Hello Rebel fans,
Linda and I absolutely love living the Scarlet. Gray. Every Day. UNLV is a special school - a great school - made up of amazing people. At this time of the year, we think about our many blessings and having the opportunity to be around the great people who are proud to call themselves Rebels is definitely at the top of the list. Thank you for believing in this terrific University. I have a feeling 2013 is going to be an absolutely GREAT year to be a Rebel:
RICE’S REBELS OFF AND RUNNIN’ ON THE ROAD
Throughout my many years in this industry, I’ve learned that winning on the road in basketball is not something you can take for granted. Despite the number of young players on the roster as well as dealing with the loss of All-American candidate Mike Moser to injury, I’ve been thrilled to see the resolve of Dave Rice’s Runnin’ Rebels over the past three roads games as they moved to 9-1 on the year (and 35-10 over the past two seasons). They simply found ways to win these past couple of weeks - and that will make us better come conference time. Look for this team to keep growing throughout the season. There will be some ups and downs in an extremely tough Mountain West, but if we are all a little patient, there could be a nice payoff come March.
ENJOY THE NOW, ENJOY THE YOUNG MAN
I have people asking me every day if there is any chance Runnin’ Rebel freshman Anthony Bennett will stay around for another season at UNLV. Anthony is regarded by many as the best freshman in college basketball and is being projected as a possible lottery pick in the NBA Draft. Here is my answer: “Let’s enjoy Anthony right now and root for these Runnin’ Rebels right now.” I’m not trying to message anything or avoid answering the question - that is the answer. Anthony is a special basketball player, no doubt. But if you get a chance to talk to him, you realize he is simply a special young man who is actually a bit shy and has a great smile. Let’s just focus on supporting him and his teammates as they get ready for a tough Northern Iowa team at the T&M tonight. It’s a treat to get to watch these young men play each and every game. Let’s enjoy it.
REBEL FOOTBALL: “DISAPPOINTED… BUT NOT DISCOURAGED”
In my position as AD of your Rebels, I hear from lots of passionate fans. Many of those fans offer encouraging words. However, there are - of course - those who are giving me advice on which moving company I should use to get out of town. That said, I was very encouraged by the amount of supporters who reached out to say they appreciated that we are bringing Rebel football head coach Bobby Hauck back after a tough ending to what had looked to be an encouraging season.
I do know there was speculation by some that this move was purely financial. This is a business and winning games is the No. 1 way to help the bottom-line. If we didn’t think Bobby could win here next season and beyond, he would not be our head coach. We knew three years ago changing the culture of UNLV Football was not going to be a quick fix and Bobby accepted that challenge while I accepted the responsibility of giving him the opportunity - and time - to build this program the right way. When we met immediately following the season, one key message from Bobby resonated with me: Obviously, he was disappointed in the win total, but he was not discouraged with where the program would be in the very near future. That is what I needed to see in him - that he still believed in the vision. He does more than ever and he wants to deliver for Rebel fans.
I believe in Bobby. Bobby believes in this community, this program and these young men. And thank you to all the fans who shared those words of belief with me. For our fans who didn’t share the same view, the message has been received and we are in complete agreement: Progress (which we all agree happened this past year) must equal a higher number in the wins column next season. No matter which side you were on, thank you for caring and know how much we care about producing a winning Rebel Football program for you.
LADY REBEL TOURNAMENT FEATURES ELITE PROGRAMS
The World Vision Classic hosted at UNLV’s Cox Pavilion starting today and going through Friday features our Lady Rebels as well as some of the top women’s basketball programs in the nation. No. 22 Texas A&M (2011 NCAA Champion) and No. 5 Notre Dame (NCAA runner-up the past two seasons) are in the six-team field that also features Kansas State, Old Dominion and Alabama A&M. UNLV will take on Old Dominion in the first round on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. PT. Click here for an updated schedule of the tournament.
REBEL STUDENT-ATHLETES VISIT SUNRISE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
We’re used to seeing Rebels like starting quarterback Nick Sherry, Lady Rebel Alana Cesarz and Runnin’ Rebel Savon Goodman perform on the field and on the court. But this may have been their most important performance of the year. Please check out some of the photos from UNLV Athletics’ recent visit to Sunrise Children’s Hospital which was led by Lady Rebel head coach Kathy Olivier. Click here for a brief video. This is what college athletics is truly about.
THE PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT FOR ANY RUNNIN’ REBEL FAN
If you are looking for that PERFECT holiday gift for a Runnin’ Rebel fan, give him or her a Mendenhall Center Legacy Tile. It is a gift that will last a lifetime - and it supports the student-athletes of UNLV.
UNLV-TV, VEGAS TV DELIVERS
We heard rave reviews from fans throughout the community (and the nation from the stream) for the job UNLV-TV did producing last week’s Runnin’ Rebel game vs. La Verne. It was aired locally on Vegas TV. It’s an amazing partnership with the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies giving UNLV students the opportunity to work on professional level, live sports productions. The broadcast facilities at Greenspun Hall on campus are some of the best in the nation and any student eyeing sports broadcasting should definitely consider UNLV at the top of their list.
SOME FINAL WORDS…
As the world of conference realignment and BCS restructuring turns, things are more and more promising for UNLV… In less than two months, Rebel Baseball and Rebel Softball will start their seasons. Hope you make your plans to check out plenty of games this Spring... Las Vegas native Kylie Wassell - who recorded a school record 10 shutouts as goalie this past year for the UNLV women’s soccer team - earned Academic All-America honors. Now THAT is something to be proud of!
On behalf of everyone with UNLV Athletics, we hope you have a special holiday with your loved ones. Thank you for your continued support of Rebel Athletics and THANK YOU for living the Scarlet. Gray. Every Day.
For the Rebels,
Director of Athletics