June 2012 Archives

Nevada's Top Moments from its 12 Years in the WAC

As the Wolf Pack gets ready to officially enter the Mountain West Conference on Sunday, it is worth a moment to look back on our 12 great years in the Western Athletic Conference from 2000-01 to 2011-12.

Here are 12 of our biggest accomplishments while in the WAC, one for each year we spent in the league:

12. Wolf Pack student-athletes earned WAC All-Academic honors 1,055 times in Nevada's 12 years in the conference.

11. Nevada teams won a total of 22 WAC regular-season and conference championships.

10. In 2003, Abigail McAllister set the school record for the 5,000 meters to win the Western Athletic Conference cross country individual championship and secure Nevada's first WAC team title in any sport. Four Wolf Pack runners finished inside the top 10 to lead the Wolf Pack to the WAC championship that day.

9. In 2007, Taylor Coffman chipped out of the bunker and made a four-foot putt for par to clinch Nevada's first WAC men's golf championship. Coffman swept the conference awards that year, winning both WAC Player and Freshman of the Year honors.

8. In 2006, just six years after its first season, Nevada won the Western Athletic Conference soccer tournament and earned the program's first visit to the NCAA Championship. The Wolf Pack won the WAC Tournament in dramatic fashion that year, knocking off Fresno State in double overtime (4-2 penalty kicks) at Mackay Stadium.

7. The Wolf Pack women's swimming and diving program captured three consecutive WAC championships from 2007-09. During the time period, In those three years, Nevada had the WAC Swimmer of the Year in Margaret Doolittle in 2008, two Coaches of the Year (Mike Shrader in 2007 and Mike Richmond in 2008) and three straight Freshmen of the Year (Doolittle in 2007, Jeannette Tour in 2007 and Kim Kabesh in 2008).

6. Nick Fazekas was named the WAC Basketball Player of the Year in 2005, 2006 and 2007, joining Utah's Keith Van Horn as just the second player in the history of the conference to earn that distinction three times. The most decorated player in school history, he became the first Nevada player and just the fifth in the history of the WAC to turn in 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in his career. He also finished ranked second in the WAC in career rebounding and third in career scoring.

5. Just three years after the program was reinstated, the Wolf Pack women's softball team won its first Western Athletic Conference championship in March of 2006, capturing the tournament title and earning the first NCAA Regional invitation in school history. The Wolf Pack would go on to win two more WAC titles, capturing regular-season crowns and earning NCAA Regional appearances in 2008 and 2009.

4. The Wolf Pack men's basketball team vaulted to the top of the WAC in 2003-04, tying for first in the WAC regular season and knocking off UTEP in the championship game of the 2004 WAC Tournament to earn Nevada's first NCAA Tournament appearance in 19 years. That would mark the five of five consecutive WAC regular-season titles and four straight NCAA appearances for the Wolf Pack. The magic didn't stop there as the Wolf Pack made a Cinderella run to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen that year.

3. The Wolf Pack captured the Commissioner's Cup as the top athletic program in the conference in 2006-07. Nevada took home four conference titles this year, including a regular-season championship by men's basketball and WAC Championships crowns by women's soccer, women's swimming and diving and men's golf. The Wolf Pack also advanced to the championship games at both the WAC softball and baseball championships, turned in second-place finishes at the cross country and outdoor track championships and made semifinals appearances in women's basketball, men's tennis and women's tennis.

2. Nevada captured one of the biggest victories in school history when the Wolf Pack knocked off then third-ranked Boise State 34-31 in overtime on Nov. 26, 2010. That game clinched Nevada's second WAC football crown and its first since 2005.

1. The Wolf Pack men's basketball team was a dominant force in the WAC, winning five straight regular-season championships from 2004-08. Nevada won a total of eight WAC titles in the Wolf Pack's time in the league, including tournament victories in 2004 and 2008, and wrapped up Nevada's 12 years in the league with a regular-season title in 2012.

Over these twelve years, we have had a chance to work with some great colleagues at the conference office and at the member institutions and compete against some outstanding student-athletes and coaches. We wish all of them the best of luck as we move into a new conference and new era for Wolf Pack Athletics!

Nevada Has Second-Most Draft Picks Among Non-BCS Schools since 2002

This came out a few days ago, but it is worth a second look as the NBA Draft gets underway tonight.

Matt Norlander, senior college basketball blogger at CBSSports.com, took a look at draft patterns over the past decade and it is worth noting that the University of Nevada is tied for second in the country with Gonzaga (and behind only Memphis' 10) as the non-BCS school with the most draft picks since 2002. It's interesting to see how many basketball powerhouses Nevada ranks above in terms of number of draft picks in that stretch.

The Wolf Pack has had six men's basketball players taken in the NBA Draft since 2004:

2004 - Kirk Snyder (Utah Jazz, first round, 16th pick overall)
2007 - Nick Fazekas (Dallas Mavericks, second round)
2007 - Ramon Sessions (Milwaukee Bucks, second round)
2008 - JaVale McGee (Washington Wizards, first round, 18th pick overall)
2010 - Luke Babbitt (Minnesota Timberwolves, first round, 16th pick overall)
2010 - Armon Johnson (Portland Trail Blazers, second round)

Even though the Wolf Pack's Olek Czyz and Dario Hunt are probably long shots to be taken in this year's draft, we wish them the best of luck as they pursue careers in professional basketball. It will be interesting to see if Nevada will add to its impressive draft total.

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Nevada track and field Volunteer Coach Collier Lawrence will compete in the Olympic trials preliminaries 3,000 meter steeplechase event today at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. Twenty-four athletes are expected for the preliminaries, the finals begin on Friday and will feature 12-14 racers.

The former Reno High and Washington State distance runner achieved the Olympic Trials A Standard in the steeplechase, finishing in second place with a 9:53.79 time in the 2nd section at Stanford's Payton Jordan Invitational earlier this year.

While at Washington State, Lawrence lettered in cross country and track and field. She was a two-time PAC 10 scorer (2006 and 2008) and three-time regional qualifier (2006-08) in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Lawrence just completed her third season at Nevada as a volunteer assistant cross country and track and field coach.

Former Pack Assistants Levens, Moore Join Arizona State Staff

Two former Wolf Pack assistant women's basketball coaches Amanda Levens and Jackie Moore have recently joined the coaching staff at Arizona State University.

Both Moore and Levens were part of head coach Kim Gervasoni's staff at the University of Nevada and helped lead the Wolf Pack to the first postseason appearance in school history in 2006-07.

Moore returns to the coaching ranks after spending the last three years as a member of Walmart's store operations management team, while Levens returns to her alma mater after serving as the head coach at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville from 2009-12. Her teams improved in each of her four seasons as the Cougars made the transition to NCAA Division I status. Levens was named the Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 2012 after leading her team to a third-place finish in its first years as a full-fledged member of the league. 

Nick Fazekas Playing for ASEAN Basketball Crown

Former Wolf Pack All-American Nick Fazekas has spent the last few months playing in the Phillippines in the ASEAN Basketball League in southeast Asia.

His team, the San Miguel Beermen, is currently playing for ASEAN Basketball League championship.

Fazekas has been tearing it since joining the San Miguel club in April and is averaging 22.7 points and 13.8 points per game.

He turned in a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds in San Miguel's 86-83 win over the Indonesia Warriors on Saturday in the first game of the best-of-three championship series.

The Beermen will attempt to clinch the championship next week in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Feature on Scott Smith Playing the U.S. Open

The Reno Gazette-Journal's Dan Hinxman wrote a nice feature on former Wolf Pack golfer Scott Smith who is playing in the U.S. Open starting this morning at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

According to Hinxman, Smith, a Fallon native, is the second Northern Nevadan to be playing in the U.S. Open in the past 30 years.

Good luck to Smith and fellow former Wolf Pack golfers Michael Allen and Charlie Wi as play gets underway today. Allen tees off at 9:01 a.m. this morning, Smith is set for 9:12 a.m. and Wi goes off at 1:07 p.m.  

Ryan Radtke Interviews Governor's Dinner Speaker Doug Gottlieb

In case you haven't checked it out, Voice of the Wolf Pack Ryan Radtke recently caught up with current ESPN college basketball analyst and Governor's Dinner speaker Doug Gottlieb.

The 16-minute interview is available here and covers everything from the Wolf Pack to the parity in college basketball today.

This year's Governor's Dinner is set for Friday, July 13 at the Governor's Mansion in Carson City. Tickets and more information are available by calling (775) 682-6965.

Three Former Wolf Pack Golfers to Compete in This Week's U.S. Open

Three former Wolf Pack golfers - Michael Allen, Scott Smith and Charlie Wi - will hit the links at this week's U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

Smith, who finished his stellar Wolf Pack career last year, is competing in his second professional event after receiving an exemption to play in last year's Reno-Tahoe Open. 

Here is a nice article about Smith by Thomas Ranson of the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

Nevada fans can also follow the former Wolf Pack players' progress at the USGA's U.S. Open website

A Real Live Wolf Visits the Wolf Pack

The Wolf Pack had a friendly, furry visitor today when Thunder, a wolf owned by Wolf Pack fan Steve Trudell, stopped by Legacy Hall.

Thunder is a two and a half year old male. His mother was pure timber wolf and his father was half Alaskan wolf and half Alaskan Malamute. Trudell (pictured below with Thunder and Wolf Pack director of athletics Cary Groth) has raised five wolves in the last 32 years.

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Tahnee Robinson Visits White House

Former Wolf Pack basketball star Tahnee Robinson recently visited the White House as part of her involvement in First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! In Indian Country initiative.

Robinson, who also serves as an ambassador for the Nike N7 program, and fellow professional basketball player Ben Strong led a group of Native American youth through a basketball clinic last week in celebration of the one-year anniversary of the initiative.

If you haven't seen it yet, here is the public service announcement Robinson starred in as part of her support of program which aims to build a healthy future for Native American Youth:

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Incoming women's basketball freshman Terilyn Moe recently became one of five athletes in the 51-year history of Terra Nova High School to have their jersey retired.

"This is a huge honor," Moe said, of having her jersey retired. "It's a real surprise, but I have a lot of fond memories of playing at Terra Nova and am proud of the accomplishments of our team. I'm very happy for it and humbled."

Most recently, the senior point guard was named to the ESPN and MaxPreps High School All-State teams along with being selected for the third consecutive year to both the San Francisco Chronicle All Bay Area and the San Jose Mercury News All Metro teams.

Be sure to come out to cheer on Terilyn and her Nevada women's basketball teammates at Lawlor Events Center next season.

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