Hall of Fame UNLV men’s golf head coach Dwaine Knight is moving into a new position within the program, Director of Athletics Desiree Reed-Francois announced Monday.
Knight will become the Director of UNLV Golf and in this role will continue representing the program in Southern Nevada and provide golf instruction to Rebel student-athletes. In addition, he will engage with key members of the community, assist with fundraising initiatives in conjunction with the Rebel Athletic Fund and UNLV Golf Foundation and provide mentoring to the coaching staff.
Former Rebel student-athlete and current UNLV men’s golf assistant coach A.J. McInerney will serve as the program’s interim head coach through the 2021-22 season.
“Coach Knight is truly a legend, not only here at UNLV and in Las Vegas, but also across the national golf community,” Reed-Francois said. “What he has built here with Rebel Golf is nothing short of incredible and we are pleased that his legacy, which includes team and individual national championships, will continue on as a valuable member of the UNLV Athletics family.”
“Spending more than three decades at UNLV has been extremely special and I am proud that Rebel Golf has come to mean so much to so many in Southern Nevada,” Knight said. “There are so many people that have had a role in helping us build the program and I am grateful to them all. I would also like to thank Desiree for her leadership and vision as I continue in a role that has a big part in the program moving forward. Great things are ahead and I look forward to carrying on the winning tradition that all of our players, coaches and supporters have helped build here at UNLV.”
A two-time National Coach of the Year and 2002 Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame inductee, Knight completed his 34th season as UNLV men’s golf head coach in the spring. He took the Rebel golf program from near-anonymity to one of the premier programs in the nation. In 1998, he guided the team to the NCAA crown in Albuquerque, N.M.
Knight led the Rebels to an unprecedented 22 trips to the national finals and coached them to 11 top-eight finishes. Additionally, he led his team to a NCAA-record 31 straight appearances at the NCAA Regionals from 1988-2019.
Under his tutelage, the Rebels earned their first-ever No. 1 ranking in 1993 and following the 1997-98 season, the team finished No. 1 in the nation in all polls.
A true teacher of the sport, Knight has tutored 48 All-Americans at UNLV, a National Player of the Year, a National Freshman of the Year, a U.S. Amateur Champion, three U.S. Public Links Champions, four Walker Cup participants and eight Palmer Cup representatives. Additionally, three former Rebel golfers have gone on to play for the U.S. in the Ryder Cup.
Knight has captured three national titles (one team championship and two individuals – Warren Schutte in 1991 and Ryan Moore in 2004), has won eight conference championships and has developed 89 all-conference players. Since 1998, Knight has helped 22 Rebel golfers earn the All-America Scholar award and four have been named Academic All-Americans.
Since Knight came to UNLV, 12 of his players have gone on to play on the PGA TOUR, combining for 31 PGA Tour titles, including Adam Scott’s win at the 2013 Masters.
The only two-time winner in the ’90s of the GCAA National Coach of the Year award (1991 and 1998), Knight was also proclaimed Golfweek National Coach of the Year in 1998, earned Coach of the Year honors at the conference level five times (1979, 1989, 1998, 2002 and 2017) and at the district tier four times (District VII in 1981, District VIII in 1991, 1998 and 2005).
He has been inducted to four Halls of Fame – the GCAA, the Southern Nevada Golf Association, the Southern Nevada Sports and the Las Vegas Golf. In 2008, his 1998 National Champion squad was inducted into the UNLV Athletics Hall of Fame, then in 2016 it was inducted into the SNSHOF, and in 2009 Knight was named the Southern Nevada Chapter’s PGA Golf Professional of the Year.