||It's astonishing to think how many great things are going on with UNLV Athletics right now. The next few years around here are going to be special. This is only a small collection of all the things going on, but here is a quick update on YOUR Rebels. Now more than ever, it is definitely a GREAT time to be a Rebel:
Why We Do, What We Do - 60 Rebel Student-Athletes Participate in Commencement
We know we spend a lot of time talking about financial support of our programs and being competitive from an athletic standpoint. However, this past Saturday is what college athletics is all about. Sixty student-athletes from 15 different sports programs were eligible to take part in UNLV's Spring Commencement Ceremonies. Some of the highlights included:
16 Rebel football players graduating (including four who will return to play their final year with the Rebels - Kenny Brown, Beau Brence, Yusef Rodgers and Imari Thompson).
Six men's basketball players graduating (including Justin Hawkins and Quintrell Thomas, who will return next season. All four seniors - Oscar Bellfield, Brice Massamba, Chace Stanback and Kendall Wallace - are receiving their degrees as well.)
And this one is special. Women's basketball star Jamie Smith was one of six undergraduates selected by President Neal Smatresk as an Outstanding Graduate. She finished her career at UNLV with a 3.9 GPA while being selected All-Mountain West three times.
My friends, we are graduating some amazing young people from UNLV because of your support.
Rebel Athletic Fund Renewal Deadline - FRIDAY, MAY 18
Don't forget, the deadline to renew your Rebel Athletic Fund membership is this FRIDAY, MAY 18... Monthly payment plans are available for your RAF membership, which protects your seats for Runnin' Rebel basketball. Call 702-895-1533... As you can imagine, we are having a lot of requests for seat upgrades and new tickets for the Runnin' Rebels. Be sure to protect your seats today. It's one of the many benefits of being part of the RAF team all while helping to grow our student-athletes academically, athletically and socially.
Football Season Ticket Renewal Deadline - FRIDAY, MAY 18
This FRIDAY, MAY 18 is also the deadline to renew season tickets for UNLV football. We have a great seven-game home schedule this season - starting Thursday, Aug. 30 vs. Minnesota - and if you renew your tickets by Friday, you'll receive a special discount only available for returning season ticket holders. Call 702-739-FANS (3267) for more information... Bobby Hauck's squad had a strong Spring and we're looking forward to the next few seasons of watching the Rebels grow into a program you'll be proud of.
Conference, Television Package & On-Campus Mega-Events Center
I get asked on a daily basis - and rightfully so - about the future of the Mountain West, our television package and the status of the possible on-campus facility for UNLV Football to play its home games. While there are too many variables to discuss here, let me say this: We are literally working on each item every single day. And, more importantly, I am thrilled about the possibilities with all three. Stayed tuned. It's a GREAT time to be a Rebel.
Dave Rice Foundation grants $100,000 to UNLV Center for Autism
Congratulations to Dave and Mindy Rice, the proud parents of Travis and Dylan. As you may know, nine-year-old Dylan has Autism. Less than three months after launching the Dave Rice Foundation to support health initiatives including developmental disorders such as Autism, Dave (the head coach of our Runnin' Rebels), Mindy and those involved in the Foundation were able to provide a much-needed and well-deserved $100,000 grant to the UNLV Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders... Landing All-American recruits, graduating our student-athletes AND winning big in the community? We are certainly proud of Dave - our Rebel who came home.
Deposits being taken for new Runnin' Rebel season tickets
Speaking of our strong recruiting class in men's basketball - which will be joining a talented group of returners - deposits for new Runnin' Rebel season tickets are being accepted. (Trust me, I had a lot of calls over the weekend and earlier this week asking.) For more information or to make deposits, call 702-739-FANS (3267)... Season ticket renewals recently went out with the deadline being June 19. For premium seating options, contact the Rebel Athletic Fund at 702-895-1533 to learn about membership.
RAF Golf Tournament on Tuesday, June 5 - Register Today
The Rebel Athletic Fund Golf Tournament is the single largest fund-raiser for UNLV Athletics and will be held on Tuesday, June 5 at Dragon Ridge Country Club. Play a round of golf with UNLV Athletics' coaches and staff members while supporting Rebel student-athletes. Registration for teams and individuals are still available as are sponsorship opportunities. For more information, please call 702-895-1533 or email Macy.Williams@UNLV.edu.
Leave Your Own UNLV Runnin' Rebel Legacy
Don't miss out on your chance to leave your Runnin' Rebel legacy through the unique Mendenhall Center Legacy Tile Project. Click here or call the Rebel Athletic Fund at (702) 895-1533 for more information on leaving your Runnin' Rebel legacy directly on the Mendenhall Center.
Rebel Football Locker Sponsorship Opportunity for Fans
We're offering alumni and fans a unique opportunity to sponsor a UNLV Football Locker with a gift to the Rebel Athletic Fund (RAF). The cost of the sponsorship of a locker is $2,000. With each gift, your name will be displayed in a customized plaque on the locker adjacent to the student-athletes' nameplate. Payment options are flexible. For additional information, please contact Andrea Alires at 702-895-1237 or Andrea.Alires@UNLV.edu.
Coaches vs. Cancer hits home for Rebels - "Party with a Purpose" Sunday night
As you may have heard, legendary UNLV men's golf coach Dwaine Knight was not able to travel with his squad this week to the NCAA Regionals in North Carolina. Fortunately, Dwaine had early detection of melanoma in his foot and had surgery last week to remove the cancer. All signs are great, but because the surgery was so recent, he was not able to make the trip this week. He hopes to join his squad at The Riviera Country Club in a couple of weeks for the NCAA Finals. Dwaine's story is truly a successful one about early detection and treatment.
It's amazing what has been done with cancer treatment and research over the years. But there is still a lot more to do. Over 20 years ago, the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) started Coaches vs. Cancer to help in the fight. This Sunday night (May 20), the Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Classic will hold its "Party with a Purpose" at Hyde at the Bellagio from 4-6 p.m. Runnin' Rebel head coach Dave Rice co-chairs the event along with Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger, who began the event during his time coaching at UNLV. Dave and Lon will be joined by fellow coaches such as BYU's Dave Rose, Kansas State's Bruce Weber, Oregon's Dana Altman, Nebraska's Tim Miles and others. We hope you can join us in the fight against cancer. The event allows fans to mingle with all of the coaches and enjoy cocktails and food. Also, comedian Rodney Carrington will be performing. Tickets are $100 and are available at www.CoachesVsCancerLasVegas.com. We hope to see you there.
Soccer fever comes to Las Vegas in August
Congratulations to our special events team for bringing Real Madrid vs. Juventus to Sam Boyd Stadium on Aug. 5. It will be a special night in Las Vegas for soccer. Click here for ticket information... Later that month, both our men's and women's Rebel soccer teams will open play. Our women's program will be led by first-year head coach Michael Coll, who comes to UNLV after helping to build Penn State into a top program. Meanwhile, our men's program currently has three former players in the MLS. We hope you'll get to know more about our Rebel soccer programs this season.
Show to benefit Nevada Conservatory Theatre this Monday
Those involved with the Nevada Conservatory Theatre at UNLV have been great supporters of UNLV Athletics. On Monday (May 21), there will be an evening of champagne and entertainment to benefit the Nevada Conservatory Theatre. The evening will feature Clint Holmes, Graham Fenton ("Frankie Valli" in Jersey Boys) and several other performers. Tickets are just $50. Call 702-895-2787.
Mountain West Baseball Tournament at UNLV
Be sure to join us as we host the Mountain West Baseball Championships at Wilson Stadium May 24-27. It should be a great four days of action on the diamond!
Rebel Girls summer workshop May 26
The Rebel Girls dance team will have a workshop for ages 7-18 from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 26. www.unlvrebelgirlsworkshops.com for more information and to register.
Thank you for all you do to support YOUR Rebels. Enjoy the early part of your Summer. And remember, it's a GREAT time to be a Rebel!
For the Rebels,
Director of Athletics