As I approach the end of my first year as a member of the Pack, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the year and share some observations. Many of these observations will not be surprising to you because you are invested in Wolf Pack Athletics and you have known for many years what I am experiencing for the first time. For some fans reading this note you may be surprised at the clarity of our mission, the scope of our relationships in the community, or the size of the challenges to build the program we all want.
In most organizations the ability to achieve success is determined by the quality of the people who make up the organization - internally and externally. We have great people who are focused on the mission of Wolf Pack Athletics - to serve and support the educational mission of the University of Nevada, Reno. Our coaches and staff are educators, advisors, mentors and guidance counselors to the talented students who are preparing for life through the many lessons learned in sport and higher education. Our coaches are committed to serving our students by providing opportunities for achievement - in academics and athletics - while engaging our campus and our community in a meaningful way. We are thankful for the opportunity to serve our student athletes as they pursue their academic and athletic dreams.
We enjoy great support from the Governor's Office, the Washoe County Commissioner's Office, the Mayor's offices of Reno and Sparks and surrounding communities, city/town councils and school districts throughout Northern Nevada. Wolf Pack Athletics is partnering with civic leaders and public service organizations to promote and grow our shared interests in serving the people of Nevada.
I am grateful for the active support of the NSHE Board of Regents, the Chancellor's Office, President Marc Johnson, our campus-wide senior administration, the Deans/Directors and the faculty/staff at the University. There is wide support for intercollegiate athletics across campus and a shared understanding of the important community engagement opportunities that successful athletics can provide. This extends to our student body as represented by leaders in the Blue Crew, ASUN, Greek System, Residence Halls, recreation/club sports and others who proudly support the Pack. On this campus we are a team focused on growing the University and supporting our students. We are a united campus focused on student success.
I am grateful for the generous support of our business community and the efforts of EDAWN, RSCVA, Chamber of Reno-Sparks-Northern Nevada, and countless business leaders who are focused on reviving and rebuilding our economy together. Wolf Pack Athletics is engaged on many levels with the local business community to support this effort and create synergies among our mutual interests. We are making progress every day and I'm thrilled to play a role in supporting our business community.
Lastly, I am grateful to our community for their enduring support. The many community-based Foundations and donors to Wolf Pack Athletics and the individuals who buy tickets to attend games are the life-blood of our program. I love meeting people who share stories of 10, 20, 30 or more years of supporting the Pack through the Pack Educational Fund or buying season tickets. I hear stories of great teams and sometimes forgotten seasons and through it all these fans remain faithful to the Pack. I hope to share these stories in the future and honor the many people who make this One Community, One Pack.
The future of Wolf Pack Athletics is bright and full of both hope and opportunity, yet we have enormous challenges to regain our competitiveness amid a tough Mountain West Conference. We must invest in our future if we expect to win and enjoy the positive glow of athletics success for our University and community. You undoubtedly remember the feeling of the 2010 football season. Why can't we do that again, what is stopping us? Our student athletes are faced with decisions of commitment every day - how bad do you want it, what are you willing to do to get better, what is the sacrifice you are willing to make to win? Even the most naturally gifted people in all walks of life talk about the commitment to be the best - the investment of time, money, practice and sacrifices they made to achieve. The same commitment applies to our desire to be among the best Athletic programs in the Mountain West.
Our challenges are embedded in four primary areas - facilities, performance/training, recruiting and retention. We have a list of facility needs that begins with updating Mackay Stadium, as well as building a University Fieldhouse indoor facility and tennis courts. Our facility plan includes improvements, updates and construction in other areas too. In terms of performance, we need to invest in proper nutrition by providing high performance foods which will lead immediately to improved athletic performance (I also believe academic performance can improve with proper nutrition). Most coaches will tell you the most important thing they do is recruiting - better athletes give you a better chance to win in all sports. We need to commit additional dollars to recruiting so our coaches can do more in-person player evaluations, home visits, and scour the country to bring the best student athletes to our campus. Lastly, retaining our best coaches will lead to long-term continuity, recruiting, player development and winning.
In the future we will be asking all Wolf Pack fans to make a commitment - just as our best athletes make a commitment to excellence, we need your commitment too. We will ask you to invest time, money and make sacrifices (you don't have to attend practice!) for the goal we all share. Your investment through ticket purchases, donations or sponsorship will provide our coaches the tools necessary to recruit the best and brightest students. Your investment will provide our students with the training resources they need to compete at the highest level in their sport. Your investment will create the program we all want. Simply stated, we want to win - in the classroom and in competition.
In closing, a great friend of mine recently told me the secret to getting things done is inspiration more than motivation. I am inspired by our students, our faculty, staff and coaches, and our community every day. You inspire me to get things done that will change our world - to make a huge difference for our great University and our wonderful community.
My family and I love it here and we look forward to another great year of Wolf Pack Athletics.
Thank you for inspiring us and supporting Wolf Pack Athletics. I will be in touch again soon.
Director of Athletics
University of Nevada