Mike Sanford back coaching football in Las Vegas — this time at Faith Lutheran


Sam Morris

UNLV coach Mike Sanford signals officials to take a penalty against Sacramento State during the second half Sept. 5, 2009, at Sam Boyd Stadium. UNLV won 38-3.

Wed, Mar 11, 2020 (1:04 p.m.)

Many locals know Mike Sanford Sr. as the former UNLV football coach. He led the Rebels to victories over nationally ranked Arizona State on the road, beat Iowa State at home and had UNLV within a game of becoming bowl eligible in 2008 and 2009.

What those may not know is Sanford is a man of deep faith. He met his wife during Bible study at USC and is “known throughout the country for his Christian beliefs, strong leadership, impeccable character.”

That’s what was appealing to officials at Faith Lutheran, who hired the 64-year-old Sanford today as the Crusaders football coach. Sanford replaces Vernon Fox, who led them to the 2013 state championship and 53-28 record.

“Mike’s pedigree as a successful college football coach speaks for itself,” said Dr. Buuck, Faith Lutheran’s CEO. “He is a man of deep faith and superb gridiron knowledge, and we believe he will not only be a great fit at Faith Lutheran but a tremendous influence on our student-athletes, just as Coach Fox was.”

Sanford coached running backs and special teams in 2017-18 at Western Kentucky, where his son, Mike Sanford Jr., is the head coach. He went 16-43 from 2005-09 at UNLV.

“My wife and I are thrilled about the opportunity that I have to serve as the Head Football Coach and Associate Director of Development at Faith Lutheran Middle School & High School as we believe strongly in the school’s mission,” Sanford said in a statement. “I’m very excited about the future of the football program and the opportunity to compete at the 5A Division level for the first time in school history.”

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