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!