Previous messagesMy First Year with the Pack
(April 19, 2014)Here to Serve our Community
(May 22, 2014)Academic Update
(May 28, 2014)Coming Soon
Football fan guide and changes - First Class Fans
One Community, One Pack
In the past I shared our Wolf Pack Mission focused on serving and supporting the educational mission of the University
. I also mentioned that one of our secondary missions is to engage our community in a meaningful way. Recently, inspired by a recent visit to Humboldt and Elko counties, I began reviewing all of the community engagement, visits and activity we accomplished this last year. I thought I would share a sample of our work to give you a sense of how active we are around the state of Nevada.
First, and most importantly, I want to highlight the efforts of our student-athletes who participated in roughly 4,000 hours of community service this past school year. That included hospital visits, elementary school visits, reading programs, service projects such as collecting hundreds of pairs of shoes for families in need, giving blood at local blood drives, community activities like the Race for the Cure and much, much more. Our student-athletes, including our incredible cheer team, understand how much the community means to the University and they are proud to give back any way possible.
Home Town Proud
We are fortunate to partner with many local agencies to serve and support our community. We are proud supporters of Boys & Girls Clubs of Truckee Meadows, the Children's Cabinet, local church and youth groups, Washoe County School District, local fundraising organizations supporting regional and national causes, and many more. Additionally, we roll up our sleeves to help our friends at the Reno Rodeo and Reno-Tahoe Open (now Barracuda Championship). Our staff gives countless hours and donations to these wonderful community partners. We are truly home town proud to help.
Out of Washoe
Earlier this month, I had the good fortune to visit Wolf Pack alumni and fans in the northeastern Nevada communities of Winnemucca and Elko. In addition to spending time with these fans, I visited the original site of the University of Nevada in Elko and toured one of the amazing Barrick gold mines. I was a tourist in our state - fun stuff. During my visit, a few of our longtime fans commented that my visit was the first by an athletics director or football coach in these communities since a young football coach named Chris Ault hosted a football camp in Winnemucca in the early 1980s. I so enjoyed my visit and the short drive to Winnemucca/Elko that I promised to return often and that it wouldn't be another 30 years before this AD returned.
Believe me when I tell you, the enthusiasm for the Pack exists in southern Nevada too. In fact, I made a commitment to visit our Blue-blooded alumni in Las Vegas once each month as we build a southern Nevada Wolf Pack booster group. The response has been very positive as we build an organization of people who are interested in supporting the Pack in Rebel country. Bringing the Fremont Cannon back home to the North will help this effort!
We are also heavily engaged with Wolf Pack fans in the Lake communities as well. A handful of passionate alumni and friends are helping us make connections in these areas. A revival of the Wolf in the Woods program is underway as we introduce Wolf Pack Athletics and the University to many people who haven't been on our campus previously. We welcome them to Wolf Pack country and invite them to participate in backing the Pack!
It's Just Business
Speaking of welcoming new people to Wolf Pack country, thanks to Mike Kazmierski and the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN), we now participate in major announcements when companies move to, or expand in, our community. Each announcement includes a welcome package of Wolf Pack goodies for the CEO/President of the company and an invitation from me for the entire company to attend a home Wolf Pack football or basketball game as our guests. We want them to know that moving a company to Northern Nevada means you are instantly Wolf Pack fans!
In related activity, we are working very closely with the Reno-Sparks-Northern Nevada Chamber of Commerce to reach our business community. We know that supporting our business community creates a network of relationships to invite businesses to participate in Wolf Pack Athletics and many activities across campus.
One of our major initiatives this year is the development of the Wolf Pack Business Advisory Group. We invited 40 local business connectors and leaders to participate in a business advisory capacity - providing advice on marketing/PR, customer service, sales techniques, business messaging and much more. This group has been instrumental in many of our new sales and business development initiatives.
This is Still Your Team
Last but not least, we are making a huge effort to reconnect and engage our student-athlete alumni. The thousands of women and men who wore the Silver and Blue over the years still have the passion and desire to see their teams compete and win. The motto of this effort, This is Still Your Team, illustrates what we believe to be very true - our former student-athletes desire to be part of the program even if their playing days are in the past. We need the athlete alumni to remain close to the program and provide their support in every way possible.
As I close this note, I want to thank the many Rotary Clubs, businesses and organizations, alumni clubs and others who invited me to speak or visit with their groups. I hope you will invite me back to share more good news as we continue to grow the Wolf Pack athletics program.
We have a lot to accomplish and we will need your support to achieve the level of success we all want and expect for the Pack.
Thank you and Go Pack!
Nevada women's basketball head coach Jane Albright is presenting a free webinar on Wednesday, July 16 at 4 p.m. PST. The webinar will center around leadership and Coach Albright's experiences from being mentored by legendary UCLA coach John Wooden. The webinar will serve as a professional development opportunity for coaches who are looking for ideas to implement in their programs. The title of the webinar is "John Wooden Leadership Ideas: Including the Pyramid of Success."
The webinar is hosted through Head Coach Academy, who provides CEO training for head coaches, and aspiring head coaches, in every sport. Those interested in tuning into the webinar can click on the following link: http://www.headcoachacademy.com/webinar-schedule
Former University of Nevada pitcher Braden Shipley has been selected to play in the MLB All-Star Futures Game on Sunday in Minneapolis at 2 p.m. PT. The game will be played at Target Field the site of Tuesday's MLB All-Star game at 2 p.m. PT and will air on the MLB Network. Shipley will play for the U.S. team versus the World team.
Shipley the number two prospect in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization is currently 5-6 with a 4.40 ERA this season having played in Visalia, Calif. and South Bend, Ind. He has struck out 89 and walked just 27.
The Medford, Ore. native was the highest drafted player in Nevada history being selected 15th overall by the Diamondbacks.
Western Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year honors as a sophomore
after going 9-4 with a conference low 2.20 ERA. After the Pack switched
conferences to the Mountain West he was named the co-MW Pitcher of the
Year. In his junior season he was 7-3 with a 2.77 ERA had 102
strikeouts in 107.1 innings on the mound. The 102 strikeouts is the
seventh best season in school history.
Somewhat ironic, Shipley
spent his freshman season as the Pack's starting shortstop making just
five appearances on the mound. He earned second-team All-WAC honors
after batting .287 with seven doubles and 19 RBI. After becoming the
Pack's ace his sophomore season he progressed into a first-round MLB
In three seasons he compiled a 17-7 record with a 2.79
ERA and 203 strikeouts in 216 innings on the mound. The 203 strikeouts
ranks sixth in school history and .708 winning percentage is ninth.
The University of Nevada is replacing the FieldTurf at Wolf
Pack Park, the practice facility for the Wolf Pack football team and other
sports programs at Nevada.
With the installation of the new surface, the previous
surface is available for purchase by the general public.
To claim a portion of the turf, click here. The turf is available until July 9.
Former Nevada women's basketball guard Tahnee Robinson will continue her professional playing career with Basket ROW Rybnik (BLK), a team based in Poland. Robinson enters her fourth season of professional basketball, having played last season for Elizabeth-Basket in the Ukrainian Higher League. In 22 games last year, Robinson averaged 12.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game, helping her team to the league title. She was selected to the Eurobasket.com All-Ukrainian Higher League second team for her play in 2013-14. Prior to her time in Ukraine, Robinson played at Neftochimic (NBL) in the Bulgarian League where she put up 16.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game in 15 contests. Again, she earned a spot on the Eurobasket.com Bulgarian League second team and All-Imports team. During her first professional season in Europe, she participated in an Israeli League, playing at Elitzur Holon. Robinson became Nevada's first WNBA selection in 2011, being drafted in the third round by the Phoenix Mercury.
Information provided by Eurobasket News Center
Josh Baskins, who just completed his senior season for the Wolf Pack men's golf team, is on his way to the United States Public Links Championships.
Baskins, a Redding, Calif., native, shot a 149 over 36 holes on Monday at Thunder Canyon to win a qualifying event by two strokes
. The win advances him to the Public Links Championship in July in Kansas.
Baskins topped Fallon's Matt Vanderbeek by two strokes with the Wolf Pack's Derek Ream a shot back of Vanderbeek. With his third place finish, Ream is the second alternate.
The championship will be played July 14-19 at Sand Creek Station Golf Course in Newton, Kan.
The Nevada program has had its share of history with the Publinx event. Last year, Wolf Pack coach Jacob Wilner won the local qualifying, also at Thunder Canyon in Washoe Valley, and played in the championship in Virginia.
In 2006, the Wolf Pack's Casey Watabu won the championship, joining the likes of Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Moore and Hunter Haas as recent Publinx champions
Baskins is set to return to the Wolf Pack in the fall as a student volunteer coach. He's had a strong summer as he and Wilner recently won the Northern Nevada Golf Association's Washoe County Two-Man
From the desk of athletics director Doug Knuth:
Earlier this month, the University held its 124th Commencement exercises on the beautiful and historic campus Quad. It was a privilege for me to sit on stage as a member of the President's staff and congratulate our student athletes immediately after they received their diploma. The list of majors for these talented students is interesting and amazing - ranging from Art, Chemistry, Biology and Business to Wild Life Ecology & Conservation. Amazing stuff. You can view the list of graduates and majors here
I often speak to alumni, boosters and friends about the Mission of Wolf Pack Athletics and they are often surprised to know that our Mission is exceedingly clear - to serve and support the educational mission of the University of Nevada. We do that by providing opportunities for achievement - academically, athletically and socially. We teach leadership and prepare our students for life. Yes, we want to win, and win often, but our reason for doing what we do every day is about education and transforming the lives of our students. We have a secondary mission of engaging our community in a meaningful way, but today I want to share more about our focus on education and academics.
When we talk about education and academics, we focus on some important terminology, GPA, APR and GSR, which need to be defined. Grade Point Average (GPA) is relatively understandable because most of us had a GPA in high school or college. This is quite simply the semester by semester grade average for each student athlete. The Academic Progress Rate (APR) is a measure of academic progress based on eligibility and retention. This is a calculation of points which indicate our semester-by-semester efforts to support our students toward the goal of completing a meaningful degree. For many years the NCAA evaluated an institution's focus on academics based purely on graduation rates of student athletes. We learned that waiting until the final semester of a student's tenure was an ineffective way to calculate academic performance. Today the APR calculation gives us immediate results of our efforts and provides accountability for our work. Lastly, the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) is a calculation of the percentage of student athletes who are completing their academic degree relative to members of their freshman cohort. With definitions in hand, the question is how are we doing?
In terms of GPA, our average GPA for the 2014 Spring semester, including all 16 varsity teams and nearly 400 student athletes, was 2.863. Our cumulative GPA for all sports and all student athletes throughout their academic career is 2.915. On a 4.0 scale, this means our students carry roughly a 'B' average. That's very strong. This is impressive considering the amount of time spent in competition, travel, practice, film study, weight training and team meetings.
Individually, we have 99 student athletes with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 ('B') or higher. Inside that number, we have 61 student athletes with a 3.5 GPA ('B+') or higher. These are impressive students who also have an extraordinary talent in their sport. Amazing.
Our department-wide APR is a solid 975 multi-year rate based on a 1,000 point scale for all 16 sports combined over a rotating four year period. Individually, each of our sports stayed above the NCAA minimum standard of 930 and we have six sports that earned a perfect score of 1,000 for the most recent reporting year (2012-13).
Lastly, and most importantly, our GSR is a solid 77%. Our graduation rate has improved steadily from the upper-60s in 2008 to our current position between 77% and 80% in recent years.
The success of our academic program is based largely on the following: our clear focus on the mission of Wolf Pack Athletics; the incredible support we enjoy from President Johnson and the academic, financial and student services leadership on campus; the hard work of our coaches to recruit the best and brightest students; and the great work of the students who are focused on earning a powerful college degree while proudly wearing the Wolf Pack uniform in athletic competition. I'm proud to work on a campus filled with people who share a focus on student success.
Our donors also play a vital role in our academic success. The many donors who helped to fund the Marguerite Wattis Petersen Academic Center made a transformative contribution to the welfare and academic success of our students. The academic profile of our student athletes has increased each year since the building opened in 2008. Donations to the Pack Educational Fund, through your Scholarship Seating donations, support academic and athletic operating budgets for each of our teams. Every donor is making a difference to our academic success and we can't thank you enough!
One last item about our focus on education and academics which we believe is essential to building a comprehensive athletics program focused on the academic mission of the University. For many athletes, the opportunity to pursue a dream of playing professional sports is a once in a lifetime opportunity. We support our student athletes who want to chase their dreams and, importantly, we stand behind these athletes and support them as they return to complete their studies when their professional sport opportunity comes to an end. We currently have four former football players, a baseball player and a men's basketball player who left the Wolf Pack to pursue professional sports and are back now working to complete their academic degrees. Each of these young men understand the value of a college degree and we are excited to help them complete their studies.
As you can see, the focus on academic success is paramount to our daily thoughts and actions. As stated previously, we want to win, and win often. For Wolf Pack fans, you can be proud to know that we win in the classroom and in competition. Your contributions make a difference academically and athletically. Thank you for you great support of the Pack.
I will be back in touch again soon with more information about your Nevada Wolf Pack!
From the desk of athletics director Doug Knuth:
In recent months we have been busy building a top-notch customer service platform to serve the ticket and information needs of all Wolf Pack fans. This is exciting for us because our new customer service staff will be 100% focused on you and your needs related to Wolf Pack Athletics. Our goal is to make sure you know you have someone at the University looking out for your interests.
In the coming weeks and months leading up to the 2014 football season, you will be introduced to our customer service staff via e-mail, video, phone and in-person events and activities. Take a moment to meet your service representative. It's very easy to remember. The service representatives are assigned to you based on the first letter of YOUR last name (if your tickets are under a company name, it will be the first letter of your company name).
YOUR Last Name YOUR Account Representative Phone (775) Email
A-F Meredith Montoya 682-6905 email@example.com
G-N Danielle Pawliw 327-5001 firstname.lastname@example.org
O-Z Scott Turek 327-5009 email@example.com
Meredith, Danielle and Scott are here to serve you. They are happy to help you with questions related to home or away game tickets, season ticket renewals/upgrades/changes, parking, donations, and just about anything you need from Wolf Pack Athletics and the University. Test their knowledge with a question about your tickets, or just say hello - send your service representative a note today!
As our Spring academic semester comes to a close this week, I am thrilled to report the amazing work of our student-athletes in their community service efforts this year. Individual student athletes, and often entire teams, volunteer at hospitals and elementary schools, collect shoes for homeless/needy families, volunteer at the Boy & Girls Club, and serve the community through a variety of charitable organizations. Our Give Back Like Jack Awards, recognizing student athletes and staff members who go above and beyond the call of duty in their community service efforts, were earned by Nikki Longland (Swimming), Ariel Craig (Softball) and Kim Anastassatos (cheer coach and fundraising staff).
Lastly, we are celebrating graduation this week on campus. The Quad looks beautiful for Commencement exercises on Friday and Saturday. Please join me in congratulating our 57 student-athletes who will participate in Commencement this week. These are amazing young men and women who are entering the workforce with a strong degree from the University and amazing leadership skills honed through participation in Division I Athletics. I will be in touch soon with more detail on the great work of these graduating seniors.
As always, thank you for your continuing support of Wolf Pack Athletics.
University of Nevada
Former University of Nevada catcher/outfielder Chris Gimenez got the call from the Texas Rangers on Tuesday and was promoted to the major leagues from triple-A Round Rock where he was batting .259 with four home runs and 16 RBI in 31 games. Gimenez played three seasons for the Wolf Pack from 2002-04 primarily in left field before being drafted by the Cleveland in 2004 after his junior year and signed with the Indians.
Gimenez has played for four teams Cleveland, Seattle, Tampa and now Texas in five seasons at the major league level. In the five seasons the versatile player has appeared in 143 games and played first base, third base, catcher and in the outfield. He has a career batting average of .199 with 13 doubles, six home runs and 30 RBI as a major league hitter.
Former University of Nevada outfielder Brooks Klein is graduating with Latin Distinction - magna cum laude this week with a degree in Health Sciences. Klein is the Senior Scholar for the division of Health Sciences for the May 2014 graduating class. The honor indicates that he had the highest gpa of all graduates in DHS this semester. He has been invited to carry the gonfalon for DHS.
Klein played two seasons for the Wolf Pack after transferring from Western Nevada College. His junior year he earned first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors and was a second-team All-Mountain West selection as a senior. He earned second-team Capitol One Academic All-America honors as a senior.
In two seasons he played in 114 games and earned 112 starts for the Pack primarily in right field. He batted .340 with 84 RBI and 15 home runs.