 2006, Accessed November 3, 2008.
- SPORTS PEOPLE; Search Continues Arizona State is apparently having a hard time replacing, The New York Times, March 2, 1985, Accessed November 3, 2008.
- Mark Anderson, Is there any solution for UNLV football?, Las Vegas Review-Journal, August 4, 2008, Accessed November 3, 2008.
- Rachael Levy, Former coaches portray Knight in positive light, Las Vegas Sun, September 10, 1996 , Accessed November 3, 2008.
- Jerry Tarkanian , A eulogy, a hot Rose Bowl and more pigskin travels, Las Vegas Sun, September 30, 2008 , Accessed November 3, 2008.
- SPORTS PEOPLE; Las Vegas Coach Out, The New York Times, April 24, 1986, Accessed November 3, 2008.
- George Allen, Coach, Dead at 72; Led Redskins to Super Bowl VII, Associated Press, January 1, 1991, Accessed November 3, 2008.