We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and are ready for a terrific 2011. Below are a few things we thought you might want to know about this great university and UNLV Athletics:
An Invite: Walk UNLV's Campus
Since coming to UNLV, I have found that one of my favorite things to do is walk the University's campus. Every time I get a chance to, I always find something new. I know people often refer to UNLV as a commuter school and I do know we are unique in many areas, but there are very few things in life that are more encouraging than walking around a university setting - and UNLV is no different. It really is like an oasis in the middle of Las Vegas. I invite you to find the time to walk around the campus - either during our busiest times or a quiet weekend morning. You'll be glad you did and you'll be impressed with the UNLV you see.
Rebel Athletic Fund's Loyalty Circle
Rarely a day goes by that I don't hear a "thank you" from a supporter about the enhanced activity from our Rebel Athletic Fund (RAF) team. I can't and don't take any credit for that as Sr. Associate AD Julio Freire and his amazing development team are the ones responsible. One of their new offerings is the Loyalty Circle program. For a $10,000 annual commitment, you can underwrite the room, board and books of a particular scholarship student-athlete. It's an amazing program that gives a donor the unique experience of helping a young man or woman. For more information, call (702) 895-1533 or email Julio at Julio.Freire@unlv.edu.
No. 25 Runnin' Rebels open conference play Wednesday
We are looking forward to a great crowd at the Thomas & Mack Center this Wednesday night at 7 p.m. when our No. 25 men's basketball team opens conference play against No. 15 BYU. The atmosphere at the T&M last year when we defeated the Cougars was simply electric ... Coach Lon Kruger's team has done a tremendous job putting itself in position for an NCAA Tournament run with a 12-2 non-conference mark and a Top 25 RPI going into league play. However, the Mountain West is the best it has ever been and this season will be a grind ... Also, Recycled Percussion - who is headlining at the Tropicana - is scheduled to perform at halftime Wednesday night. We've had some great in-game entertainment this year and Wednesday should be no different.
Wear Rebel gear
During the holiday season, we liked to say UNLV Athletics was the presenting sponsor of the 2010 Holiday Shopping Season. Obviously, we said that tongue-in-cheek, but the reality is wearing UNLV gear is one of the best ways you can support UNLV and the Rebels. And don't forget about "Get Your Reb On Fridays." Wear Rebel apparel every single Friday - and tell your friends.
Big Week for Lady Rebels
It was a big week last week for our Lady Rebels. Not only did they come home from Hawaii with the title in the Pepsi Rainbow Wahine Invitational, but their reality TV show premiered on the MountainWest Sports Network. There will be seven episodes throughout the season of "Season Pass: UNLV Women's Basketball" with a new episode airing every other Thursday. The episodes will also repeat on The Mtn. at different times throughout the week ... Also, the Lady Rebels will play their conference home opener on Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 8 p.m. against San Diego State with all tickets being just $2. Hope you will help us kick-off conference play at home.
Rebel Baseball is coming
There is a buzz out in the community about UNLV baseball. People are excited about new coach Tim Chambers and his program, which promises to feature a lot of the best local talent from our valley. Season tickets are on sale now starting at just $80 (UNLVtickets.com or 702-739-FANS) and the season starts on Feb. 18. With 32 home games, a Rebel baseball season ticket just might be the best value in Las Vegas.
ESPN Friday Night Fights
We'll be hosting the premier of the 2011 season of ESPN's "Friday Night Fights" this Friday at UNLV's Cox Pavilion. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. PT with the fights beginning at 6 p.m. It's a strong card featuring Ruslan Provodnikov in the main event fighting for vacant titles. Former U.S. Olympian and hot prospect Demetrius Andrade is on the card as well as former top UNLV boxer Henry Namauu. We hope you'll come out to see a great night of boxing as well as support a former Rebel. Check out UNLVtickets.com for ticket information.
Disney on Ice next week
Very few family shows offer the experience of Disney on Ice. We're excited to be hosting this year's show - "Let's Celebrate" - at the Thomas & Mack Center from Wednesday, Jan. 12 to Sunday, Jan. 16. There will be eight different shows with tickets starting as low as $13. Check out UNLVtickets.com for more information ... Spend some quality time with your kids and when you bring them on campus, make sure to tell them they are at UNLV and explain to them what college is. It's never too early to start talking to them about college - or the Rebels!
Meet Eric Toliver
Eric Toliver lives UNLV Athletics. I think it is safe to say that almost no one in our department has as much of a positive impact on the lives of our student-athletes than ET, as he is referred to in the department. He's in his 19th year at UNLV and serves as Senior Associate Athletics Director of Compliance.
ET began his career at UNLV as an academic advisor in the Student Development Center before becoming the head athletic academic advisor for football and basketball through 1997. In 1998, Toliver was appointed Compliance Coordinator and became Associate Athletics Director in 2000. A 1992 graduate of Western State College (Co.), Toliver's responsibilities include overseeing all aspects of NCAA Compliance issues and conducting internal and external investigations to ensure that UNLV's 17 Division I sports, staff and coaches remain in compliance with NCAA regulations.
Eric, who is also an appointed member of the NCAA Division I Amateurism Fact Finding Committee, and has served on the NCAA Division I Awards, Benefits, Expenses and Financial Aid Cabinet, is also responsible for the supervision of human resources and the department's computer support services unit. In addition, he has oversight of the baseball, softball, co-ed cheer and Rebel Girls program. He also supervises the Student-Athlete Academic Advising unit and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He is responsible for adjudicating all student-athlete conduct and discipline related matters and serves as the chair of the institution's Compliance Committee.
Most importantly, he cares about these young men and women we serve daily. We are fortunate to have him in our department.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about your Rebels. We are fortunate to serve you. We appreciate the support and we look forwarding to seeing you soon. Make it a GREAT Rebel day and Get Your Reb On!
Director of Athletics