UNLV assistant coach Barney Cotton will not coach in 2019 while awaiting a heart transplant
Cotton has been the Rebels offensive coordinator since 2015
UNLV announced Thursday that offensive coordinator and tight ends coach Barney Cotton will not coach in 2019 and is awaiting a heart transplant. Cotton, a former Nebraska offensive and defensive lineman, is in Omaha while on the waiting list.
"Barney has unfortunately been forced to be away from football and his Rebel family and we are all keeping him in our thoughts and prayers," head coach Tony Sanchez said. "He is a tremendous coach, teacher, person and a great friend."
Cotton's coaching career began in 1989 after he played in the NFL from 1979-81. He has made stops throughout the country, including Iowa State, New Mexico State and Nebraska. He earned the title of assistant head coach for the Cornhuskers from 2008-14 under coach Bo Pelini, focusing on the offensive line and tight ends He served as the interim head coach after Pelini was dismissed after the end of the regular season in 2012, and coached the team in the 45-42 loss to USC in the Holiday Bowl.
Offensive line coach Garin Justice will take over as offensive coordinator and call plays this year. Justice, a former offensive lineman at West Virginia, was the offensive line coach at FAU from 2016-17 prior to joining Sanchez' staff last season.
"Garin moving into a new role will make for a smooth transition for us," Sanchez said. "He's a former head coach who did a lot of good things here in his first year and we have full confidence that he will do a great job helping us move forward as a coordinator."
The school announced that Sanchez intends to hire a tight ends coach before fall camp opens in August. UNLV will open the season at home on Aug. 31 vs. Southern Utah.
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