"We set out to find a teacher and a competitor with the character, competence, energy and intellect to bring out the best in our 105 young men and recruit and develop the next group of Rebel football student-athletes," UNLV athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois said in a statement. "We looked for a leader that is a great evaluator of talent, who can sell what makes UNLV, our community, and our program unique, and helps develop and prepare our student-athletes for the next level.
"When Marcus and I reconnected during the search process, his alignment with these attributes became evident. I am confident he is the right coach to lead UNLV football's ascent."
Reed-Francois was director of compliance at San Jose State at the same time that Arroyo played quarterback for the Spartans from 1998-2002.
Arroyo, 39, becomes a head coach for the first time after spending the past three seasons at Oregon, where he worked primarily with the quarterbacks and tight ends. He previously served as Oklahoma State's running backs coach, where he recruited standout Chuba Hubbard, and also had stints with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Southern Mississippi, Cal and other schools.
Arroyo replaces Tony Sanchez, fired Nov. 25 after going 20-40 in five seasons at the school.
"UNLV Athletics is a department on the rise, and my family and I are thrilled to be a part of the Rebel family during this special time," Arroyo said. "The uniqueness of Las Vegas is unrivaled and the opportunity to train, practice, and compete, in some of the country's best facilities in one of the world's most vibrant cities cannot be understated. We will work tirelessly to elevate UNLV Football to the championship caliber program that it is positioned to be. I can't wait to get started, and I look forward to meeting our student-athletes, support staff, and fans."
UNLV also strongly considered Matt Canada, most recently Maryland's offensive coordinator and interim coach in 2018. LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda had initial conversations about the Rebels' vacancy but was never offered the job.
In October, UNLV opened the $34.8 million Feritta Football Complex. The Rebels are set to play at the new Allegiant Stadium in 2020, which they will share with the NFL's Raiders.