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In the midst of the Civil War, Nevada became the 36th state in the union, earning the state motto, "Battle Born." Ten short years later in 1874, the University of Nevada was founded, becoming the state's Land Grant institution.  Shortly thereafter, in 1896, the University's athletic program was established. While both our university and the Wolf Pack athletics program have grown dramatically, we've never lost sight of our roots here in Nevada.  

Battle Born is more than a motto - it's really a mindset here in Northern Nevada that resonates with all of us.  There's an independent and get-it-done type spirit about us that, in turn, leads us to take tremendous pride in our community, University and athletics program.  It is that mindset and spirit that inspires people to move here, stay here after they graduate from the University of Nevada; or, as it was in my case, return home to Nevada.

During the past year, as we've prepared for our entry into the Mountain West Conference, I've given many public presentations on our latest conference move; and I've also worked closely with our staff to develop a public awareness campaign in both the marketing and fundraising areas that is based on the idea that essentially says 'we're looking ahead to the future, but we will always be rooted in our storied past.' And that's why we have created the Battle Born Campaign.

Battle Born will be seen and felt across the board.  For example, when you arrive at Mackay Stadium or Lawlor Events Center this season, you will notice the Battle Born logo throughout each venue, including the football field and basketball court.  In fact, some of our teams may even feature the logo on their uniforms. Battle Born will be a sub brand of our main logo and will be used in a variety of areas within our program.  And of course, our partners at Silver and Blue Outfitters have already been on top of this for months now, offering great Battle Born-themed apparel.

Tied closely to our long term marketing and branding effort is our Battle Born fundraising effort.  For several months now, I've been working closely with community leaders to help facilitate our move to the Mountain West Conference.  I've asked them to consider giving $10,000 a year for each of the next three years as we make the financial and competitive transition to this new conference. And this commitment is above and beyond what they already give annually.  No doubt, it's a huge commitment. I'm excited--and honored--to tell you that as of this week, 45 companies or individuals have signed up!  They are not only leading us into a new conference, but they are helping to create a new era as well! To honor their commitment, we will have a dinner for them --on the 50-yard line under the lights at Mackay Stadium on August 30.  It's our humble way of saying thank you for stepping up when we really need them.    

Bottom line is this: There are only 119 Division I-A (FBS) athletics programs in the country - the elite level in college sports.  And Northern Nevada can proudly claim one of them.  As you well know, over the last decade, the Pack has enjoyed tremendous success on the national stage: in football, we've been to seven straight bowl games and a Top 15 ranking in 2010; in men's basketball, we've had multiple NCAA Tournament appearances, including the Sweet Sixteen in 2004 and several Top 25 rankings.  Both of these programs should compete immediately in the Mountain West in 2012-13.  Additionally, several other sports have had postseason success on the national stage, including softball, women's basketball, rifle and golf.  In the past six years alone, Pack teams have made over 80 national television appearances!

I believe this success and national exposure is tied directly to our community, and once again, our collective mindset. Wolf Pack Athletics is 80 percent self-supported - donations, season and single-game ticket sales, sponsorships, TV and radio agreements - provide the necessary funding we need.  Simply put, our teams can't line up and compete without the support we've always enjoyed from all of you in northern Nevada. I guess you could say we've always been Battle Born.

Like our troops who honorably serve on the USS Nevada submarine and whose rally cry is "Battle Ready?  Battle Born!", so too, are we, as we head into the Mountain West Conference.   

Thank you for all that you do for Wolf Pack Athletics! 

-Rory

For more on "Battle Born" please read the piece in today's Reno Gazette-Journal by Guy Clifton. The RGJ also featured our new ticketing partner, Legends Sales & Marketing, today.

Promoting Nevada Athletics At "Dorm Storm"

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Thousands of University of Nevada students moved in to the campus residence halls today as part of the annual "Dorm Storm" event.

University of Nevada Athletics Director Cary Groth, General Counsel Mary Dugan, Special Assistant to the President for Media Relations Jane Tors and other athletics staff were out today passing out fall schedule cards, free tickets, and other Wolf Pack items to students and parents.

Check out a few pictures of the day at the link below.

http://www.nevadawolfpack.com/view.gal?id=123823

cary_ryan2.jpgNavy Lieutenant Junior Grade Ryan Barrett stopped by Legacy Hall this week. Barrett wanted to drop off an American flag that flew over his Naval Base in Kandahar, Afghanistan in honor of the University of Nevada per his direction. A Reed High alum and University of Nevada Civil Engineering graduate in 2009, Barrett served as a College of Engineering student senator as well as being involved in the Blue Crew.

Every day each command flies its own flag. The American flag shown in the photo with Ryan and Nevada Athletics Director Cary Groth flew over Barrett's Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Seven base during Operation Enduring Freedom on May 2, 2012.

Ryan was recently transferred to the Naval Air Station in Lemoore, Calif. He is looking forward to being closer to Reno and attending Nevada's opening football game against Cal in Berkeley, as well as the South Florida game at Mackay Stadium.

Nevada: One of the best "outdoor" universities

It's a bit off-topic from the normal Nevada Athletics realm here, but thought we'd pass along something that most of us here in Northern Nevada already know: The University of Nevada is situated in a perfect environment for outdoor enthusiasts.

"Outside" magazine recently announced its top universities for those looking for "adventure, grit, sweat, a worthy struggle, tested endurance, goosebump-inducing views, wide-open skies, maybe some roiling water."

The University of Nevada came in at No. 23 on the list, with the magazine noting: "With 79 percent possible sunny days per year and a trove of places to ski, hike, raft, paddle, sail, and tube, Nevada's student body gets out a lot, a fact helped by the more than 20 classes that require fieldwork."

Former Pack Star Nash Competes at Olympics

Former Wolf Pack cross country standout Katerina Hanusova Nash competed today in the Summer Olympics as a member of the Czech Republic's women's mountain biking team.

This year marks Nash's four Olympics appearance after competing in mountain biking in 1996 and cross country skiing in 1998 and 2002.

Nash was a three-time NCAA champion at the University of Nevada, winning the 15k freestyle and the 5k classical in 2001 and defending her 15k freestyle title in 2002. The four-time All-American became the second Wolf Pack skier to win a national title since Nevada Hall of Fame inductee Pat Myers won the downhill title in 1952 and the first Nevada woman.

Nash now lives in Truckee and competes as part of the LUNA women's mountain biking team. In July, the Reno Gazette-Journal's Lauren Gustus wrote this great feature about Nash and the places her mountain biking career has taken her.

Spoiler alert, Nash finished 14th in today's competition, turning in a time of 1:36.22. Check out the official results here and Nash's Olympic bio here.

Congratulations to Nash for representing her country and the Wolf Pack well!

Wolf Pack Volunteers at Reno-Tahoe Open

If you head out to the Reno-Tahoe Open at Montreux Golf and Country Club this weekend, you may see a few familiar Wolf Pack faces.

As part of our pledge to be "One Community, One Pack," Nevada Athletics has over 50 coaches and staff volunteering all to help out our community partners at the Reno-Tahoe Open. Wolf Pack staff are doing everything from helping to staff will call to walking the course as standard bearers.

Nevada fans are also encouraged to wear blue on the course to show their Wolf Pack pride and stop by the Pack Pavilion on the signature 17th green. Pack Pavilion will be open for all four rounds of the tournament is a great place to rest, visit with Wolf Pack coaches and staff and enjoy the course's signature hole.

Here is a photo of Wolf Pack fiscal specialist Tina Ruff who had the opportunity to walk the course with 2001 British Open champion David Duval this week.

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Hope to see all of our fans out at the Reno-Tahoe Open this weekend!

 

Red, white and BLUE!

We received this picture recently from the mother of a University of Nevada student who is part of the Nevada National Guard, serving at FOB Shank in Afghanistan. Three University students, A.J. Salaices, Jared Struber and Nels Hansen are showing their Wolf Pack pride while serving our country. The Silver and Blue Nevada flag is hanging from the tail of a Chinook Helicopter.
It's such a neat feeling to see the Wolf Pack represented all over the world.
To A.J., Jared and Nels, and to all of our men and women in uniform at home and abroad, we simply and humbly say Thank You for all that you do to serve our great country.

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Wolf Pack Cheerleader Competes in Miss Teen International Pageant

Incoming Wolf Pack cheerleader, Amanda Jenkins, is competing in the Miss Teen International Pagaent this week in Chicago, Ill.

A native of Vacaville, Calif., Jenkins will be a freshman at the University of Nevada this fall and plans to major in community health sciences with the career goal of becoming a physical therapist.
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"I chose Nevada because it has a major that suited my career choice, it's close to home, and I wanted to be involved with cheer at a school with strong traditions," she said.

Jenkins first became involved in the pageant scene two years when some family friends encouraged her to compete in her local pageant, and this year, she was named Miss Teen California International, which earned her a spot in the national pageant.

While the event is a beauty pageant, Jenkins said its primary focus is community service and involvement. She is actively involved in raising funds and awareness in the fight against cancet, participating in numerous events with the American Cancer Society including Relay for Life, Making Strides against Breast Cancer and Coaches vs. Cancer. Jenkins also implemented a program, Cheer for a Cause, through her high school cheer team to fundraise for the local Midnight Suns Foundation.

"This was important to me because I always believed in giving back," Jenkins said. "With the title Miss Teen International, I will be able to raise funds and awareness for cancer, not just statewide but nationwide as well! This is a very exciting year, and I'm looking forward to being a member of the Wolf Pack!"

Best of luck to Jenkins as she competes for the title this weekend!




Wolf Pack Athletics in the Black for 2011-12

Wolf Pack Athletics is back in the black for the first time since 2008-09 as this Reno Gazette-Journal blog entry by beat writer Chris Murray details. Today is the official close of the 2011-12 fiscal year, and Nevada Athletics has ended with a $50,000 surplus. 

As Nevada's chief financial told Murray:

"When you get to a point like this where your numbers cross over and you're in the black it's a culmination of a whole bunch of different things. Cost containment has been a big priority the past few years and we always try to make sure we have the welfare of the student-athletes first."

Governor's Dinner Speaker Doug Gottlieb and the "Douger"

As many of you know, ESPN college basketball analyst Doug Gottlieb was the speaker at the 44th annual Governor's Dinner last Friday. The evening was a great success, and Gottlieb entertained the audience with a great message about taking advantage of the opportunities in your life when they present themselves.
 
But Gottlieb's day began much earlier and he had the chance to experience what "One Community, One Pack" is in northern Nevada. Gottlieb had a busy day, arriving on campus at 10:30 a.m., answering questions from the media at a press conference at 11 a.m., heading to the ESPN Radio 94.5 FM studios to do the Doug Gottlieb Show live from Reno from 1-4 p.m. and finally driving to Carson City for the dinner at the Governor's Mansion.

Needless to say, the day's schedule left Gottlieb feeling a bit run down, so as his car pulled into Carson City, he asked Nevada's Senior Associate AD Rory Hickok if they could stop at Starbucks for a little caffeine.

The barista behind the counter saw Gottlieb and said "You're Doug Gottlieb! I was just listening to your show and was thinking 'wouldn't it be great if Doug Gottlieb stopped in on his way to the Governor's Dinner?' I can't believe it!" His manager also heard and recognized Gottlieb's voice and came out to meet him.

Gottlieb ordered his usual coffee, which he calls the "Douger," and signed a Starbucks cup for the staff, kindly checking off all of the ingredients in the "Douger" for them.  He even took a picture of the Starbucks staff and tweeted it.

Definitely a great day for a couple of Wolf Pack and Doug Gottlieb fans and an example of how lucky we are to be able to put on a great event and bring speakers like Gottlieb to our community  every year!

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