Former University of Nevada track & field student-athlete Landis Hanson passed away on Dec. 16 at the age of 51.

Hanson attended Nevada on a track & field scholarship and was a decathlete for two years, eventually becoming a team captain. A native of Reno, Hanson was a track & field standout at Hug High School, as well, setting records in the hurdle and won a Nevada state championship in hurdles his senior year.

For the past four years, Hanson had been a volunteer track coach at Damonte Ranch High School. Prior to that, he volunteered at Hug, Reno High School and Spanish Springs High School.

Hanson graduated from Nevada in 1989 with a degree in pre-med. In 1990 he obtained a degree as a medical laboratory scientist and was employed at Reno VA Medical Center from 1990-2014.

A memorial service for Hanson will be held at 2 p.m. Jan. 11 at St. Luke's Lutheran Church, 3835 Lakeside Drive, Reno.

Tonight's Wolf Pack basketball game will feature "Kindness Minute"

From Brian Williams, Nevada alum and founder of Think Kindness:

During the Nevada men's basketball game against Cal State Fullerton tonight, Wolf Pack fans will be asked to partake in the first ever 'Kindness Minute.' Nevada cheerleaders will run throughout the stands for 60 seconds asking fans to give loose change and donations into megaphones. All proceeds will go towards the purchase of toys for Toys For Tots.

The Kindness Minute is an initiative put forth by the University of Nevada's Cheer4Kindness team, which challenges cheerleaders from across the United States to carry out community acts of Kindness.

"It went from a coffee shop table side chat, to a social media post, to over 2,300 cheerleaders signing up across the country within the past 4 weeks," said Kim Anastasaatos, Nevada's head cheer coach. "When we work together, big things can happen."

The University of Nevada cheerleaders are now inspiring teens from across the country to cheer through their actions, not just their words. Today, the challenge will be passed onto Pack fans to ban together, donate loose change and carry out one single but powerful act of kindness.

Think Kindness is a local non-profit that inspires measurable acts of kindness in schools and communities around the country. Funds raised tonight will be used to purchase toys for children throughout Washoe County.

"Thousands of people doing one simple act of kindness will, in turn, impact hundreds of children in our community, in just 60 seconds," said Brian Williams, the founder of Think Kindness. "From a dime to a dollar, we will make a ripple of good in our community this holiday season. Kindness has no boundaries, especially at a Nevada basketball game!"

The Cheer4Kindness & Think Kindness team will be filming a video to showcase the impact every donor made in our community.

"We will show the act of kindness go full-circle," said Williams.

Tip-off for the game is 7 p.m. at Lawlor Events Center. 

Dear Wolf Pack Fans,

I have some exciting news to share with you as earlier today, our Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents gave approval to our plan to make some necessary upgrades and additions to Mackay Stadium.

We are grateful to President Marc Johnson, the senior leadership of the University and the NSHE Board for their support throughout the planning and approval process.

These changes are long overdue and the heart of the project centers around you, our fans. We want to improve the condition and safety of our stadium. We want to raise the level of the fan experience in our stadium. We want to make Mackay Stadium a destination on Saturdays in the fall for our community here in Northern Nevada.

For nearly three years, our team here has developed this project, working directly with fan focus groups and analyzing data collected in fan surveys. Ever since my arrival, I've listened to your feedback about the gameday environment at Mackay Stadium and heard a familiar message - the stadium needs improvement. We have a great stadium but we were not meeting the expectations of fans.

The result was the proposal that was approved today to enhance the safety, comfort and enjoyment for Wolf Pack fans. We will widen the aisles and add handrails for safety. We will move our ADA seating to a more prominent and accessible location while increasing the number of spaces for wheelchairs.  In seven sections of our stadium, we will remove the metal bleacher seating and add more comfortable chairback seating. We will add more seating and hospitality options with an indoor stadium club, club seats and loge boxes. And lastly, we will expand the eastside suites to include a patio area for indoor and outdoor seating.

For season ticket holders in the lower east and west sides of the stadium, the new seating areas and amenities will result in some changes to your particular seating area at the stadium. Our goal and the bulk of our work leading up to the 2016 season will be to keep fans in similar seats and sitting with the people they want to sit with at games.

We know you are eager to hear more about the changes coming to Mackay and we know you may have questions about the project. Over the next two months, our team will be fine-tuning the project and ironing out the final details. In February, we want to be able to share with you the final plans, answer your questions and begin implementing the renovation process.

As we go through the renovation process we will be communicating with season ticketholders via mail, email and phone.  You can ensure we have your correct contact information by calling (775) 348-PACK.  If you are not a season ticketholder, you can register to receive more information by clicking here or by calling (775) 348-PACK.

Exciting times are ahead and I hope you share in our enthusiasm for the future of Mackay Stadium and Wolf Pack Athletics.

Go Pack!

Doug Knuth

Wolf Pack Fans, Reward Yourself and the Team

A letter from Nevada athletics director Doug Knuth ...

Wolf Pack Fans - Reward Yourself and the Team

What if we could watch the great Colin Kaepernick, or the legendary Frank Hawkins, don a Wolf Pack jersey and play one more game in Mackay Stadium?  Would you be there to see one of the all-time greats play again?  Most of us would do almost anything for that opportunity. You wouldn't miss that opportunity - weather forecast or game time be damned.

Well here we are with that opportunity, but instead of Kaepernick or Hawkins, we have one of the all-time greats in Cody Fajardo and his teammates Brock Hekking, Kendall Brock, Matt Galas, Jonathan McNeal, Charles Garrett and many other memorable Wolf Pack players (the full list follows below). This team is on the doorstep of winning the Mountain West Conference West Division and can take an important step in that direction Saturday night.  

So I say reward yourself and your family - come to Mackay Stadium on Saturday to see some great players and help the team take a step toward a championship.  This is a lasting memory you don't want to miss.  We have one more chance to say thank you, to recognize their efforts this season, to reward the team with a big ovation.  One more time to celebrate a big victory at Mackay.  

Speaking of saying thank you - I'll close this short message with this thought.  We have 15 senior football players, 5 senior cheerleaders and 20 senior members of the band - these young men and women work their tails off to represent our University and our community.  On Saturday night at Mackay Stadium we get ONE LAST CHANCE to say thank you to these wonderful students.

As I said before, weather forecast and game time be damned, I hope you will join us on Saturday night to recognize one of the great quarterbacks in school history, celebrate the accomplishments of our senior student athletes, cheer and band members, and celebrate an important victory for the Pack over a tough Mountain West Conference Divisional rival.

You can buy your tickets by calling (775) 348-PACK or online anytime at

Thank you and Go Pack!

2015 Senior Football Players
Kendall Brock
Devin Combs
Cody Fajardo
Evan Favors
Matt Galas
Charles Garrett
Nigel Haikins
Jordan Hanson
Brock Hekking
Gabe Lee
Nate McLaurin
Jonathan McNeal
Kyle Roberts
Dupree Roberts-Jordan
Richy Turner

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The morning after defeating the Academy of Art, 74-51 in an exhibition contest, the University of Nevada women's basketball team came straight back to Lawlor Events Center bright and early Saturday morning to host a free skills clinic. The Wolf Pack coaching staff and student-athletes ran the clinic from 9 a.m. to noon for girls in grades 1-8, with about 70 girls in attendance. Drills included shooting, passing, dribbling, defense, among others and all participants received a free t-shirt.
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Longland Takes on Medical School Next

Former Wolf Pack swimmer Nikki Longland is in her first year of medical school in the University of Nevada's School of Medicine.

She joins a long list of former Wolf Pack student-athletes who have gone on to professional schools. Most recently, Nevada has seen Shavon Moore (women's basketball), Jacob Anderson (baseball) and Katie Lyons (skiing) go on to medical school, Alex Borcherts (women's golf) enroll in nursing school and Meghann Morill (rifle) and Kimberly Medina (swimming) enter law school just to name a few.

A local product from Sparks, Longland earned her bachelor's degree in biology in May of 2014. She competed in numerous events for the Wolf Pack swimming team during her career including the backstroke and breaststroke disciplines as well as the medley and medley relay events. An academic all-conference honoree, she won Nevada's Give Back Like Jack Community Service Award in 2014 for her dedication for giving back to the community. She is a certified emergency medical technician (EMT) and volunteered more than 350 hours in the Northern Nevada Medical Emergency Room and more than 60 hours as a volunteer in the Student Outreach Clinic on campus.

We recently caught up with Longland to talk about entering medical school and how her athletics experience will help her in her career endeavors.

Q: What are your ultimate career goals?
A: My ultimate career goal is to become the best physician that I can be. I'm not quite sure what field I want to go into yet. But, for whatever field I eventually chose, I want to be somewhere that I can help patients and enjoy work every day.

Q: When did you decide that you wanted to pursue medical school?

A: At the end of my freshman year of college I saw medicine as a potential field that I may be interested in.  I began volunteering in an emergency room and I became an EMT. These experiences made me realize how interesting and fun I found medicine to be, and I decided during my sophomore year that I wanted to become a physician.

Q: What did you do this summer to prepare (or to take a break from school)?

A: I prepared for medical school this summer by taking a complete mental and physical break. I spent a lot of time with my family and did some traveling. This break made me really excited to start school, and I think it was the best way to prepare for the next four challenging years.

Q: What do you think will be the most difficult part about your first year in medical school?
A: I think that the most difficult part of my first year will be adjusting to being just a student. I will need to put all of my time and energy into school, where previously I had always had multiple things to focus on. I am used to thinking about school, swimming, volunteering, and everything else. This will be the first time that I can put all of my work into school.

Q: How do you feel like your background as a high-level swimmer will help you as you pursue high-level post-graduate work?

A: There are so many ways that swimming has prepared me to be a better medical student. I have learned how to best manage my time. Also, the dedication, hard work and toughness that swimming required have taught me how to not only push though hard situations but to thrive in them. And it has also taught me that people are capable of much more than they ever thought they could be. I was always surprised at the end of a season at how much my teammates and I could accomplish. This has shown me that I can do more than I give myself credit for.

Pack alum Michael Allen wins again

SAN ANTONIO, Texas. - Former Nevada men's golfer Michael Allen won the Champions Tour AT&T Championship this past weekend. This was his second victory of the year, and his seventh on the Champions tour.

Allen finished the final round with a six-under 66, and finished with a 15-under 201 for the tournament. Allen birdied three of the final four holes, including a 5-footer on the 18th hole of TPC's San Antonio AT&T's Canyons Course.

Allen finished eighth in the Charles Schwab Cup with a scoring average of 69.75 and nine top-10 finishes.

Allen, who graduated from the University of Nevada in 1982, has 10 professional wins, seven of which came in the Champions Tour. In 2009 he won the Senior PGA Championship with a six-under 274.

He was inducted into the Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013.

Members of the University of Nevada women's basketball team and coaching staff put on a local clinic this past Wednesday, Oct. 15 for students at Hidden Valley Elementary School. The clinic, which featured five Nevada student-athletes and four members of the coaching staff, was put on for sixth grade boys and girls attending Hidden Valley. With over 60 kids in attendance, the clinic was spearheaded by Nevada assistant coach Julie Rousseau and ran about an hour and a half long. The Pack set up a number of stations for drills, including shooting, ball handling, footwork, passing, defense and lay ups. The coaches and student-athletes also addressed the kids during the clinic about college life and playing at the Division I level. At the conclusion of the clinic, players took time to sign autographs for everyone in attendance.

Christenson wins gold medal at Championship of the Americas

Dempster Christenson.jpgDempster Christenson a former member of the University of Nevada rifle team shot his way to a gold medal at the 2014 Championship of the Americas being held in Guadalajara, Mexico today.  Dempster was second heading into the finals of today's air rifle but averaged 10.32 points on his 20-shot final round to total a score of 206.4 in the finals to claim gold.  The 206.4 tied the tied the American finals record previously set at the 2013 World Cup USA in Ft. Benning, Ga.  The Sioux Falls, S.D. native also secured and Olympic quota for the US.  

Pack alum Triplett wins again

CARY, N.C. - Former Nevada men's golfer Kirk Triplett won the SAS Championship on Sunday. This was his second victory of the year, and fourth in three seasons on the Champions tour.

Triplett finished the final round with a three-under 69, and finished with a 14-under 202 for the tournament. Triplett fired off six birdies in the final round at Prestonwood Country Club.

Triplett is currently sixth in the 2014 Charles Schwab Cup Rank and has nine top-10 finishes with a stroke average of 69.45.

Triplett, who graduated from the University of Nevada in 1985, is a three-time PGA tour winner, with wins coming at the Nissan Open in 2000, the Reno Tahoe-Open in 2003, and the Chrysler Classic of Tucson in 2006. He is also the oldest player to win a Nationwide Tour event at the age of 49.

Triplett was inducted in the Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000.

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