||This sure is fun, isn't it? Wow, what a GREAT time to be a Rebel. We have so many good things going on with UNLV and the Rebels right now and I'm excited to have this opportunity to share a few with you. Thank you for believing in us and GO REBELS!
UNLV BASKETBALL - MEN'S & WOMEN'S - ON THE NATIONAL SCENE
As you know, the No. 12/15 Runnin' Rebels are enjoying their best season in 20 years under new head coach Dave Rice. But that's not the only basketball we are excited about here at UNLV. Kathy Olivier's Lady Rebels are playing their best basketball in almost a decade.
In fact, at 16-5 the Lady Rebels have clinched their first winning season since 2005-06 and have their most wins since winning 18 in 2005-06... The Lady Rebs currently have two 1,000 point scorers in junior Kelli Thompson and senior Jamie Smith.... UNLV also received two votes in this week's ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll... A win Saturday over Air Force would make UNLV 5-1 in Mountain West play, tying for the best start in the conference in school history (the 2003-04 squad also started out 5-1). When you get a chance, check out a Lady Rebel game in person. You'll be glad you did.
MAKE TOMORROW A REBEL BASKETBALL SATURDAY
Mendenhall Center Open House - Saturday, Jan. 28, 1-3 p.m.
Fans are invited to tour the Runnin' Rebels' impressive, new Mendenhall Center practice facility. The event is free and open to the public... All fans who tour the center will receive a voucher good for $3 tickets to the 3 p.m. Lady Rebel game immediately following.
Lady Rebels (16-5) vs. Air Force - Saturday, Jan. 28, 3 p.m. at the Cox Pavilion
The Lady Rebels, off to their best season in nearly a decade, will face the Falcons. Tickets are just $8 (with fans receiving a voucher good for $3 tickets if touring the Mendenhall Center during the open house) and kids 12-and-under are always free.
No. 12/15 Runnin' Rebels (19-3) at Air Force - 6 p.m. on The Mtn.
After touring the Mendenhall Center and checking out the Lady Rebels, UNLV Basketball fans can cap their fun day by watching the Runnin' Rebels take on the Falcons at 6 p.m. on The Mtn. UNLV returns to the T&M next Wednesday (Feb. 1) vs. Colorado State at 7:30 p.m.
REBEL BASEBALL INTRASQUAD SCRIMMAGE SATURDAY MORNING
Tim Chambers' Rebel baseball team began official practice this morning and will have an intrasquad scrimmage tomorrow morning (Saturday, Jan. 28) at Wilson Stadium at 9 a.m. It is open to the public and we hope to see you out at the ballpark... The Rebels open the season on the road in mid-February before their home opener on Feb. 28 kicks off a 13-game homestand. Get your tickets now for Rebel Baseball. It's the best value in town. (702) 739-FANS (3678) or UNLVtickets.com.
GOVERNOR'S BBQ AND MENDENHALL CENTER DEDICATION
Last Thursday was a special night to be involved with UNLV. In fact, in many ways it was one our favorite days as a Rebel since Linda and I came to UNLV just over two years ago. The dedication of our fabulous new Mendenhall Center practice facility was the perfect celebration of 15 donors (couples and families) who made the dream a reality for the Runnin' Rebel program. I will never forget the image of Bob and Paula Mendenhall cutting down the net to end the ceremony. Perfect. Just perfect... And then the good food and conversation with friends that followed at the first-ever Governor's BBQ for the Rebels could not have been timed better - everyone was in great spirits. Nearly 600 Rebels came together with Gov. Brian Sandoval and Runnin' Rebel great Greg Anthony showed why he is one of the most-beloved Rebels of all-time. His message about what it means to be a Rebel in this community was dynamite. Thank you to all who were involved.
FOOTBALL SIGNING DAY THIS WEDNESDAY
This Wednesday is a huge day across the nation for college football programs - it's National Signing Day. We're excited to see coach Bobby Hauck and staff unveil their third recruiting class at UNLV. Last season, we began to see glimpses of success in the first two recruiting classes with production from a young offensive line and running backs, including freshman All-American offensive lineman Brett Boyko. Building the Rebel football program will not happen overnight - but it is happening.
MOUNTAIN WEST BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT TICKET DEADLINE FEB. 3
The deadline for Rebel Athletic Fund members and season ticket holders wanting to buy tickets to the MW Basketball Tournament held March 7-10 at the Thomas & Mack Center (in the UNLV designated section) is next Friday, Feb. 3. Please click here for more information. Due to high demand, we are asking all RAF members and season ticket holders to adhere to the deadlines. Remember, this event IS NOT a UNLV event - it is a Mountain West event.
FOOTBALL STADIUM AND CONFERENCE NEWS
Even though you may not be hearing things in the news constantly does not mean topics such as the proposed UNLV Now/football stadium project or the Mountain West/Conference USA relationship are not moving forward. Without getting into too much detail let me just say that I'm very excited about the possibilities for this department, this university and this community - on both topics.
RUNNIN' REBEL GAME VS. SDSU ON SATURDAY, FEB. 11 - UPDATE
If you are planning to get tickets to our Runnin' Rebel home game vs. San Diego State on Saturday, Feb. 11, please do not hesitate. Approximately 3,000 tickets remain to the game as of today - the same number of tickets we had five days before our sellout vs. New Mexico this past weekend. The game is going to be a sell out and it will be an incredible atmosphere for college basketball. Don't get left out... Speaking of an incredible atmosphere, how about the student section and the rise of the The Rebellion movement? Love it! THAT is what college athletics is about. Congratulations, students, and thank you.
REBEL ATHLETIC FUND - RADIOTHON AND MONTHLY WINNER
We have received some great feedback from last week's Rebel Athletic Fund Radiothon on ESPN RADIO 1100 AM/98.9 FM. For seven hours live on the air, we celebrated Rebel student-athletes and coaches and the purpose of the RAF - to graduate our young men and women with diplomas in one hand and championships in the other. A special thank you to Paul Howard, Seat Williams, Steve Cofield and Dave Cokin for hosting the shows and featuring Rebel student-athletes, coaches and administrators. In fact, Dave became an RAF member during the show himself! To Tony Bonnici and the entire Lotus Broadcasting team - THANK YOU. What a great commitment from a great partner... Also, the RAF monthly prize winner from December was Lori Cox. She won a men's basketball team signed poster, a 1990 replica championship banner and two tickets to the Runnin' Rebel basketball game vs. Colorado State.
QUICK HITS AROUND CAMPUS
UNLV had 36 student-athletes named to the Fall 2011 Academic All-Mountain West Team, including 13 Rebel football players and 11 women's soccer players... Men's swimming will host its Senior Day tomorrow at noon against Air Force. Jim Reitz' program has won seven straight conference titles... Rebel Softball opens the season Feb. 10 at home against a Top 5 Oklahoma team. I think you are going to like what you see from coach Pete Manarino's team this season... In women's tennis this week, UNLV sophomore standout Aleksandra Josifoska won her third career Mountain West Women's Tennis Player of the Week award... Click here to check out my recent Q&A with Ryan Greene from Vegas Seven.
SOMETHING TO REMEMBER
We received a lot of positive feedback for taking the time to recognize 95-year-old Hubert Johnson at the Runnin' Rebel game against TCU over a week ago. Hubert used to work at UNLV years ago and has been going to Runnin' Rebel games for decades. It was a special moment and he received a standing ovation. According to his family and friends, the honor was appreciated by many more than we could ever imagine... Then earlier this week, we received an email from a fan telling us of the passing of her uncle, Ron Domenick. Apparently, Ron was buckling up to head to see his beloved Runnin' Rebels recently when he suffered a stroke. He was with his son and his grandson - and going to Rebel basketball and football games was a special tradition for the three of them. Ron's health had been failing in recent years and he was limited in what he could do, but Rebel games were what he looked forward to - seeing his family, his friends around him, our ushers and vendors... These two stories are powerful. Yes, we are here to win games. We get that. But we are in the people business. We are here to improve the lives of the young student-athletes who attend UNLV and we are here to provide healthy entertainment for our community and, in fact, we are here to develop community. This is about a lot more than sports, this is about people. People like Hubert and our late friend, Ron. Go Rebels. God Bless.
For the Rebels,
Director of Athletics