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Jake Lawlor at the Olympics

This was written by Senior Associate Athletics Director Rhonda Lundin

Lawlor 1960 Olympics-1.jpg

With the excitement in Sochi starting today, we thought we would give you a little Wolf Pack blast from the past, Olympic-style.

 

When Squaw Valley played host to the Winter Olympics in 1960, many local leaders were involved in the planning and execution of the massive event. The Wolf Pack's director of athletics and former basketball coach Jake Lawlor was one of the volunteers at the Games. According to athletics director emeritus Dick Trachok, the former coach who had recently retired after the 1958-59 season served as a timer for the biathlon, the Olympic event that includes cross country skiing and rifle shooting.

 

In these great historic photos, you can see Lawlor in action on the slopes and as part of the volunteer contigent (Jake is in the back row, third from the right).

 

The photos of Lawlor as well as his actual volunteer patch are part of an enormous collection of artifacts donated to Wolf Pack Athletics by Steve Scott. His aunt, Erma, was married to Lawlor and spent years collecting photos, newspaper clippings and other artifacts that celebrate Lawlor's decades of service to the University of Nevada.

 

She put together an enormous scrapbook commemorating Lawlor's career following retirement from the University in 1972. The scrapbook includes hundreds of amazing photos, telegrams, mementos and newspaper clippings from his remarkable career as a student-athlete at both Virginia City High School and the University of Nevada, head coach of the Wolf Pack basketball, baseball and teams (and assistant football coach), athletics director and university professor.

 

Erma Lawlor included a letter to her husband at the beginning of the scrapbook that said in part "your life has been so full of great achievements and well-earned successes that backward glances of these pages will bring a deep and lasting satisfaction as well as precious memories."

 

The letter also included a postscript expressing her desire that the scrapbook one day be donated to the University so that everyone could enjoy it. Scott donated the scrapbook to the University in 2012 in accordance with his aunt's wishes.

 

 It is our hope to be able to share more glimpses into this amazing treasure trove of Wolf Pack history with you in the coming months and to ultimately create a display case commemorating Lawlor's career in the Hall of Champions lobby in Legacy Hall. We also plan to turn the scrapbook over to University Archives so that it can be catalogued and properly preserved for years to come.


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