With college basketball getting ready to tip-off, this is a busy time of the year in the world of college athletics. Many things are happening with your UNLV Athletics department and we hope this quick update helps to keep you informed about your Rebels:
Rebel Golf rolling
Coach Dwaine Knight has his young UNLV men's golf team on a roll. On Tuesday, the Rebels won the Wimberly Intercollegiate in New Mexico by eight shots. It marks the third tournament win in just four tournaments this fall for the Rebels, who were ranked No. 17 entering the week. It's going to be fun to follow this program over the next few seasons. They are on the verge of something special.
Runnin' Rebel Weekend a major success
In this industry, we are in the business of making memories. And for thousands of UNLV Runnin' Rebel fans, Oct. 14, 2011 will be remembered forever as the night the Fremont Street Experience truly turned into the Runnin' Rebel Experience. In my many years of working in college athletics, this was one of the most unique events I can remember one of our departments ever producing. Of course, with uniqueness comes risk. But with this event, that risk delivered a great reward for our fans, players and coaches. The positive feedback from the event has simply been overwhelming... If you have not seen this short three-minute video of the recap of Runnin' Rebel Weekend, I highly encourage you to click here and simply enjoy. Let's Run.
Runnin' Rebels play exhibition game Tuesday, Nov. 1
While we've been promoting 11.11.11 - Opening Night vs. Grand Canyon on Friday, Nov. 11 - as the official beginning of The Dave Rice Era, don't forget your Runnin' Rebels will be in action for the first time this season at the Thomas & Mack Center on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. PT in an exhibition game vs. Washburn. All balcony tickets are just $10 in advance. See you there. Let's Run.
Dave Rice - The First Six Months
In recent months, I have used this space to rave about new Runnin' Rebel head coach Dave Rice and how he has handled his time leading a program as a first-time head coach. Dave just recently passed the six-month mark back at UNLV and the more I'm around him, the more I'm convinced he's going to have a stellar career here leading the Runnin' Rebels...
Being the head coach of a popular Division-I athletic program - such as the Runnin' Rebels - is like being part CEO, part elected official (who is constantly running for re-election) and, of course, all coach. Dave has shined in all of these areas and is striking a great balance for a young coach. But the thing that has stuck out from the beginning is how he has embraced his current players and how they have embraced him. Dave understands - and appreciates - the opportunity he has. Most first-time coaches don't take over a program in such great shape as the one Dave inherited with a talented roster of players returning, growing community support and improving resources (the opening of the Mendenhall Center practice facility is crucial for this program). Dave has been secure enough to embrace the recent successes and is challenging all to build off of those successes and keep taking the program to higher levels. I have no doubt that is what will happen here in the years to come. Welcome home, Dave.
Tough non-conference schedule to challenge Runnin' Rebels early
One additional thing Dave and his staff inherited was a grueling non-conference schedule this season. It's important to schedule tough for RPI reasons in non-conference and we'll definitely have our opportunities to enhance our NCAA Tournament resume come March. ESPN.com ranked our non-conference schedule the toughest in the Mountain West. (On its toughness scale of 1-10, we got a nine.) With a new offensive system being implemented, things will get really interesting for our guys away from the Thomas & Mack Center starting after Thanksgiving. We play USC and possibly No. 1 North Carolina at The Orleans before traveling to take on nationally ranked Wisconsin, Illinois, Wichita State and UC Santa Barbara. That goes along with key home games against Nevada, Reno, UTEP and nationally ranked Cal.
Group discounts for Runnin' Rebel Basketball
Make your plans today to go to a Runnin' Rebel basketball game this season with a group of 15-or-more people. Terrific discounts are available and it's a great outing for businesses, teams, community organizations, churches, etc. Call (702) 739-FANS (3267) or email Mike.Ostrowski@unlv.edu for more information... Season tickets start as low as $105 and great seats are still available in the plaza level... Single game tickets are also on sale now by visiting UNLVtickets.com or calling 739-FANS.
Rebel Football Family Four Pack a great value
The Rebel football team returns home to Sam Boyd Stadium for the first time in 35 days this Saturday (Oct. 29) with a 3 p.m. PT game vs. Colorado State. It's UNLV Football's first day game since 2006 and should be a great time out at the stadium. Rebel Family Four Packs are just $50 for four tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas and are available for the remaining three home games - Colorado State, Boise State on Nov. 5 (a limited number remain) and San Diego State on Nov. 26.
Thoughts on Rebel Football
Obviously, we've been disappointed with the results of the past few games. That said, we knew coming into the season it would be a challenge for us having one of the youngest teams in the nation. Our young players have to keep getting better each and every game. We must have a goal of working so we will be better at every single position on the field next season - and that improvement starts now. I know the struggles have been tough for Bobby Hauck and his staff. But we all knew turning this program around would take time and we would have our ups and downs. I've told Bobby to keep doing what he knows how to do - and that's build a winning football program. Good days are coming. In fact, I'm ready for kickoff against the Rams this Saturday afternoon right now. Go Rebels!
Boise State for Homecoming?
We've heard from a few people questioning why we would put No. 4 Boise State as our Homecoming game on Nov. 5, knowing that would be a tough game for our football team. Well, with all of the festivities that happen during the week of Homecoming, the decision is not just made by the athletic department solely based on the Saturday football game. And with only two home games from the beginning of October to before Thanksgiving to choose from (Colorado State this Saturday or Boise State), the Homecoming committee had to choose the Boise State game because this Friday's Nevada Day holiday would have interfered with Homecoming festivities this week... Yes, we know the Broncos will be a challenge. But we're Rebels and we never shy away from a challenge.
Lady Rebels ready to tip
Included in the excitement of the Runnin' Rebel Experience at the Fremont Street Experience was the Lady Rebel basketball team. And the following morning, the Lady Rebels enjoyed one of their most successful annual Rise ‘N' Shine practice events with over 200 people in attendance... Season tickets for the Lady Rebels are just $75 and kids 12-and-under are always free. Click here for the schedule.
Las Vegas native wins honor in Women's Soccer
UNLV sophomore goalkeeper Kylie Wassell - a Las Vegas native - has been named the Mountain West Women's Soccer Co-Defensive Player of the Week after leading the Rebels to two road shutouts this past weekend. The team has been rolling of late and is tied for second in conference play.
Volleyball already surpasses win total from season ago
First-year UNLV volleyball head coach Cindy Fredrick picked up a win this weekend in her 800th career contest as head coach dating back to 1985. More important, it moved the Rebels to 11-11 on the season, giving them more victories than a season ago when they finished 10-20 overall. A good sign for a team playing mostly sophomores and freshmen.
Rebels shine on court in Women's Tennis
UNLV sophomore Aleksandra Josifoska out-dueled teammate and defending champion Lucia Batta to give her program its second consecutive singles title at the USTA/ITA Mountain Region Championships at the Fertitta Tennis Complex earlier this month...
With the victory, Josifoska earned her first trip to the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, taking place this year on November 3-6, at the indoor facilities at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
Make it a Rebel Soccer Friday night with a Men's & Women's Doubleheader
Come check out both the men's and women's Rebel soccer teams this Friday night (Oct. 28) out at Peter Johann Memorial Field in a special doubleheader. Our women face San Diego State at 4:30 p.m. PT and our men will follow at 7 p.m. vs. San Jose State. Tickets will be just $1 and kids 12-and-under are always free for Rebel soccer games.
Golf and taste wine with us this Friday at Bear's Best
A portion of the proceeds from this Friday's ClubCorp Charity Classic at Bear's Best Las Vegas Golf Club will go to benefit the Rebel Athletic Fund. Come out and join UNLV coaches and athletic representatives in this fun event featuring golf, food, wine tasting and music. It's $195 for golf (which starts at noon) and the evening event to follow or just $50 for the evening event (which starts at 6:30 p.m.). For more information, call Jim Stanfill of Bear's Best at (702) 804-8500 or click here to register.
UNLV Day at Galleria at Sunset - Sunday, Oct. 30
Be sure to be a part of UNLV Day at the Galleria at Sunset this Sunday, Oct. 30 from noon to 4 p.m. PT. UNLV Athletics and representatives from across campus will be on hand as UNLV gets out into the community to share our story. So get your Reb on, bring the kids for some fun activities and come say hi to us this Sunday.
Town Scary at Town Square - Monday, Oct. 31
Halloween is here and UNLV Athletics will once again be a part of Town Square Las Vegas' Town Scary this Monday, Oct. 31 from 4-8 p.m. PT. Come join us for the largest safe trick-or-treating event in Las Vegas. Last year we had a blast and we hope to see you there Monday evening.
A Rebel in the Community
UNLV Athletics' Director of Community Relations Bridget Byrne deserves a special "thank you" in this edition. From leading the effort to put on a simply amazing Rebel Reading Challenge kickoff event earlier this month - with 7,000 students from the Clark County School District sponsored by SuperPawn - to having our student-athletes and coaches anywhere and everywhere throughout this valley, Bridget is making a difference in her hometown. A former Rebel softball walk-on turned captain, this Silverado High product is making Las Vegas a better place to live. We are lucky to have her as such a critical part of our team.
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