University of Nevada Athletics Overview
With new leadership in place at three key positions, the University of Nevada’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics began the establishment of a foundation for success in 2013-14 with strong performances by several sports highlighting the athletics year for the Wolf Pack. With strong energy and clear vision from second-year athletics director Doug Knuth, the Wolf Pack is poised for more success in its third season as a member of the Mountain West Conference and sponsors 16 intercollegiate sports featuring more than 400 student-athletes. Knuth began his tenure in April of 2013 and the 2013-14 season saw the first full year for his vision and the coaching tenures of Brian Polian (football) and Jay Johnson (baseball).
Over the course of three commencement ceremonies during the year, the Wolf Pack saw more than 80 of its student-athletes graduate, bringing the total number of student-athlete graduates to 612 over the past nine years. The Wolf Pack’s graduation success rate is high at 77 percent and has improved in eight of the last nine years. Eleven of Nevada’s athletic programs saw their Academic Progress Rate scores rise or hold steady in the latest APR report from the NCAA. All of Nevada’s 16 sports programs met or exceeded the benchmark set by the NCAA, with the Wolf Pack’s rifle team earning another public recognition award this year for ranking in the top 10 percent in the nation for its sport.
A total of 116 student-athletes earned academic all-conference distinction from the Mountain West during the 2013-14 season. To qualify, a student-athlete must have a cumulative grade-point average, at the member institution, of 3.0 or higher, completed at least one academic semester at the member institution and competed in 50 percent of the team's varsity contests. And 48 student-athletes were named as Mountain West Scholar-Athletes, having completed at least two semesters or three quarters at the member institution, compiled a cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 or higher, and competed in at least one varsity contest in a Mountain West-sponsored sport during the 2013-14 academic year.
Baseball player Scott Kaplan was named to the Capitol One Academic All-District VIII team with a 3.96 grade-point average as a history major. He was joined by football player Jordan Dobrich, who carries a 3.85 GPA in neuroscience. And football’s Joel Bitonio, who became the second-highest draft pick in school history when he picked in the second round of the NFL Draft by Cleveland, earned membership in the 2014 National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society. In order to be included, a player must have maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college career.
Basketball standout Deonte Burton and the conference’s top diver, "Grace" En Tien Huang, won the 2013-14 Doc Martie and Ruth I. Russell Awards, respectively, as the University of Nevada most outstanding senior student-athletes.
Burton started every game (130) of his career at Nevada and ranks second all-time in scoring in school history with 2,102 points. As a senior, he led Nevada to a pair of wins over UNLV and a third-place finish in the Mountain West while earning first-team All-MW accolades. He was also named to the All-District VIII team by the United States Basketball Writers Association. He was named the team's Most Valuable Player in 2013-14 for the third consecutive season. Burton
Huang captured Mountain West Diver of the Year honors at the 2014 MW Championships. She also earned honorable mention All-America honors after competing in the 3-meter event at the 2014 NCAA Championships. At the MW Championships, she won the 1-meter and the platform events while finishing second in the 3-meter. She earned All-MW honors a total of six times during her career.
Softball’s Ariel Craig, swimming and diving’s Nikki Longland and Wolf Pack specials events director Kim Anastassatos were the winners of the University of Nevada’s 2013-14 Give Back Like Jack Community Service Awards. Nevada Athletics presents its Give Back Like Jack Community Service Awards annually to the student-athlete and staff member who best exemplify the dedication to community service that was the hallmark of longtime Reno and Sparks philanthropist Jack Reviglio’s life. This year marks the first time that two student-athletes shared the award.
Wolf Pack student-athletes contributed 3,979 hours of community service during the 2013-14 school year. The Wolf Pack spirit team contributed the most hours, committing 889 hours to events throughout the year. The Nevada women’s swimming and diving and softball teams were next, contributing 489.5 and 336 hours, respectively.
Dr. Craig Karrasch and Mark Knobel were presented with the Jake Lawlor Award at the 46th Annual Governor’s Dinner, featuring Andre Agassi, in July. The Jake Lawlor Award, named after the former Wolf Pack coach and athletics director, is bestowed annually to an individual or individuals who have demonstrated substantial and exemplary support of Nevada's intercollegiate athletics program over an extended period of time.
The Wolf Pack swimming and diving team continued its upswing with a strong third-place performance at the Mountain West Championships. Diving coach Jian Li You took home Coach of the Year honors for the second straight season while Huang won Diver of the Year – the second straight season a Nevada diver was so honored.
The Wolf Pack men’s and women’s basketball teams both steamed to third-places finishes in the Mountain West and the baseball program, led by Johnson in his first year, finished fourth with a run into the semifinals of the Mountain West Championships. On the tennis courts, Michelle Okhremchuck broke the school record for singles victories and finished her career with 88 wins. And Victor Ouvrard was named the Mountain West Player of the Year on the men’s side while also earning the ITA Regional Player of the Year award. Ouvrard and doubles partner Robert Allen advanced to the NCAA Championships but fell in the first round.
The Wolf Pack captured 22 WAC championships in its 12 years as a member of the Western Athletic Conference from 2000-12, including eight men's basketball crowns (seven from 2004-08 and most recently the 2012 regular-season title), three women's swimming and diving titles from 2007-09, three softball championships (2006, 2008-09), a pair of football titles (2005 and 2010), two indoor track and field titles (2003-04) and championships by cross country in 2004, women's soccer in 2006 and men's golf in 2007. In 2006-07, the Wolf Pack won the WAC’s Commissioner’s Cup as the best overall athletics department in the conference, while the program has finished second two other times, including in 2008-09 when the Wolf Pack missed winning the title by less than one point.
Nevada has also enjoyed postseason success, including eight consecutive bowl appearances by the Wolf Pack football team, nine postseason invitations for the men’s basketball squad in the last 12 years, including NCAA Tournament appearances from 2004-07 and a run to the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament in 2012. Nevada’s women’s basketball team has made three Women’s National Invitation Tournament appearances, including back-to-back invitations in 2010 and 2011, while the Wolf Pack volleyball team has been to the NCAA Championships five times, baseball has made four NCAA Regional appearances, and softball has been invited to three NCAA Regionals. Nevada’s men’s golf has advanced to the NCAA Championship three times and the soccer team earned its first NCAA appearance in 2006.
For more information about Wolf Pack Athletics, visit www.nevadawolfpack.com.
(Updated Aug. 19, 2014)
STAR OF THE WEEK
Junior forward Daisha Jones-Oglesby headed in the game-winning goal in the 68th minute during Friday night’s 1-0 win against UC Davis, helping the Nevada soccer team snap a two-game slide.
View all 2014-15 honorees.
WOLF PACK BLOG
Monday, September 22, 2014 - Football
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - Men's Tennis
Friday, August 22, 2014 - General
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - Baseball
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Friday, August 8, 2014 - Baseball
Friday, August 1, 2014
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - Women's Basketball
Friday, July 11, 2014 - Baseball
Friday, June 27, 2014 - Football
Monday, June 23, 2014 - Women's Basketball
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - Golf
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - General
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - Baseball