||What an absolutely GREAT time it is to be a Rebel - and for so many different reasons. From the continued rise of the Runnin' Rebels and all of the buzz in the community surrounding Dave Rice's program, to the thrilling 12-4 start of our Lady Rebels, there is certainly a special energy around UNLV Athletics these days. But those are only two of many special things going on with your Rebels right now. Here is a quick look into YOUR athletic department:
Join us Jan. 19 - The Governor's BBQ for the UNLV Rebels
"The Governor's BBQ for the UNLV Rebels" is scheduled to take place on Thursday, Jan. 19 at UNLV's Cox Pavilion beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $100 per person, which includes reception food, a BBQ dinner, and wine and beer compliments of Southern Wine & Spirits. Visit https://netcommunity.unlv.edu/bbq2012 to register. The deadline to RSVP is this Thursday, Jan. 12.
UNLV supporters are invited to join Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, UNLV President Neal Smatresk and our Rebel head coaches in a fun and relaxed setting as we celebrate the community's passion for UNLV and Rebel athletics. Runnin' Rebel legend, former NBA star and current CBS Sports and NBA TV analyst Greg Anthony is scheduled to serve as the keynote speaker.
We want this to be a different experience for our fans and supporters. It's going to be a special evening of BBQ, fun and friendship with some of the community's top leaders and UNLV's most enthusiastic supporters. Attendees are also urged to "Get Your Reb On" as everyone is invited to wear jeans and their favorite UNLV apparel to the event. We want to show Governor Sandoval our Rebel Pride with a room full of Scarlet & Gray.
For more information, call the Rebel Athletic Fund at (702) 895-1533 and remember to sign up online. It should be a special night you won't want to miss.
ESPN Radio 1100 AM/98.9 FM to present RAF Radio-Thon Jan. 18
ESPN Radio 1100 AM/98.9 FM is stepping up big for UNLV Athletics. It will be producing the inaugural Rebel Athletic Fund (RAF) Radio-Thon on Wednesday, Jan. 18 from noon to 7 p.m. celebrating UNLV student-athletes and the university's sports programs.
That day, ESPN Radio will be broadcasting live from the Thomas & Mack Center highlighting the student-athletes and coaches from UNLV's 17 athletic programs, including Runnin' Rebel basketball. The RAF Radio-Thon will lead up to the nationally ranked Runnin' Rebel home conference opener against TCU at 7:30 p.m. that evening.
The Radio-Thon is designed to help grow membership for the RAF, which is the fundraising arm of the UNLV Athletic Department. The RAF provides financial support to the department to help student-athletes strive for excellence academically, socially and athletically. Fans will be able to join the RAF through a simple telephone call during the event - for as little as a $100 donation - or be able to gift memberships to other fans... The Radio-Thon is helping to kick-off the RAF's 2012 in 2012 membership drive, with the goal of increasing its membership numbers during the next year by nearly 400 (to over 2012 members).
Be sure to tune in that day to Seat Williams and Paul Howard from noon-3 p.m. and Steve Cofield and Dave Cokin from 3-7 p.m. I'm scheduled to be a guest that day as well as many of our student-athletes and coaches. It will be a special celebration of UNLV Athletics and we want to give a special thank you to the ESPN Radio team for making it happen, including Tony Bonnici, Jesse Leeds, Julie Flynn, Doug Marsh and Steve Cofield.
UNLV Men's Golf making impact on PGA Tour
Check out this interesting read from CBSSports.com on the best college men's golf programs when it comes to producing money winners on the PGA Tour. Last year, former Rebel golfers combined for the fourth-best total of money earned on the Tour behind only Oklahoma State, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech. And with legendary coach Dwaine Knight's current team and incoming recruits, I imagine UNLV will be high on this list for years and years to come.
Conference meetings scheduled for this Sunday
As you may know, presidents and ADs from both the Mountain West and Conference USA are scheduled to meet this Sunday in Dallas to discuss future opportunities. A few months ago, the two conferences announced a football-only relationship and there is a feeling by many that the relationship may go beyond football as well. We're interested to learn more and believe there are possibilities that can come from this that will really benefit UNLV Athletics and our fans. The key is to do everything we can to position UNLV for success in the future.
UNLV's Kelleher to represent the Mountain West on the NCAA Division I Leadership Council
UNLV Sr. Associate Athletics Director Lisa Kelleher, Ph.D., will be representing the Mountain West on the NCAA Division I Leadership Council during the NCAA Annual Convention in Indianapolis this week. The Leadership Council will be focusing its attention on specific topics such as: Men's and Women's Basketball Recruiting Issues, Agent Related Matters, and those working groups outlined at the Presidential Retreat on Academic Performance, The Collegiate Model - Rules and Enforcement, Resource Allocation and Student-Athlete Well-Being. The term for the Leadership Council appointment goes through June 2014 and we're fortunate to have Lisa represent us.
Rebel Tennis teams earning national attention
The UNLV women's tennis team will begin the season ranked 36th in the nation as the year's first Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings were released last week. The Lady Rebels finished last season ranked 38th after posting a 20-6 overall mark that included a perfect 8-0 run through Mountain West regular-season play and their fifth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championships. The team returns to action this Friday-Sunday when it hosts the 10th Annual Freeman Memorial Tennis Championships at the Fertitta Tennis Complex.
The UNLV men's tennis team will begin the season ranked 60th in the nation, marking its highest January ranking for the men's program since debuting at No. 59 in 2006. The UNLV men will kick off their dual season on Jan. 26 at UC Irvine.
Play Ball! Rebel Baseball and Softball right around the corner
With the great weather we've had in Southern Nevada the past few weeks, we're reminded that baseball/softball season is right around the corner.
Throughout the valley, people want to talk to me about the UNLV baseball team that second-year coach Tim Chambers is putting together. It features 23 local players as well as an incoming recruiting class ranked No. 32 in the nation - the highest-ever for UNLV. The Rebels' home opener is Feb. 28 and season tickets for all 29 home games start at just $90 (that's just over $3 per game). Friday, Saturday and Sunday packages are available as well to help fans save money and see some of the best baseball in the West. And remember, kids 12-and-under are always free.
On the softball diamond, coach Pete Manarino returns a strong core from last year's young Rebel softball team (which started five freshmen much of the season) that finished second in the Mountain West. The Rebels open up play at home in the Sporto Kick-Off Classic on Feb. 10 and play 22 home games throughout the season. Season tickets are $60 for adults & $45 for faculty/staff/senior citizens. Single games are $8 and $6 and kids 12-and-under as always free.
Call (702) 739-FANS (3267) or visit www.UNLVTtickets.com.
The Lady Rebels ended non-conference play at 12-4, surpassing the total number of wins they had last season. Make it a point to come check out a UNLV women's basketball game this season at the Cox Pavilion. We think you'll like what you see from this balanced team... Looking to do something with a youth group, church group or group of friends from work? Nothing beats the excitement of a Runnin' Rebel basketball game and groups of 15-or-more receive great discounts. Call (702) 739-FANS (3267) or email Mike.Ostrowski@unlv.edu for more information...Check out this video of UNLV women's golf coach Amy Bush discussing her team's upcoming season... Check out this video of coach Jim Reitz discussing his men's and women's swimming and diving teams... Even though you may not have heard much about it in the news, those involved are excited about the possibilities of the UNLVNow project becoming a reality. It would redefine this university.
Thank you so much for your continued support. Please remember to ATTEND UNLV games, WEAR Rebel gear and TELL others about UNLV Athletics. We appreciate all you do. Get Your Reb On!
For the Rebels,
Director of Athletics