Longtime men’s and women’s basketball coach led the Runnin’ Rebels on an interim basis during a portion of the 1994-95 season
LAS VEGAS ( – Former UNLV men’s basketball coach Howie Landa passed away Wednesday in Las Vegas at the age of 88.

Landa was an assistant coach under legendary Runnin’ Rebel head coach and Hall of Famer Jerry Tarkanian during the 1988-89 season, then again under Tim Grgurich during the 1994-95 season before serving as interim head coach that year for seven games following Grgurich’s resignation for health reasons.

During Landa’s first stint with the Runnin’ Rebel program as an assistant, the team went 29-8, advancing to the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight. As an interim head coach, his record was 5-2.

He was also an assistant coach for the UNLV women’s basketball team for four seasons from 1989-93.

Before coming to Las Vegas, Landa was head coach at Mercer County College in Trenton, New Jersey, from 1962-83, earning a record of 495-140. His teams competed four times for the National Junior College Athletic Association Championship, winning twice (1973 and 1974).

Mercer also won 10 regional championships and 15 district titles. Landa was named NJCAA Region XIX Coach of the Year 10 times and National Coach of the Year three times. Mercer named its basketball court “Howie Landa Court” in 2012.

The Philadelphia native attended Central High School and became an accomplished college player, setting 16 records at Lebanon Valley College before graduating in 1950.

Landa is a member of the Lebanon Valley College Hall of Fame, Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, the Mercer County College Coaches Hall of Fame, the NJCAA Hall of Fame and the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Landa, born in 1932, retired in Las Vegas, running basketball camps in the area as well as in Hawaii.