Boise State Tribute to Nevada Football

Nevada has produced a thrilling brand of football for over 30 years, supplying the National Football League with stars and winning a high percentage of its games. That success is largely due to one man, Head Coach Chris Ault.

(Editor's Note:  This is part of a continuing series of tributes to WAC schools as Boise State completes its final season in the conference.  The series is meant to spread good will throughout the conference, highlight the rich heritage at member schools and to thank the WAC members for having Boise State in their conference for the last ten years.)

The University of Nevada is located in Reno (population 220,500).  The metropolitan area including Reno and Sparks has a combined population of about 420,000.  Reno is in a high desert valley at the foot of the Sierra Nevada .   Archaeological finds indicate that the eastern border for the prehistoric Martis people was in the area we now know as Reno .

Pioneers began settling in the Truckee Meadows in the 1850's.  Gold was discovered in nearby Virginia City but the discovery of silver in 1859 at the Comstock Lode produced one of the greatest mining bonanzas in history.  To facilitate transportation between Virginia City and the California Trail, a log toll bridge was built across the Truckee River .  This led to the growth of a small community to service travelers along the road.  Myron C. Lake bought the bridge and developed the community, adding a grist mill, kiln and livery stable to the hotel and eating house.  Lake named the community Lake 's Crossing and he essentially is the "founder of Reno ." 

In 1863, the Central Pacific Railroad began to lay tracks from Sacramento connecting to the Union Pacific Railroad in Utah , forming the first transcontinental railroad.  Lake deeded land to the CPRR in exchange for a promise to build a train depot at Lake 's Crossing.  The town was officially named Reno on May 9, 1868 , after Major General Jesse Lee Reno, a Union officer killed in the Civil War at the Battle of South Mountain. 

The extension of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad in 1872 was another key event in the city's history.  Reno became a business and agricultural center and soon grew into the largest settlement on the railroad line between Sacramento and Salt Lake City .  

Eventually, the mining boom began to fade early in the twentieth century, although Nevada is still the third-largest gold producer in the world behind South Africa and Australia .  Political and business activity shifted to Reno and Las Vegas .  The famous "Reno Arch" was erected on Virginia Street in 1926 as a way to promote the upcoming Transcontinental Highways Exposition of 1927.  The Reno City Council decided to keep the arch as a permanent gateway to the city and the slogan "The Biggest Little City in the World" was accepted.   

  Nevada legalized casino gambling in 1931 and gambling became a major industry in Reno .  In an effort to attract more diverse businesses, Nevada also adopted lenient business taxation policy.  Several local large hotel casinos, including the Atlantis, the Peppermill and the Grand Sierra Resort, have since moved gaming further away from the Virginia Street center.   

Reno is the host to several tourism-oriented events throughout the year, including Hot August Nights (a classic car convention), Street Vibrations (a motorcycle fan gathering), The Great Reno Balloon Race, the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off (in Sparks ), a bowling tournament at National Bowling Stadium, a Cinco de Mayo celebration, and the Reno Air Races.  The Bowling Stadium hosts the U.S. Bowling Congress Open Championships every three years. 

As the Sierras nearby get heavy snowfall, there are 14 ski areas within two hours of Reno .  These include Northstar-at-Tahoe, Alpine Meadows, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Squaw Valley and Sugar Bowl.  Squaw Valley hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics and the Reno-Tahoe areas have combined to make a bid for the 2022 Winter Games.  The beautiful Lake Tahoe that splits the border between California and Nevada is just an hour away and provides outstanding recreational opportunities.  The Truckee River that runs from Tahoe through the center of Reno attracts kayakers from all over the country. 

Among the famous residents of Reno are:

 

v     Shannon Bahrke, silver medalist of the 2002 Winter Olympics, bronze medalist at the 2010 Winter games, and 2003 World Cup Champion

v     Doug Clifford, drummer for one of the top groups in music history, Creedence Clearwater Revival.

v     Rudy Galindo, figure skater

v     Bud Gaugh, drummer of Sublime

v     Curtis Hanson, producer/director of 8 Mile, L.A. Confidential,  The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, and others

v     Terri Ivens, soap opera actress on All My Children

v     Mark Kotsay, professional baseball player

v     Chuck Ruff, drummer of the Edgar Winter Group

v     Jason-Shane Scott, soap opera actor who created the role of Will Rappaport on One Life to Live

v     Sharon Stone, actress

v     Dawn Wells, Miss Nevada of 1959 and actress on TV series Gilligan's Island

v     Kristi Yamaguchi, figure skater; Olympic Gold Medalist in 1992

 

The University of Nevada , Reno is the oldest university in the state.  In 1886, the school moved from Elko to its present-day site north of downtown Reno and became a state college.  The first building, Morrill Hall, still stands on the historic quad at the south end of the campus.  Originally, the school grew slowly but in recent years has expanded along with the rest of the state.  Nevada now has approximately 17,000 students.

 The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Education classifies the university as a Comprehensive Doctoral Research University with medical/veterinary medicine.  The University of Nevada consists of the College of Agriculture , Biotechnology and Natural Resources (including seismology), the College of Business Administration , the College of Education , the College of Engineering , the College of Human and Community Sciences, the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Science .  The Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism has produced six Pulitzer Prize winners.  Nevada houses one of only two Basque Studies programs in the nation and the National Judicial College , the only judicial college in the U.S.  

The University of Nevada was the only four-year university in the state until 1965, when the Nevada Southern campus was separated and became its own institution (UNLV).  Nevada is ranked #191 in the nation as a Tier 1 University by U.S. News & World Report.  

The Quad is modeled after Thomas Jefferson's at the University of Virginia .  There is a statue of John William Mackay (namesake of the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering) that was created by Mount Rushmore designer Gutzon Borglum from Idaho .  The Quad and the original campus buildings surrounding it are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The University of Nevada is highly ranked as a sustainable college, receiving an overall grade of "B+" on the Sustainable Endowment Institute's College Sustainability Report Card this year.  

The Nevada campus has been the setting for movies including Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble in 1944, Margie (1946), Apartment for Peggy (1948), Mother is a Freshman (1949), Mr. Belvedere Goes to College (1949) and Hilda Crane (1956).

 

 

Notable alumni and professors:

Chris Ault, quarterback of Nevada-Reno football team and NCAA Hall of Fame Coach of the Wolf Pack

R. Jacob Baker is an inventor, author and Professor at Boise State University

John Barnes, head football coach at Los Alamitos High School in California , most wins ever by Orange County high school coach

Doug Betters, Pro Bowl football player for the Miami Dolphins

Alan Bible, United States Senator from Nevada from 1954-1974

Emmet D. Boyle, former governor of Nevada

Ernest S. Brown, United States Senator from Nevada

Richard Bryan, former governor of Nevada and United States Senator

Nate Burleson, wide receiver for Detroit and Seattle in the NFL

Arthur F. Carmazzi, best-selling author and international speaker on leadership and corporate culture change

Frank Cassas, listed as one of the "Best Lawyers in America "

James E. Church, developer of the Mount Rose snow sampler in 1906, the first instrument for measuring snow water content

Ryan Church, outfielder for the New York Mets

Walter Van Tilburg Clark, author of The Ox-bow Incident

Catherine Cortez Masto, Attorney General for Nevada

Gabriel Damon, actor in Robocop 2 and other films

Frankie Sue Del Papa, first female Nevada State Attorney General and first female Secretary of State

Charley Douglass, sound engineer, created the first TV laugh track

Ron Einstoss, awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1966 for coverage of the Watts Riot

John Etchemendy, philosopher and Stanford University provost

Frank Fahrenkopf, Jr., Chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1983-89; American Gaming Association Chairman

Nick Fazekas, professional basketball player for the Denver Nuggets

George Fernandez, Ph.D., Author of Data Mining using SAS applications

Susan Forrest, awarded the Pulitzer Prize for general news reporting in 1988

Jim Gibbons, 28th Governor of Nevada

Kristen Go, awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for her coverage of the Columbine High School shootings

Jennifer Harman, professional poker player, first woman to win two bracelets in World Series of Poker open events

Frank Hawkins, NFL running back for the Oakland /Los Angeles Raiders from 1981-87

Stan Heath, first NCAA quarterback to throw for more than 2,000 yards in a season

Jeff Horton, Assistant Coach for the St. Louis Rams of the NFL

Joe Inglett, Major League Baseball player for the Toronto Blue Jays

Trevor Insley, NCAA Division I-A all-time receiving yards leader

Bill Ireland, "Father of UNLV Athletics"

Mills Lane , NCAA boxing champion, boxing referee, lawyer, judge

Warren Lerude, awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1977

Myron E. Leavitt, Lieutenant Governor of Nevada ; Justice, Nevada Supreme Court

Liu Lumin, 1996 Olympic Swimming Silver Medalist in the 100-meter butterfly

William D. Lutz, Ph.D., author of The World of Doublespeak

Pat McCarran, United States Senator from Nevada from 1933-1954, noted for his strong anti-Communist stance

Lise Mackie, 1996 Olympic Swimming Bronze Medalist in the 800-meter freestyle relay team for Australia

Charles Mann, former Pro Bowl football player with the Washington Redskins

Brock Marion , defensive back for Dallas , Miami and Detroit in the NFL

Vladimir Matyushenko, mixed martial artist currently fighting in the UFC

Robert Metts, Ph.D., Expertise in International Economics, Economic Development, Labor Economics; Presented at the United Nations on "Planning for Disability"

Corky Miller, Major League Baseball catcher

Edward Montgomery, awarded the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished local reporting in 1952

Marion Motley, Professional Football Hall of Famer

David Neill, set the NCAA freshman record for most touchdown passes in a season

Lyle Overbay , Major League Baseball player for the Toronto Blue Jays

Chad Qualls, pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks

Sig Rojich, political adviser to Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush, former U.S. Ambassador to Iceland

Grant Sawyer, former Governor of Nevada

Mike Schellin, award-winning boxer

Geoff Schumacher, journalist and author of Howard Hughes:  Power, Paranoia & Palace Intrigue

James G. Scrugham, Professor of Mechanical Engineering from 1903 to 1914 and dean from 1914-1917; Governor of Nevada and United States Senator

Ramon Sessions, NBA player for the Milwaukee Bucks

Howard Sheerin, awarded the Pulitzer Prize for public service in 1956

Chris Singleton, former Major League Baseball player; current ESPN Commentator

Karen Stoffer, NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racer

Ken Tedford, Mayor of Fallon , Nevada

Ron Toomer, developed the first upside-down roller coaster, the Corkscrew

Kirk Triplett, PGA Tour golfer

Charles Wright, professional wrestler

Dolora Zajick, world-renowned opera mezzo-soprano

William Zamboni, pioneer in plastic surgery and limb reattachments

Tony Zendejas, placekicker in the NFL

 

Nevada was a member of the Northern California Athletic Conference from 1954-1968, then joined the West Coast Athletic Conference from 1969-1979, although they were a football independent. In 1979, the school joined the Big Sky Conference and remained there until 1992, when they left for the Big West Conference. The Wolf Pack joined the Western Athletic Conference in 2000 and will become a member of the Mountain West Conference in 2012.

Nevada's men's basketball team reached the Sweet Sixteen in 2004 and was ranked as high as #9 in 2007. The Wolf Pack have been highly successful in boxing, winning four national championships before the sport was banned by the NCAA, rifle shooting, baseball, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, rugby and lacrosse. The Nevada rifle team finished second in the 2004 NCAA Rifle team championship and qualified for eight consecutive NCAA Championships. The Pack baseball team has reached the NCAA Regionals four times and finished the 1994 season #19 in the nation. The Nevada women's swimming and diving team has captured eight conference championships since 1996.

Although they didn't win, a memorable game in Nevada football history was the 1923 contest against California. Cal came into the game with a 50-game undefeated streak, four straight conference titles and two consecutive Rose Bowl appearances. But the best that "The Wonder Team", as they were known, could do against Nevada was a 0-0 tie.

Nevada won its first three conference championships in the Far West Conference (1932, 1933 and 1939). Nevada won the 1948 Salad Bowl 13-6 over North Texas for their first bowl win. They received a bid to the 1949 Harbor Bowl against Villanova.

Nevada was one of the most successful Division I-AA teams from its beginning in 1978 until 1991 when they left for the Big West. Nevada still has the highest winning percentage (70.8%, with a record of 68-28) in Big Sky History. They reached the four-team I-AA playoffs in each of their first two seasons. The Pack reached the national semi-finals in 1983 (defeating Idaho State and North Texas before falling to Southern Illinois) and 1985 (downing Arkansas State before a loss to Furman) and advanced to the I-AA national championship game in 1990 after a thrilling 59-52 three-overtime win over Boise State.

In 1990, Nevada won the Big Sky Championship with a record of 13-2. Nevada's only regular season loss was a 30-14 defeat at the hands of the Broncos. Both rivals advanced through the I-AA playoffs until a November date in Reno for the right to meet Georgia Southern in the I-AA championship game. Nevada fullback Ray Whalen burst open from a pile of players, sprinted to the right sideline and ran untouched into the end zone for a key momentum-changing touchdown in the fourth quarter. Whalen sprinted in from 8 yards out to also score the decisive touchdown in the third overtime. Nevada has also defeated Furman the week before in three overtimes.

In 14 seasons in Division I-AA, Nevada was selected for the playoffs seven times and achieved a 9-7 playoff record. The Wolf Pack won four Big Sky titles (1983, 1986, 1990 and 1991) and accumulated an overall record of 122-47-1 (72%) in I-AA.

In winning their 1991 Big Sky title, Nevada recorded the biggest comeback in Division I history when they downed Weber State 55-49 after being behind by 35 points in the second half. Backup quarterback Chris Vargas engineered the rally as Nevada scored 41 unanswered points to win the game.

The Wolf Pack won seven conference titles in the 1990's. In 1992, Nevada won the Big West in its initial season in the conference and lost a narrow 35-34 decision to Bowling Green in the Las Vegas Bowl. It was the first time in NCAA history that a team captured a conference championship in its first Division I-A season. Vargas again led the Pack off the bench in the title-clinching game against Utah State, leading Nevada to a come-from-behind win 48-47. Nevada also won consecutive Big West titles in 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997. The Pack fell to Toledo in the 1995 Vegas Bowl but scored another bowl win with an 18-15 defeat of Ball State in the 1996 Vegas Bowl.

NCAA College Football Hall of Fame Coach Chris Ault is in his third stint with the team and his 26th as Head Coach. Ault's revolutionary "Pistol" offense is highly acclaimed and copied but never duplicated. His 2009 Wolf Pack team led the nation in rushing and it wasn't even close--#2 was 50 yards a game behind! Ault ranks 6th among active coaches with a career record of 216-97-1. Ault has led a resurgence in Reno in recent years. The Wolf Pack clinched a share of the WAC title with an upset of #16 Fresno State in 2005 and then captured the Hawai'i Bowl Championship with a thrilling 49-48 victory over Central Florida in overtime. The following season, Nevada was 8-5 but reached the MPC Computers Bowl against Miami of Florida. Nevada ran their bowl streak to five with appearances in the 2007 New Mexico Bowl, the 2008 Humanitarian Bowl vs. Maryland and the 2009 Hawai'i Bowl against SMU.

Nevada became the only team in NCAA football history to feature three players with over 1,000 yards rushing in 2009. Running backs Luke Lippincott and Vai Taua joined quarterback Colin Kaepernick in going over the 1,000-yard mark.

Nevada's football program has had 40 All-Americans, and has had a total of 45 All-America Selections. Nevada has also had three players or coaches inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame--coach Chris Ault, running back Frank Hawkins (1977-80), and former coach Buck Shaw. Nevada's home field is Mackay Stadium, which opened in October, 1966 with a capacity of 7,500. Several expansions have lifted the capacity to 31,000.

I'm likely to get the count wrong, but I found at least 71 players from Nevada who have gone on to the NFL.

Key Nevada football greats:

Tight end Rob Awalt was drafted in the 3rd Round of the 1987 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. Awalt played for seven professional seasons with St. Louis/Phoenix, Dallas and Buffalo. Rob made an immediate impact with 42 catches for 526 yards and 6 touchdowns in his rookie season. He had 39 and 33 receptions in his next two seasons with the Cardinals, but was never used much in either Dallas or Buffalo. Awalt recorded 138 career grabs for 1,583 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Quarterback Eric Beavers finished his Nevada career #2 all-time with 8,629 passing yards. He holds the school record with 78 career TD passes. Eric's best season was 1985, when he threw for 27 touchdowns to rank 5th, he also tossed 26 in 1986 to rank 8th. Beavers was named All-Big Sky Conference in 1986.

Defensive lineman Doug Betters, 6'7", was a Division II All-American in 1977. Betters was selected in the 6th Round of the 1978 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. Doug started 105 games in his 10-year career with Miami. Betters was credited with 105 sacks, including 16 (3rd in the NFL) and 14 (8th in the league) in 1983 and 1984, respectively. Betters was an All-Pro and was honored by the Associated Press as their NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1983.

Pat Brady landed a 99-yard punt in a game vs. Loyola of California in 1950, an NCAA record. Brady was drafted in the 13th Round by the New York Giants in 1952. He played three years for Pittsburgh, compiling a punting average of 43.2 (3rd in the NFL) in 1952 and league-leading averages of 46.9 in 1953 and 43.2 in 1954. Brady led the NFL in punts with 80 in 1953; his career average of 44.5 still ranks 11th all-time.

Wide receiver Nate Burleson has the distinction of getting the most receiving yards in a game without scoring a touchdown. He set up several Pack scores with 326 receiving yards in their 2001 game with San Jose State. Burleson had an incredible138 catches for 1,629 yards and 12 touchdowns in the 2002 season alone. Burleson hauled in 248 passes (3rd in school history) for 3,408 yards (4th) in his Nevada career. He was named an All-American in 2002.

Burleson was the choice of the Minnesota Vikings in the 3rd Round of the 2003 NFL Draft. Burleson became a starter during his rookie season with the Vikings and had 29 receptions for 455 yards and 2 TD's. He came into his own with 68 catches for 1,006 yards and 9 touchdowns in 2004. That season, Nate contributed as a punt returner, averaging 8.6 yards and scoring on a 91-yard return. Injuries affected his career and he was traded to Seattle, where he was able to put together a 2007 campaign of 50 catches for 694 yards and 9 scores and he also led the NFL with 58 punt returns for 658 yards and a 94-yard TD return, averaging 11.3 yards. Nate was 9th in the NFL with 1,946 yards in 2007. In 2009, Nate hauled in 63 passes for 812 yards and 3 TD's. Burleson is currently with Detroit, and has 30 catches for 336 yards and 3 touchdowns this season.

In his eight-year career thus far, Nate has 293 catches for 3,883 yards and 30 touchdowns. Although he hasn't returned kicks for the Lions, he has 156 career punt returns for a 9.8 average with 3 TD's (tied for 33rd in NFL history) and 56 kickoff returns for a 23.6 average and one brought back all the way.

Lineman Victor Carroll played 12 seasons in the NFL with Boston/Washington and the New York Giants. He started 29 games and recorded four career interceptions, two returned for touchdowns. Carroll also had 8 rushes for 154 yards (19.3 avg.) and 2 touchdowns and a punt return for a 28-yard touchdown. Carroll was selected to play in the 1942 Pro Bowl.

Potsy Clarke played one season in the NFL with the Frankford Yellow Jackets. Clarke was an NFL coach for 10 seasons (1931-1940) with the Portsmouth Spartans, Detroit Lions and Brooklyn Dodgers. He accumulated a 64-42-12 record, including seasons of 11-3 with Portsmouth in 1931 and 10-3 with Detroit in 1934.

Tackle Harvey Dahl has caught on with the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL. Originally with San Francisco, Dahl moved to Atlanta in 2007 and started in 27 games for Atlanta in 2008 and 2009.

Defensive end John Dutton is one of the all-time Nevada greats. Dutton was chosen by the Baltimore Colts in the 1st Round (5th overall player selected) of the 1974 NFL Draft. Although Dutton played before statistics were kept on sacks, he harassed quarterbacks for 14 NFL seasons, playing for both Baltimore and Dallas. He started 122 games, was selected All-Pro in 1976 and played in three Pro Bowls (1975, 1976 and 1977).

Running back Charvez Foger is the career scoring leader with 362 points and the career leader for touchdowns with 60. Charvez has come closer to Frank Hawkins' career rushing yards record than anyone; he finished with 4,484 (on 866 carries) and is #2 with 52 rushing touchdowns. He is 4th for points in a season (108 in 1985) and 10th for his 1986 season in which he scored 90 points.

Foger rushed 179 times for 1,241 yards (10th) and 14 touchdowns in 1985 and 159 times for 1,079 yards and 9 scores in1986. He continued his 1,000-yard campaign streak with 1,132 yards and 12 touchdowns on 209 carries as a junior and picked up 1,284 yards (9th all-time) on 298 carries in 1988. Foger is in select company as having earned All-Big Sky all four years--1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988.

Quarterback Fred Gatlin (1989-1992) is #3 all-time with 8,312 career passing yards and #3 with 63 touchdown throws.

End Horace Gillom played 10 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Gillom was an outstanding punter with the Browns. He averaged 44.6 his rookie season of 1947, 43.2 in 1950, led the league with a 45.5 average in 1951 and a 45.7 average in 1952 and averaged 44.7 yards a kick in 1956. Gillom had 74 career receptions for 1,083 yards and 3 touchdowns, ranking 7th in the NFL in 1949 with 15.6 yards per catch. He had an interception and four fumble recoveries on defense. Gillom made the 1952 Pro Bowl.

Running back Frank Hawkins was a super, hard-nosed runner who consistently gained yards after contact. Hawkins continues to hold the career record for rushing yards, and his 30-year old record of 5,333 is nearly 1,000 yards better than #2. He was so dominant that three of his seasons continue to be ranked in the Nevada top five. He rushed 307 times for 1,719 yards and 9 touchdowns in 1980, 1,683 yards and 13 scores on 293 carries in 1979 and 1,445 yards and 15 TD's on 259 carries in 1978 (with 15 touchdowns, #4 all-time).

Hawkins still ranks third in school history with 264 career points and he is 3rd with 44 career touchdowns and 3rd with 39 rushing touchdowns. Hawkins holds the school mark with 947 career rushing attempts and he is also #1 with 307 carries in 1980. He is 5th for touchdowns in a season (17 in 1978). Two of Frank's seasons (1978 and 1979) are tied for 10th on the single-season scoring list with 90 points. His best game was 293 yards against San Francisco State in 1978, but he also picked up 268 yards against Idaho in 1980.

Frank was All-Big Sky in 1979 and 1980 and a three time I-AA All-American (1978, 1979 and 1980). When he finished in Reno, he ranked fifth all-time with 5,333 career yards and set an NCAA record with 100 or more rushing yards in 21 consecutive games. Hawkins was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in1999.

Hawkins played for the Oakland Raiders from 1981-1987, starting as a fullback in 1985 and 1986. He had 110 carries for 526 yards (4.8 avg., 5th in the NFL) and 6 touchdowns and 20 receptions for 150 yards and 2 more scores in 1983. In 1984, Hawkins had 108 carries for 376 yards and 3 touchdowns, helping the Raiders to the Super Bowl Championship. Frank was a successful blocking back the next two seasons in his new role and carried 84 times for 269 yards and 4 TD's and had a career-high 27 receptions for 174 yards in 1985. He followed that up with 245 rushing yards and 25 catches for 166 yards in 1986.

Hawkins closed out his NFL career with 431 rushes for 1,659 yards and 15 TD's and 97 catches for 691 yards and 3 scores.

Quarterback Stan Heath threw for 22 touchdowns in 1948, a mark that has remained in the top 10 in Nevada history. He made the All-America team following his senior year. Heath was the 5th player chosen in the 1949 NFL Draft, the 1st-Round selection of the Green Bay Packers. He only played one season with Green Bay.

Terry Hermeling played tackle, guard and defensive end for the Washington Redskins from 1970-1980 and started 103 games. Hermeling had 5 fumble recoveries in his NFL career.

Running back Sherman Howard played with the New York Yanks from 1949-1951 and with the Cleveland Browns in 1952 and 1953. He had 117 attempts for 459 yards (9th in the NFL) and 4 touchdowns (also 9th in the league), including an NFL-long 79 yards his rookie season. Howard had 362 yards rushing in 1950 and 343 in 1951. In his career, Sherman carried 323 times for 1,301 yards (4.0 avg.) and 10 TD's and had 45 receptions for 968 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also had 14 kickoff returns for a 25.9 average and recorded 6 fumble recoveries and an interception on defense.

Cornerback Patrick Hunter is 6th in Nevada history with 15 career interceptions. He was All-Big Sky Conference in 1983 and 1985 as well as a I-AA All-American in 1985.

Hunter was selected in the 3rd Round of the 1986 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. Hunter started 104 games and was a key component on some of Seattle's best teams. He had 43 tackles and a forced fumble in reserve duty his rookie season and became a regular starter in 1989, logging 53 tackles and a sack. Patrick had 58 tackles and an interception in 1990, 47 stops and a 32-yard INT for a touchdown in 1991, 70 tackles, a fumble recovery and 2 interceptions in 1992 and 58 tackles, 3 fumble recoveries and 4 interceptions in 1993.

In his 10-year NFL career that ended with a brief stay in Arizona, Hunter had 409 tackles, 14 interceptions and 5 fumble recoveries.

Wide receiver Trevor Insley was one of the most successful collegiate players of all-time. He had 1,151 yards in 1997. Insley had 1,220 receiving yards in 1998. Insley hauled in 134 catches, 2nd all-time at Nevada, for 2,060 yards in 1999 and was named an All-American following the season.

When Insley left Reno, he set school and NCAA records with 2,060 receiving yards and a 187.3 average receiving yards per game in 1999, 26 games of over 100 receiving yards in his career, 6 games of over 200 receiving yards and 5,005 career receiving yards from 1996-1999. Insley is tied with Howard Twilley of Tulsa (1965) with 3 consecutive games of 200 yards or more. Insley also holds the Nevada record for career receptions (298), the career mark with 35 TD catches, is 6th for career scoring with 212 points and also 6th for career touchdowns with 35.

Defensive lineman Derek Kennard (2000-03) is 4th all-time with 18 career sacks and 5th all-time with 38.5 tackles for loss. He was named All-Big Sky in 1982 and 1983 and was All-America in 1983. Kennard was chosen in the 2nd Round of the 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. Kennard played on the offensive line with St. Louis/Phoenix, New Orleans and Dallas. Derek was named 2nd-Team All-NFL by the Newspaper Entrepreneurial Association.

Running back Chance Kretschmer holds school records for rushing yards in a game (327 vs. UTEP in 2001) and yards in a season (1,732 in 2001). Kretschmer carried 302 times for 1,732 yards and 15 TD's, good for #4 all-time, in 2001. In 2003, he had 1,162 yards on 245 carries and 12 touchdowns in 2003 and 176 times for 813 yards and 7 scores in 2004. Kretschmer is 4th all-time in his career with 3,782 yards from 2001-2004. Chance is 3rd in school history with 873 career carries and 5th with 35 rushing touchdowns.

Running back Chris Lemon owns the school record of 114 points in a season (1997) and he is second in career scoring with 336 points. Lemon also holds the school marks with 19 touchdowns (all of them rushing) scored in the 1997 season. He is 2nd all-time with 56 career touchdowns and #1 for rushing touchdowns with 53. Chet is #3 all-time in rushing, picking up 4,246 yards from 1996-1999. Lemon's best season was 1999, when he ran for 1,170 yards (13th all-time) and 12 touchdowns on 238 carries, but he also picked up 1,154 yards and 13 TD's on 253 carries in 1998 (15th). Chris led the Pack with 867 yards on and 8 touchdowns on 163 carries as a freshman and with 1,112 yards and 19 touchdowns on 225 carries in 1997. Lemon finished his career with 904 carries, 2nd all-time at Nevada.

Running back Luke Lippincott made an indelible mark on the Wolf Pack record book. He carried 267 times for 1,453 yards (4th all-time) and 18 touchdowns, 2nd all-time, in 2007. He ranks 2nd in Nevada history for most points in a season (108 in 2007). He finished with 234 career points (5th) and is also 5th with 39 career touchdowns. Luke is 5th all-time on the career rushing list with 3,014. Lippincott's best season (1,420 yards in 2007) is ranked 6th for a single season. Lippincott hit paydirt 34 times in his career via the rush, which is 6th all-time at Nevada.

Quarterback Bill Mackrides was chosen by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 3rd Round (19th player overall) of the 1947 NFL Draft. He saw only limited duty, hitting 131-of-315 passing attempts for 1,583 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Defensive end Charles Mann (6-6) played for Nevada from 1979-1982 and was All-Big Sky Conference, the league's Most Valuable Defensive Lineman and a I-AA All-American his senior season when he had 14 sacks.

Mann was selected in the 3rd Round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. Mann was a menace on the great Redskin teams from 1983-1994. He broke into the starting lineup in 1984 at left defensive end opposite Dexter Manley. Mann responded with 85 tackles, 7 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and a recovery. Mann had 85 tackles, 14.5 sacks (5th in the NFL), a forced fumble and the recovery in 1986 and 87 stops, 10 sacks (10th in the league) and 2 forced fumbles in 1987. Charles enjoyed another spectacular season in 1989, when he was credited with 93 stops, 10 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. He notched 11.5 sacks in 1991 (9th in the NFL) and had 91 tackles, 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble in 1992.

In his fabulous career, Mann started 145 games, had 795 tackles, 83 sacks (45th in the history of the NFL), 17 forced fumbles and 7 recoveries. He was a four-time Pro Bowler (1987, 1988, 1989 and 1991) and played in 19 NFL playoff games (68th all-time). Mann was a three-time Super Bowl Champion with the Redskins (XXII and XXVI) and picked up a third ring with the San Francisco 49'ers (Super Bowl XXIX) before retiring.

Defensive back Brock Marion is 10th with 13 career interceptions and is 4th with 306 tackles. He earned All-Big Sky Conference honors in 1990 and 1991

Marion was picked in the 7th Round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He played for the Cowboys from 1993-1997, when he joined Miami and finished his 12-year career with Detroit in 2004. Marion became a starter in 1995, and started every game for the rest of his career (153 straight starts). He helped the Cowboys win Super Bowls XXVII and XXIX. Marion had 64 tackles and 6 interceptions (5th in the NFL) in 1995. Brock had an interception in Super Bowl XXX and enjoyed another great season in 1997 when he had 100 tackles and a fumble recovery. In 2000, Marion had 72 tackles, 5 interceptions returned for 72 yards and a fumble recovery. In 2001, Brock was credited with 55 tackles, 5 interceptions returned for a league-leading 227 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a 100-yard pick six. Marion had 64 tackles and 5 interceptions (10th in the NFL) in 2002.

Marion finished his career with 681 tackles, 31 interceptions returned for 527 yards and 3 touchdowns, 7 forced fumbles, 7 recoveries and 2 sacks. He also had 123 career kickoff returns for an average of 24.0. In 1999, Marion led the NFL with 62 returns for 1,524 yards (24.6 avg.). Brock played in three Pro Bowls (2000, 2002 and 2003).

Fullback/linebacker Marion Motley played with the Cleveland Browns from 1946-1953 and finished his career in 1955 with Pittsburgh. He had 73 carries for 601 yards (8.2 avg.) and 5 TD's and caught 10 passes for 188 yards (18.8 avg.) and another score in 1946. Motley plowed his way through NFL defenses for 889 yards on 146 carries (6.1 avg.) and 8 TD's and was 6th in the NFL with 60 points the following season. Marion had a great season in 1948, the first of two All-Pro years. He carries 157 times for an NFL-best 964 yards (6.1 avg.) for 5 touchdowns and caught 13 passes for 192 yards and 2 scores. He also had 14 kickoff returns for a 24.1 average. In 1950, Motley gained 810 yards (#1 in the NFL) on 140 attempts (league-leading 5.8 avg.) and caught 11 passes for 151 yards and a score.

In his career, Motley gained 4,720 yards on 828 attempts (5.7 avg.) for 31 touchdowns, caught 85 passes for 1,107 yards and 7 TD's and had 48 kick returns for a career 23.4 average. Motley was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1968.

Deshone Myles holds the career record with 528 tackles at Nevada from 1994-97. Myles owns four of the top seasons for tackles in school history, a truly remarkable achievement. In 1994, he had138 (2nd), he had 133 stops in 1995 (3rd), 125 in 1996 (6th) and 132 in 1997 (4th). Amazing.

Quarterback David Neill holds the all-time records with 11,145 yards of total offense and 10,901 passing yards from 1998-2001. He finished his career in 2001 763-1,374, both school records. Neill is #2 with 73 career TD passes. He ranks 4th and 8th for total offense in a season with 3,611 yards in 1999 and 3,351 yards in 1998, respectively. He threw 29 touchdown strikes in 1998, 3rd all-time. David was 247-423 for 3,249 yards in 1998 (7th all-time) and 3,402 yards in 1999 (6th).

Wide receiver Geoff Noisy (1995-1998) is 2nd all-time with 295 career receptions and 2nd with 4,249 career receiving yards and ranks 9th with 21 TD catches. He had 1,435 yards in 1996 (4th all-time), 1,184 in 1997 (9th) and 1,405 yards in 1998 (5th).

Linebacker Henry Rolling was one of the greatest players in Big Sky history. He was recognized as All-Big Sky in 1984, 1985 and 1986 and was an I-AA All-American in 1986.

Rolling was chosen by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 5th Round of the 1987 NFL Draft. He started 47 games for San Diego and the St. Louis Rams through 1994. Rolling had 58 tackles, 3.5 sacks, an interception returned for 67 yards and a fumble recovery in 1990. In 1991, Henry had 63 stops, a sack, 2 interceptions returned for 54 yards, 2 forced fumbles and a recovery. In his pro career, Rolling had 224 tackles, 5 interceptions, 6.5 sacks, 7 forced fumbles and a recovery.

Quarterback Jeff Rowe was a three-year starter for the Pack. He hit 230-of-395 passes (58.2%) for 2,633 yards and 15 TD's and ran for 129 yards and 3 scores as a sophomore in 2004. Rowe was 241-389 (62%) for 2,925 yards (#8 all-time at Nevada) and 21 TD's and ran for 244 yards and 6 touchdowns in 2005. He closed out his collegiate career by hitting 64.7% of his passes (172-266) for 1,907 yards and 17 touchdowns and running for 207 yards and 4 scores. Rowe ranks among the school's all-time leaders with 682 career completions (2nd), 1,122 attempts (2nd), and is #5 all-time with 7,862 passing yards and #8 with 54 TD passes.

Rowe ranks #5 all-time with 8,423 yards of total offense. He is #10 for total offense in a season with 3,169 yards in 2005.

Offensive lineman Eric Sanders was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the 5th Round of the 1981 NFL Draft. He started 42 games in his 13-year career.

Wide receiver Alex Van Dyke continues to hold the NCAA record for the highest average receiving yards per game in his career (150.1). Van Dyke had 98 receptions (5th all-time) for 1,246 yards (6th) and 10 touchdowns (9th) in 1994 and 129 catches (3rd) for 16 touchdowns (2nd) in 1995. He had 227 career receptions, 5th all-time for 3,100 yards (also 5th) and 26 touchdowns (5th). He ranks 8th for scoring in a season with 96 in 1995 and is 10th with 26 career touchdowns, despite only playing two seasons. Van Dyke also averaged 22.0 on kickoff returns in his Nevada career. He was honored as an All-American in 1994 and 1995.

Van Dyke was chosen in the 2nd Round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. He played five NFL seasons, but saw only spot duty and was credited with 26 catches for 219 yards and 3 touchdowns. Alex had 21 career kickoff returns for a 20.3 average.

Quarterback Chris Vargas (1990-1993) is #4 all-time with 8,130 passing yards and is 5th with 60 career touchdown passes. He continues to hold the school records with 4,265 yards, 34 TD passes and 331 completions in a season (1993).

Placekicker Marty Zendejas holds the school record for career points with 367. Marty finished his career 72-of-90 on field goal attempts and was 169-171 on PAT tries. He is #2 in season scoring (107 in 1985), #6 (101 in 1984) and #9 (95 points in 1986). Marty scored over 15 points four times (19 points vs. Texas A & M in 1984, 18 against Northern Arizona in 1985, 17 vs. Idaho State in 1984 and 16 against the Bengals in 1987). He was a I-AA All-American in 1984 and 1985 and an All-Big Sky player in 1984, 1985 and 1987.

Tony Zendejas was a highly-acclaimed member of placekicking's First Family. Zendejas is #2 all-time with 70 field goals (in 86 tries) and was 90-94 on extra point tries in his career. He is 3rd all-time with 300 career points despite only playing three seasons. Tony is #3 in season scoring with 106 points in 1983 and #5 with 104 points in 1982. He was All-Big Sky and I-AA All-American in both 1981 and 1983.

Zendejas was chosen in the 1st Round (27th overall pick) by the Washington Redskins in the 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft. Zendejas hit 21 of 27 field goals, including 3-3 from over 50 yards, and 29 of 31 extra points in his rookie year with Houston. He was 22-34 in field goals and connected on 48-50 PAT's in 1988 for 114 points (5th in the NFL). In 1991, Tony went to the Rams, and hit 17-17 field goals that season and 16-23 in 1993, including 6-8 from 50 or more yards.

In his 11-year career, Zendejas was 186-252 (73.8%, 63rd in NFL history) on his field goal tries and hit 316-327 extra points for 885 career points. He is 58th all-time in career extra points made, 55th in career field goals and 65th in career scoring.

Nevada students, alumni and fans--I have been on-hand for most of the games between Boise State and Nevada and the two teams have given fans of both teams a lot of thrilling action. You have an outstanding tradition and Boise State is glad to have you as a respected rival and conference partner in what will soon be our fourth conference together. Congratulations on your great success!


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