THERE'S NO OVERSTATING THE STAKES of hiring a new coach. When programs get it wrong, it can make a rebuilding year seem like a lost cause. When schools get it right, though, they often get something better than wins. They get the promise of redemption.
Take UNLV. Former coach Lon Kruger, who quit to take the Oklahoma job, left new head man Dave Rice a pretty strong hand: a roster that had graduated only two starters and, even better, a lineup tailor-made for his up-tempo offense. But nobody could have predicted these early returns. The