Nevada Wolf Pack

Nevada Wolf Pack
Nevada Wolf Pack
Nevada Wolf Pack Logo.svg
University University of Nevada, Reno
Conference(s) Western Athletic Conference (Until 2012)
Mountain West Conference (2012–)
NCAA Division I
Athletics director Cary Groth
Location Reno, NV
Varsity teams 16
Football stadium Mackay Stadium
Basketball arena Lawlor Events Center
Mascot Alphie and Wolfie Jr.
Nickname Wolf Pack
Fight song Hail to our Sturdy Team
Colors Navy Blue and Silver


Homepage Nevada Wolf Pack

The Nevada Wolf Pack are the collegiate athletic teams that represent the University of Nevada, Reno, consisting of 16 varsity teams. Though often known as UNR within the state, the university prefers to be called simply Nevada for athletics purposes; its sports teams are nicknamed the Wolf Pack (always two words).[1] They participate in the NCAA's Division I (FBS for football) and in the Western Athletic Conference, although they have accepted an invitation to join the Mountain West Conference, along with fellow WAC member Fresno State, beginning in 2012.[2]

Nevada's athletic teams were originally known as the Sagebrushers, named after Nevada's state flower. In the 1921-1922 school year, a local writer described the school's athletic teams as a "pack of wolves." That name stuck and by 1923, the student body designated "Wolves" as the school's mascot.[1]


Men's basketball

The Nevada Men's Basketball program first began in 1913. The program has won 19 conference championships and made six appearances in the NCAA tournament.[3] The team's current coach is Dave Carter.

The men's basketball program has experience some success in recent years. In 2004, the Wolf Pack men's basketball team qualified for the NCAA tournament and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in school history, where they fell to Georgia Tech. The team earned a repeat trip in 2005 and beat Texas in the first round before falling to eventual national runner-up Illinois. The team returned for 2006 as a #5 seed but was upset in the first round by former Big Sky Conference rival Montana.[4] They began the 2006-07 season ranked #24.[5] The Pack's major star during this recent period of success was Nick Fazekas. In 2007, Nevada was ranked #9 in men's basketball, which is the highest ranking that Nevada has ever held.[4] Guards Ramon Sessions and Marcellus Kemp both flirted with leaving as juniors for the NBA draft, however Kemp decided to remain at Nevada while Sessions was drafted 56th overall in the 2007 NBA Draft.[6][7]


Nevada's current head coach is Chris Ault, in his third stint for the Wolf Pack. He is credited with the creation of the Pistol Offense which he implemented at Nevada in 2005. Ault, along with Joe Paterno and John Gagliardi, is one of three active coaches who have also been inducted in to the College Football Hall of Fame. He is also one of five active Football Bowl Subdivision coaches to reach 200 wins.[8]

The football team plays home games at Mackay Stadium. The modern Mackay Stadium was completed in 1965 with a seating capacity of 7,500 but has been expanded several times in the last 15 years and now seats 29,993. Since 2004, the Wolf Pack have a 15-3 record.[9]

The 2008 football team finished with a record of 7-6, losing its bowl game to the University of Maryland 42-35. It was the fourth consecutive year that the team had made a bowl appearance, a first in school history. The team was led by first team All WAC center Dominic Green and running back Vai Taua, who led the conference in rushing yards in addition to WAC offensive player of the year, quarterback Colin Kaepernick.[10]

The Pack celebrated their 500th win in school history with a 52-6 win over New Mexico State on November 20, 2010, at Mackay Stadium.[11] On November 26, 2010, the Nevada Wolf Pack upset Boise State in a historic win at Mackay Stadium. In one round of overtime and 2 missed field goals by the Broncos, one at the end of regulation and one in overtime, Nevada Wolf Pack freshman kicker Anthony Martinez kicked a field goal to put Nevada on top for a final of 34-31. The Wolf Pack's win ended Boise State's 24 game winning streak, then the longest winning streak in the nation. It was also the Wolf Pack's first victory against Boise State after losing 10 straight to the Broncos.[12]

Women's Softball

Since the program was reinstated in 2003, the softball team has qualified for the NCAA tournament 3 times (2006, 2008, 2009) and has compiled a record of 3-6 in tournament play. In 2006, Nevada won its first WAC tournament title as Jordan McPherson pitched all 41 innings for Nevada in the WAC tournament, without giving up a single earned run, while striking out 34 on the way to being named tournament MVP.[13]

The 2008 Nevada softball team finished the season ranked in both national Top 25 polls.The Wolf Pack was ranked No. 21 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll and was No. 20 in the Softball Collegiate Top 25. Nevada went 44-18 and won the Western Athletic Conference regular season title. That season, Noelle Micka became the first Nevada softball player to earn second team All American.[14] The Wolf Pack received an at-large bid to the NCAA Regionals and advanced to the championship game of the Los Angeles Regional, where they lost 6-4 to UCLA.[15]

Other notable sports

  • Other notable successes have come in rifle shooting. The Nevada rifle team placed second in the 2004 NCAA Rifle team championship, losing to national champion Alaska Fairbanks. As of 2009, the rifle team has been to eight consecutive NCAA championships.
  • The volleyball team has qualified for the NCAA tournament five times in its history, all coming from at-large selections. (1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005).
  • The baseball team has made four appearances in the NCAA regionals, in 1994, 1997, 1999 and 2000. They have compiled a record of 5-8 in NCAA games, losing to Stanford in the finals of the Palo Alto Regional in 1999. Nevada finished the 1994 season ranked 19th in the country.[16]
  • The soccer team won its first WAC tournament title in 2006 and qualified for its first NCAA tournament since the program's inception in 2000. Nevada faced Fresno State in the championship match and after 110 minutes of scoreless play, the two teams went into a shootout where Nevada prevailed 4-2 in penalty kicks.[17]
  • The swimming and diving team won the AIAW-Division II national title in 1979 and has won 8 conference championships since 1996. They won the Big West championship five years in a row from 1996 to 2000, and won the WAC title in 2007, 2008, and 2009.[18]


The Wolf Pack's mascot is an anthropomorphized wolf named Alphie, who took over the duties of cheering from his uncle, Wolfie, in 1999. In 2007, Alphie was joined by his younger brother, Wolfie Jr.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Nevada Traditions & Nevada Athletics
  2. ^ O'Toole, Thomas. Nevada, Fresno State accept offers to leave WAC and join Mountain West USA Today, 18 August 2010. Web. 07 March 2011.
  3. ^ NEVADA'S CHAMPIONSHIP Nevada Athletics
  4. ^ a b Nevada in the NCAA Nevada Athletics
  5. ^ 2007 NCAA Men's Basketball Rankings - Preseason (Nov. 6)
  6. ^ Marcelus Kemp Draft 2008 National Basketball Association
  7. ^ 2007 NBA Draft National Basketball Association
  8. ^ Sonner, Scott. Ault wins No. 200, Nevada beats Louisiana Tech Associated Press, 10 October 2009. Web. 07 August 2011.
  9. ^ Mackay Nevada Athletics
  10. ^ Adelson, Andrea. Moore, Kaepernick top All-WAC
  11. ^ Defense Leads Pack To 52-6 Win Over Nevada Athletics
  12. ^ Two missed field goals doom Boise State as Nevada prevails in Associated Press
  13. ^ Pack Wins WAC Nevada Athletics
  14. ^ Micka Named Nevada Athletics
  15. ^ Softball Falls To Nevada Athletics
  16. ^ 1994 NCAA DIV I Final Baseball Poll Collegiate Baseball Newspaper
  17. ^ Nevada Soccer Beats Fresno State in Penalty Kicks to Win the WAC Tournament, and Advances to the NCAA Nevada Athletics
  18. ^ Pack Swimming & Diving Team Earns WAC Nevada Athletics

External links

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