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Former Wolf Pack Skier Katie Lyons Continues to Help Others with Scoliosis

As Wolf Pack fans may remember, former skier Katie Lyons racked up a list of impressive accolades while she was at Nevada: All-American, academic all-district selection and finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year to just name a few.

But what people may not know about Lyons is that her skiing career was nearly ended when she was diagnosed with scoliosis when she was 15. After having major back surgery, she returned to the slopes and had a great career at Nevada while continuing to work with her surgeon to help others overcome what can be a debilitating disease.

Lyons is now in her second year at the University of Nevada's School of Medicine where she plans to pursue a career in orthopedics. She also continues to help others who have been diagnosed with scoliosis and has recently shared her story as part of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons' A Nation in Motion campaign that allows Americans to share their personal stories.

Here is a story on Katie Lyons and the great work she continues to do, recently aired by Dina Kupfer and KRNV in Reno.

New University President Knows Wolf Pack is Two Words

Dr. Marc Johnson was recently named the 16th president of the University of Nevada after serving as the interim president for the past year.

Dr. Johnson has been a loyal fan of the Wolf Pack (two words) during his time at Nevada, but most fans may not realize that he has ties to the other Wolfpack (one word) from North Carolina State University.

As this clever story by the NC State Alumni Association points out, Dr. Johnson was a student and professor at NC State earlier in his career.

It is definitely worth a read to get to know the leader of the Wolf Pack a little better.

Congratulations to Dr. Johnson on his appointment as university president. We look forward to seeing him at many Wolf Pack events this year.

 

Wear Your Denim and Wolf Pack Shirt Wednesday

Today I had the privilege of participating in a press conference with Nevada First Lady Kathleen Sandoval about Denim Day, which is Wednesday, April 25. Denim Day is a national and statewide movement to raise awareness about sexual assault.

The Nevada Athletics staff will be wearing our denim (and Wolf Pack shirts) tomorrow as part of the Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Campaign, and I hope all of our Wolf Pack fans will join us to support this important cause.

More information about this effort is available here.

Here is the photo from today's press conference (from left: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Reno CEO Ann Silver, Nevada Director of Athletics Cary Groth, Old Navy Store Manager Leslie Crossley, First Lady Kathleen Sandoval and AlertID Founder Keli Wilson):

A Great Source for Mountain West News

As Nevada prepares to move into the Mountain West Conference on July 1, a great source of news and information for Wolf Pack fans is Mountain West senior writer Mick McGrane.

McGrane writes a blog called McGrane's Take: Your Look Inside the Mountain West that highlights all of the member institutions as well as feature stories on student-athletes. He has covered the Mountain West since its inception in 1999 and spent 12 years as the beat writer for San Diego State football and basketball at the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Most recently, McGrane just completed a series of previews on all of the Mountain West football teams that is definitely worth a look. His last preview was on the Wolf Pack.

Fans can subscribe to McGrane's blog via email or can follow him on Twitter: @MWCMick.

Pack Wins WAC Awards, Powers Gets Win #900

If you have visited NevadaWolfPack.com this week, and it seems like there were a lot of accolades for the Wolf Pack this week, you were right.

Three Wolf Pack student-athletes earned WAC Player of the Week honors this week, and 23 Nevada student-athletes were just named to the Winter Academic All-WAC team in men's and women's basketball, women's indoor track and field and swimming and diving.

Here's a quick recap of all of Nevada's WAC Players of the Week from this week:

Michelle Okhremchuk - Women's Tennis
Okhremchuk, a sophomore from Doneck, Ukraine, went undefeated in singles and doubles play last weekend, while Nevada went 1-1 against Idaho and Gonzaga. She earned a 6-0, 6-3 victory in No. 1 singles against Idaho's Vicky Lozano and teamed with Emma Verberne to defeat Lozano and Almudena Sanz in a tiebreaker, 9-8 (7-4). Okhremchuk turned in another straight-set victory in the match vs. Gonzaga, topping Prue Teitzel 6-3, 6-0. She and Verberne also notched a victory in No. 1 doubles. The two singles wins give Okhremchuk 20 this season, which is good for fifth most in a season at Nevada.

Nikki Prichard - Women's Golf
A freshman from Newhall, Calif. (Hart HS), Prichard tied for seventh place at the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic held in Chandler, Ariz., last week.  Prichard finished with a 5-over par 221 (72-75-74) in posting her third top-10 finish of the year for the Wolf Pack.  The 72 in the first round tied her career-best.  It is the first time in her career that Prichard has won a WAC golfer of the week or month award.

Bradey Shipley - Baseball (Pitcher)
Shipley, a sophomore from Medford, Ore. (North Medford HS), pitched eight shutout innings to earn his sixth win of the season as the Pack defeated Louisiana Tech 3-2 last Friday. The eight innings are a career high in which he struck out five and walked two. Shipley did not allow a hit in his last four innings on the mound. All three hits allowed were singles and came in the first four innings of the game. No LA Tech hitter reached third base when Shipley was on the mound.

And another congratulations to baseball coach Gary Powers who got his 900th career win (all at the University of Nevada) with the Wolf Pack's 10-5 victory over San Francisco yesterday at Peccole Park. Nevada is 20-16 overall this year and is tied for second with a 4-2 WAC mark (a half-game out of first), while the Wolf Pack takes a four-game winning streak into this weekend's series at Sacramento State.

 

Meet the Face Behind Pack City

If you went to Wolf Pack basketball game this year, you likely heard the Pack City song and saw the video.

That song about the Wolf Pack men's basketball team and the follow-up song, Never Doubt the Pack, are the brainchild of University of Nevada student Jimmy Thorngren. Thorngren paired up some friends, including former men's basketball player and current graduate assistant Adam Carp and Kyle Weerheim (also a student on campus and volunteer in the Wolf Pack media services office) to produce videos to go along with those songs.

Thorngren also wrote the song the football team ran out to this past season: Runnin' with the Pack.

Juan Lopez of the Sagebrush recently caught up Thorngren, and here's the story if you want to learn a little more about him.

You can also check out all of Weerheim's Wolf Pack videos on his YouTube channel: Wolf Pack Films.

Nice Story in Sparks Tribune

The Sparks Tribune ran a nice story on one of our donors - Dr. Harry Huneycutt - last week - click here for the link.

Dr. Huneycutt and his wife, Dr. Rita Huneycutt, have sponsored our Academic Excellence and Scholarship Banquet since its beginnings in 2006. That great event recognizes the academic achievements of Wolf Pack student-athletes as well as all of the donors who have endowed scholarships for student-athletes.

This year's banquet, held in November, recognized 119 Wolf Pack Scholars who maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0-3.49 and 76 Silver and Blue Scholars who hold a cumulative GPA of 3.5-4.0. In addition, Nevada honored the 100 student-athletes who earned Western Athletic Conference All-Academic honors during the 2010-11 academic year, student-athletes who were named scholar-athletes by coaching associations and the 50 Wolf Pack student-athletes who graduated this winter.

Speaking of scholarships, Nevada just held its third annual Blue Tie Ball on Friday night at the Peppermill. Over 450 people attended the elegant and exciting event, which raises money for student-athlete scholarships at the University of Nevada. We will have all of the photos and videos of the dances featuring Wolf Pack student-athletes up at this link in the next day or so. Definitely check them out - who knew that our student-athletes had such great moves off the field/court!

A special thanks to the Huneycutts and all of the donors who contribute to the Pack Educational Fund and support scholarships for student-athletes at the University of Nevada.

 

No. 7 Nevada Rifle Day One of NCAA Championships

The No. 7 Nevada Rifle team is out at Ohio State competing to bring a national title back to Reno. The match began earlier today. The team performed very well today in the smallbore competition and currently sits in fifth place going into the final day. Olivia Pennell shot a 578, Dempster Christenson shot a 577, Chelsie Hata shot a 576, Clif Little shot a 575, and Haunani Akana shot a 567. The team is looking forward to an exciting air rifle competition and awards banquet tomorrow.

The Wolf Pack Loves Our Firemen

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The Wolf Pack appreciates its heroes: the firefighters, police officers and first responders who do so much to keep us safe and make northern Nevada a great place to live.

And this afternoon, Wolfie Jr. and some of Nevada's cheerleaders visited some of the firehouses in Reno and Sparks to show our appreciation. We handed out free tickets and invited all of the firefighters to join the Wolf Pack on Valentine's Day when the Nevada men's basketball team takes on Cal State Bakersfield at 7 p.m. that night at Lawlor Events Center.

Enjoy some of the pictures from today and we hope you can come out to join the Wolf Pack (and our firefighters) on Tuesday night.

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Honoring Dick Trachok

Wolf Pack Athletics Director Emeritus Dick Trachok and his wife, Fran, are being honored for the time and commitment they have given to northern Nevada, Reno High School and the University of Nevada with a tribute at the Eldorado this weekend. Tickets at $25 for adults and $12.50 for children and can be purchased by calling (775) 786-5700 (mention code 12DT). For more information, call (775) 954-4052.

We honored Dick, a 1949 Nevada graduate, for his eight decades of service to the university this fall at the Hall of Fame Dinner and then again with the presentation of a championship ring from the 2010 football season in October. A star halfback in the 1940s, Dick served as the Wolf Pack head football coach and director of athletics and was inducted into the Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame in 1975. He was also instrumental in starting and serving as chairman of Nevada's Hall of Fame among his countless achievements at the university.

If you want to learn a little more about the Trachoks and their commitment to the community and the University of Nevada, here's a great story by Lenita Powers of the Reno Gazette-Journal that ran in Sunday's paper.

In honor of the achievements, we wanted to share a couple of our favorite photos from Dick's eight decades of service to the University of Nevada.

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Dick Trachok receiving his 2010 championship ring from Director of Athletics Cary Groth and University President Marc Johnson.











 
Dick from his playing days (#21 with the ball)

















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Dick was Nevada's head coach from 1959-68 and even coached a young and upcoming quarterback by the name of Chris Ault.

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Finally, Dick served as Nevada's athletics director from 1969-85 and continues to come into Legacy Hall every day as athletics director emeritus.



Congratulations to Coach Trachok and his wife, Fran, as they are honored this weekend!