Nevada Wolf Pack football

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Nevada Wolf Pack football
2018 Nevada Wolf Pack football team
Nevada Wolf Pack wordmark.svg
First season 1896
Athletic director Doug Knuth
Head coach Jay Norvell
2nd season, 3–9 (.250)
Other staff Matt Mumme (OC)
Jeff Casteel (DC)
Stadium Mackay Stadium
(Capacity: 27,000)
Field Chris Ault Field
Year built October 1, 1966
Field surface Natural grass (1966–1999)
FieldTurf (2000–present)
Location Reno, Nevada
NCAA division Division I FBS
Conference Mountain West
Division West
Past conferences NCAA Independent (1896–1924)
Far West (1925–1939)
NCAA Independent (1940–1953)
Far West (1954–1968)
NCAA Independent (1969–1972)
Division II Independent (1973–1977)
Division I-AA Independent (1978)
Big Sky (1979–1991)
Big West (1992–1999)
WAC (2000–2011)
All-time record 543–483–33 (.528)
Bowl record 5–10 (.333)
Conference titles 14
Rivalries Boise State (rivalry)
UNLV (rivalry)
Consensus All-Americans 1 (multiple All-American selections)
Colors Navy Blue and Silver[1]
         
Fight song Hail to our Sturdy Team
Mascot Alphie and Wolfie Jr.
Marching band Pride of the Sierra
Website Nevada Wolf Pack

The Nevada Wolf Pack football program represents the University of Nevada, Reno (commonly referred to as "Nevada" in athletics) in college football, the Wolf Pack competes in the Mountain West Conference at the Football Bowl Subdivision level of the NCAA Division I.

The Wolf Pack's home field is Mackay Stadium, located at the north end of its campus in Reno, having been moved from it original location which opened in 1909, the "new" Mackay Stadium saw its first game 52 years ago on October 1, 1966 with a seating capacity of 7,500 and has undergone several renovations. The stadium currently seats 30,000 and has played to crowds in excess (see attendance records), but decreased its capacity to 26,000 by the 2016 season to increase the quality of the experience in the stadium and later increased its capacity to 27,000 by the 2017 season.[2] The elevation of its playing field is 4,610 feet (1,410 m) above sea level.

Nevada has had three individuals inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, they are coach Chris Ault, running back Frank Hawkins (197780) and former coach Buck Shaw. Fullback Marion Motley is the only Nevada player to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Three-time Super Bowl champion Charles Mann played for Nevada from 1979 to 1982 and was named Most Valuable Defensive Lineman in 1982.[3] Mann was inducted into the Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995.[4] Another Nevada alumnus with a long career in the NFL was free safety Brock Marion, he was selected in the seventh round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys where he played most of his career, and won two Super Bowls. Marion was selected to three Pro Bowls and one All-Pro team.

Nevada has not fielded a Heisman Trophy winner; however, Stan Heath was fifth in Heisman voting in 1948 and Colin Kaepernick (QB) was eighth among 2010 candidates. Nevada football's rich tradition has produced 40 All-Americans and 45 All-American selections. Nevada's only consensus All-American was Matt Clafton (LB) in 1991, which was Nevada's last year in the Division I-AA; the Wolf Pack is awaiting its first FBS consensus All-American. The Wolf Pack has also produced two Academic All-Americans: David Heppe (P, 1982) and Erick Streelman (TE, 2002)[5]

History[edit]

Early history (1896–1958)[edit]

Allen Steckle served as head coach from 1901 to 1903.

Nevada's football history began on October 24, 1896. However, there was no football program from 1906–14 (only rugby), in 1918 (due to World War I) and in 1951.[6]

In 1896, the university, at that time the only institution of higher learning in the state of Nevada and called by the moniker Nevada State University, investigated the possibility of adding football to their short list of athletic programs and hired Taylor from the University of California, Berkeley for the purpose of developing and fielding the U's first gridiron squadron. They played only two games that year, the first of which was scheduled against the Belmont preparatory school to take place on "the hill" at the original Mackay Stadium, located in the depression at the middle of campus where the Mack Social Sciences, Reynolds School of Journalism, and the auspicious Lecture Hall currently exist, the result was a complete debacle as Belmont relentlessly thrashed the hapless Sagebrushers (lat. Wolf Pack) by the tally of 70–0. "But," the University of Nevada yearbook Artemesia would report five years later, "the team learned something about football by watching the Belmont boys play." Two weeks later and the 'Brushers met up with the Berkeley "Second Eleven" with much more favorable results (with NSU only giving up forty points. "Thus the initial chapter of the athletic history of the University was one of defeat," sayeth the 1901 Artemesia.

From 1901 to 1903, Allen Steckle served as the head football coach at the University of Nevada; in 1903, he was also appointed to the position as the university's Physical Director.[7] In his three seasons as the head coach, he compiled a 6–9–2 record. When Steckle's Nevada Sagebrush team defeated the University of California in 1903, it was the cause of a statewide celebration, the entire front page of the Daily Nevada State Journal was given to coverage of the game, and the banner headline read: "CALIFORNIA'S PROUD COLORS LOWERED BY THE DOUGHTY ELEVEN FROM SAGEBRUSHDOM."[8] Steckle's picture appeared on the front page, and the paper praised his efforts in turning Nevada into a football power:

"Out of the eighty students of the N.S.U. have been selected eleven young men who were moulded into shape by Dr. Steckle, the best football coach who ever came to the Coast, he made of them the peers of the flower of the California universities."[8]

The victory of a university with only 80 students over the University of California with its 3,000 students was hailed as a historic accomplishment, and "Coach Steckle's brand of 'roughhouse'" play was given much of the credit.[8]

Steckle's star players at Nevada from 1901 to 1903 were his younger brother Ivan X. Steckle, who played halfback, and Abe Steckle, who played tackle. Ivan Steckle was reportedly "the hero of all Nevada during the football season of 1903, when in a game with the University of California on the U.C. field, he grabbed the football close to the Nevada goal line and made a wonderful 86-yard run to the California goal line, scoring a touchdown for the Sagebrush players and bringing victory to the team."[9] Ivan left Nevada after the 1903 season to follow his older brother to the University of Michigan Medical School. Ivan died from typhoid fever in 1909, and Steckle accompanied his brother's body to the family's old home in Freeport, Michigan.[9]

In 1919, a Nevada newspaper rated Steckle as the best football coach Nevada ever had and described his accomplishments as follows:

"It was under the coaching of Dr. Steckle that Nevada was able to defeat the University of California and play a tie with Stanford as well as bang it over the crack athletic club teams that San Francisco boasted when the great college game was in its hey dey, he was rated at that time as one of the best coaches in the West."[10]

Steckle was also remembered at Nevada for his ability to instill "college spirit" in the school's student body; in 1919, a Nevada newspaper noted that "there was more enthusiasm displayed in college athletics while he was coach than there has been in all the years since he left."[10] As a medical doctor and athletic coach, Steckle was also known for his belief in physical conditioning, he was known to require every athlete to be in perfect physical condition before playing in any intercollegiate or "big" game.[10] After his success with the 1903 Nevada team, Steckle was offered a higher salary to take over as the football coach at Oregon State.[11]

In April 1919, Ray Courtright was hired to serve as director of athletics and head coach of the football, basketball, baseball and track teams.[12][13] Courtright was Nevada's football coach for five years from 1919 to 1923, during his years at Nevada, Courtright was "affectionately known as 'Corky'."[14] In his first year as Nevada's coach, Courtright led the team to an 8–1–1 record, doubling the highest season win total of any prior Nevada football team, the only loss came in the first game of the season, a 13–7 loss to the California freshman team. Courtright's 1919 Nevada team outscored its opponents 450 to 32, including scores of 132–0 over Pacific, 102–0 over the Mare Island Marines, and 56–0 over UC Davis.[15] At the time, Courtright called the 1919 Nevada team "the best team I ever had," and others called it the "best team that ever played on Mackay Field."[16] At the end of the 1919 season, the Reno Evening Gazette wrote:

"It was a good move when the students and regents decided last spring to go east and get one of the best men to come to Nevada and build up a football team. In selecting a coach they also demanded an all-round man, who could coach basket ball, track, baseball and put into operation a regular system of physical culture for all the students as well. Coach Courtright fitted the requirements and the football season proves the wisdom of the selection ..."[13]

In 1920, Courtright's team finished with a record of 7–3–1 with wins over both the Utah Utes (14–7) and Utah State Aggies (21–0), and losses to California (79–7), USC (38–7), and Santa Clara (27–21).[17] Courtright never reached the same level of success after the 1920 season, finishing 4–3–1 in 1921, 5–3–1 in 1922 and 2–3–3 in 1923.[17] However, his most notable game at Nevada was a scoreless tie with California on November 3, 1923, the 1923 California team was known as the "Wonder Team."[14][18] It had gone through three full seasons without a loss, and had outscored its opponents 151 to 0 in the first seven games of the 1923 season. Nevada had only 15 men on its football team in 1923 and was considered to be a decided underdog. When Courtright returned to the Nevada campus in 1961, he was shown souvenirs of his time at the school. Ty Cobb, then a sports columnist, accompanied Courtright and wrote: "Courtright chuckled when he saw a huge framed layout of newspaper headlines from 1923 – when Nevada tied the great California 'Wonder Team.' 'Yep, that WAS quite a game,' he chortled."[18] Courtright compiled a record of 26–13–7 while at Nevada,[19] and his teams outscored opponents by a combined total of 993 to 464.[20] Shortly before his resignation in 1924, the Nevada State Journal credited Courtright with having "brought the Nevada eleven from the class of a second rate team to its present rank among the best of the western college football squads."[21]

Jim Aiken left Akron to take over Nevada's football program in 1939, and served as head coach for seven seasons, compiling a record of 38–26–4.[22] Aiken left Nevada after the 1946 season to accept the head coaching position at Oregon.[22]

Nevada experienced back to back nine-win seasons under Aiken's successor, Joe Sheeketski, 9–2 casmpaigns in 1947 and 1948, but the wheels came off the next two seasons as Nevada compiled records of 5–5 and 1–9, resulting in his firing.

Gordon McEachron accepted the head coaching position at Nevada in 1955 for a $7,300 salary.[23][24] The university had demoted its football program from major college football status in 1951 due to a budget deficit, and had struggled to remain competitive;[25] in 1956, the Nevada alumni association raised $4,500 for a part-time work program for football players.[26] The initiative, however, failed, and in October 1957, McEachron supported the players in their petition for a renewal of free room and board for the team during the season,[23][25] they offered to work part-time campus jobs in exchange. McEachron said, "We're not trying to go big-time again, just to compete on an equal basis."[25] McEachron offered his resignation on October 30, 1957, which reportedly "came as a complete surprise" to the athletic director. Dr. Art Broten said, "But I am totally indifferent—Mac took the job with the understanding we gave no aid to athletes."[23] McEachron remained on for one more year,[27] and resigned for good in 1959. He had compiled a 6–23–1 record at Nevada.[28]

Dick Trachok era (1959–1968)[edit]

In April 1959, Nevada hired Trachok as its head coach;[29] in November 1960, Trachok canceled a six-hour flight to Denver in favor of a 32-hour bus ride after a plane crash killed sixteen players from California Polytechnic.[30] The Nevada flight had been booked with Arctic-Pacific, the same carrier that Cal Poly had used.[30] Trachok finished his coaching tenure with a 40–48–3 record, and took over as Nevada's athletic director, he held that post until 1986.[31] In 1975, the university inducted Trachok into the Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame.[31]

Jerry Scattini era (1969–1975)[edit]

The University of Nevada, Reno hired Scattini as its head football coach, a position he held from 1969 to 1975, his teams compiled a 37–36–1 record.[32] Scattini was fired in December 1975 after a 3–8 season and was replaced with UNLV assistant Chris Ault.[33]

Chris Ault era (1976–1992, 1994–1995 and 2004–2012)[edit]

Chris Ault

The winningest coach in school history is Chris Ault who was hired in 1976 after spending 3 years as assistant coach at UNLV under head coach Ron Meyer. Both Ault and Meyer left UNLV on the same year, he was the head coach for Nevada for 28 seasons and was involved with Nevada football for 40 years before stepping down as head coach after the 2012 season. His record as Nevada head coach ended at 233 wins, 109 losses and 1 tie. Ault won 10 conference titles in the Big Sky, Big West and Western Athletic Conference, the only problem was his 2–8 bowl record. Ault brought popularity to the Pistol Offense when he implemented it after returning to the sideline during the 2004 season, since then, the Pistol Offense has been used by multiple teams at every level of football including the NFL. Ault also served as the Nevada Athletics Director from 1986 to 2004 and played quarterback for Nevada from 1965 to 1967; in 2002, Ault was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The field at Mackay Stadium was named Chris Ault Field in 2013 in appreciation for his numerous accomplishments.

The Wolf Pack competed in Division I-AA since the formation of that division in 1978, moving up from Division II and were undefeated as in the regular season.[34] Before joining the Big Sky Conference in 1979,[35][36] Nevada competed in the Far West Conference and was an independent in football for a decade. Nevada played in the Division I-AA playoffs in its first two seasons, when just four teams were selected, they returned to the national semi-finals in 1983 and 1985,[37] when the playoffs included 12 teams and 1986 with a 16-team field. The Wolf Pack reached the national championship game in 1990[38][39] and the quarterfinals in 1991.

In its 14 years in Division I-AA, Nevada made the playoffs seven times, and went undefeated during the regular season three times (1978, 1986, 1991), compiling an overall record of 122–47–1 (.721). Nevada had a record of 9–7 in the I-AA playoffs during their time in the Big Sky and in 13 years of membership, the Wolf Pack won four conference titles (1983, 1986, 1990, 1991), during most of its I-AA era, the school was known as "Nevada-Reno," "UNR" or "Reno." [36][37][40][41][42][43]

In its final season in Division I-AA in 1991, the top-ranked Wolf Pack recorded what still stands as one of the biggest comebacks in Division I NCAA football history when they defeated Weber State 55–49, after trailing by 35 points in the second half at home.[44] Backup sophomore quarterback Chris Vargas led a second-half Nevada comeback of 41 unanswered points to win the game,[45] after the game, Vargas was given the nickname, "The Comeback Kid," and would become one of the greatest quarterbacks to play for the Wolf Pack.

Nevada moved up to Division I-A in 1992 when it joined the Big West Conference, the change from Division I-AA to Division I-A brought a lot of excitement to Wolf Pack fans. That year, Nevada became the first NCAA football team to win a conference championship in its first Division I-A season. Nevada won the 1992 Big West title after beating Utah State in the final conference game of the season. Led by Vargas again coming off the bench, Nevada came from behind late in the 4th quarter to win, 48–47.

In 2000, Nevada left the Big West and joined the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), hoping to upgrade its athletic program.

In 2007, the Wolf Pack and the Boise State Broncos played in a historic game on October 14, setting a new NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision record for total points scored with 136. Boise State won the game 69–67 in the second half of the fourth overtime period, when Broncos LB Tim Brady stopped Nevada's freshman QB Colin Kaepernick on the mandatory two-point conversion attempt.

In 2010, Nevada would only lose one game against Hawaii on its way to a 13–1 record beating ranked California and Boise State teams, along with beating BYU on the road and Boston College in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. Led by Colin Kaepernick, Nevada would win a share of its first WAC title since 2005, and would ruin #4 Boise State's certain invitation to a BCS game.

On August 18, 2010, Nevada accepted an invitation to the Mountain West Conference along with Fresno State. Nevada and Fresno State have left the WAC and started the play in the Mountain West Conference in 2012. Both programs have joined Boise State who also left the WAC for the Mountain West in 2011, the move to the Mountain West placed Nevada in the same conference as in-state rival UNLV for the first time since 1995.

In 2012, Nevada left the WAC and moved to the Mountain West Conference (MW), along with fellow WAC member Fresno State, as part of the 2010–13 Mountain West Conference realignment. This move was influenced by Boise State's entrance, the increased strength of schedule and the intensity of Nevada's rivalries.

Jeff Horton era (1993)[edit]

Jeff Horton was promoted from wide receiver coach to head coach following Ault's first retirement. Horton resigned as head coach after the end of the season and later joined UNLV by the following year.

Jeff Tisdel era (1996–1999)[edit]

Jeff Tisdel was promoted from assistant coach to head coach following Ault's second retirement. Tisdel's first season saw the Wolf Pack go 9–3 with a loss in the Las Vegas Bowl, but from there things went downhill; in 1997, the Wolf Pack compiled a record of 5–6, then a 6–5 mark in 1998 before a 3–9 mark in 1999 and Tisdel was fired after the end of the season.[46]

Chris Tormey era (2000–2003)[edit]

Following the 1999 season, Chris Tormey moved south to Reno to coach Nevada, which was leaving the Big West to join the WAC.[47][48] He succeeded Jeff Tisdel, a former All-American quarterback for the Wolf Pack. Tormey was the head coach for four seasons (200003) and compiled a 16–31 record (.340).[49] While his win totals improved each season (2, 3, 5, 6), he was released from the fifth and final season of his contract at the end of the 2003 season, the final game marked by a 56–3 blowout loss at #18 Boise State. Most notably, Tormey failed to defeat bitter in-state rival UNLV in the annual Battle for the Fremont Cannon; his teams were also winless against Boise State and Fresno State.[49] The Wolf Pack did defeat the Washington Huskies 28–17 in Seattle that final season (UW finished at 6–6). Tormey was fired after the end of the season. Nevada's athletic director Chris Ault hired himself to succeed Tormey.

Brian Polian era (2013–2016)[edit]

Brian Polian

Texas A&M special teams coordinator and tight ends coach Brian Polian was hired as Nevada's 25th head coach following Ault's third retirement.[50] Under Polian, the Wolf Pack compiled a record of 23–27 that included back to back seven-win campaigns and bowl appearances.[51] Nevada and Polian agreed to part ways after the 2016 season.[52] Polian later returned to Notre Dame Fighting Irish as special teams coordinator under head coach Brian Kelly after previously serving under head coach Charlie Weis from 2005 to 2009.

Jay Norvell era (2017–present)[edit]

Jay Norvell

On December 6, 2016, Arizona State wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator Jay Norvell was hired as Nevada's 26th head coach.[53]

Conference affiliations[edit]

There have been 11 different affiliations in Nevada's history.[54]

Conference championships[edit]

Nevada has won 14 conference championship as a member of four different conferences as of 2017.[54]

Season Conference Record Conference record
1932 † Far West 3–3–2 2–0–1
1933 4–4 3–0
1939 5–4 3–0
1983 Big Sky 9–5 6–1
1986 13–1 7–0
1990 13–2 7–1
1991 12–1 8–0
1992 Big West 7–5 5–1
1994 † 9–2 5–1
1995 9–3 6–0
1996 † 9–3 4–1
1997 † 5–6 4–1
2005 † WAC 9–3 7–1
2010 † 13–1 7–1

† Co-championship

Playoff records[edit]

Year Playoff round Opponent Result
1978 Semifinal Massachusetts L 21–44
1979 Semifinal at Eastern Kentucky L 30–33 2OT
1983 1st Round at Idaho State W 27–20
Quarterfinal North Texas W 20–17 2OT
Semifinal at Southern Illinois L 7–23
1985 1st Round Arkansas State W 24–23
Quarterfinal at Furman L 12–35
1986 1st Round Idaho W 27–7
Quarterfinal Tennessee State W 33–6
Semi-Final Georgia Southern L 38–48
1990 1st Round Louisiana-Monroe W 27–14
Quarterfinal Furman W 42–35 3OT
Semifinal Boise State W 59–52 3OT
Championship at Georgia Southern L 13–36
1991 1st Round McNeese State W 22–16
Quarterfinal Youngstown State L 28–30

The Division I-AA playoffs included only four teams in 1978;
the field was expanded to eight in 1981, twelve in 1982, and sixteen in 1986.

Bowl games[edit]

Nevada has participated in 15 bowl games, with the Wolf Pack garnering a record of 5–10.

Season Coach Bowl Opponent Result
1947 Joe Sheeketski Salad Bowl North Texas W 13–6
1948 Joe Sheeketski Harbor Bowl Villanova L 7–27
1992 Chris Ault Las Vegas Bowl Bowling Green L 34–35
1995 Chris Ault Las Vegas Bowl Toledo L 37–40OT
1996 Jeff Tisdel Las Vegas Bowl Ball State W 18–15
2005 Chris Ault Hawaii Bowl Central Florida W 49–48OT
2006 Chris Ault MPC Computers Bowl Miami (FL) L 20–21
2007 Chris Ault New Mexico Bowl New Mexico L 0–23
2008 Chris Ault Humanitarian Bowl Maryland L 35–42
2009 Chris Ault Hawaii Bowl SMU L 10–45
2010 Chris Ault Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Boston College W 20–13
2011 Chris Ault Hawaii Bowl Southern Miss L 17–24
2012 Chris Ault New Mexico Bowl Arizona L 48–49
2014 Brian Polian New Orleans Bowl Louisiana–Lafayette L 3–16
2015 Brian Polian Arizona Bowl Colorado State W 28–23

Rivalries[edit]

Boise State[edit]

Nevada has a long-standing rivalry with Boise State; the teams first met on September 25, 1971. The rivalry with Boise State does not seem to contain the same amount of bitterness as Nevada's intrastate rivalry against UNLV. However, many feel that this has become a more meaningful and more important rivalry for the Wolf Pack since UNLV has become somewhat irrelevant in football over the past few years.

Some of the most important games in the history of both programs have been played against each other; in 1990, Nevada won the Big Sky Championship with an overall season record of 13–2. Nevada's only regular season loss was a 30–14 conference loss to the Broncos in Boise. Nevada and Boise State would both go on to the Division I-AA playoffs, the two teams met in the 1990 Division I-AA semifinals in Reno for a rematch of their earlier battle that year. With the winner going to the championship, the game took 3 overtime sessions. Nevada fullback Ray Whalen scored the decisive touchdown in the third overtime with an 8-yard run into the end zone. Nevada's defense held Boise State after the score on their turn during the alternating overtime sessions, this game was the second game in a row that Nevada needed 3 overtime periods to finish the game. (Nevada had defeated Furman the week prior in a triple overtime game.) There have been no other games postseason games played between the two teams to date. Nevada went to lose in the finals to Georgia Southern by a score of 36–13 in Statesboro, Georgia.[39]

In 2006, Nevada and Boise State would meet in Reno in Boise State's final regular season game. Boise State won the game, giving the Broncos a berth into the Fiesta Bowl, this would be Boise State's first BCS bowl game, where they would go on to beat Oklahoma in dramatic fashion. In 2010, the two teams met for another meaningful game near the end of the season. Nevada beat Boise State in another dramatic overtime game, ending the Broncos' chances of playing in the Rose Bowl.

UNLV[edit]

The Nevada and UNLV Football programs have a strong disdain for each other, the in-state rivalry started on November 22, 1969 and had not been played from 1980 to 1982 and in 1984, 1986 and 1988 respectively. Nevada currently maintains an overall 25–17 lead in the series, the Fremont Cannon was introduced as the rivalry trophy in 1970 by Bill Ireland, who attended Nevada and was UNLV's first football coach.

Unlike the Rivalry with Boise State, the Fremont Cannon rivalry has lacked many games of importance. Nevada and UNLV have spent many years in different conferences, the mid-90's being the exception when both schools were in the Big West. This time period also marks where a lot of the bitterness between the two schools came from. Nevada had just moved to the Big West from Division I-AA and had enjoyed success after winning a conference title in 1992, after his first coaching retirement, Chris Ault was replaced by Jeff Horton as the head coach in 1993. After one season Horton left for the same position at rival UNLV. Chris Ault would return to the Nevada sideline to coach Nevada in 1994 and 1995 until he could find another coach; in 1994, Nevada and UNLV would go on to become co-champions of the Big West, but UNLV won the head to head game against Nevada sending them to the post season bowl game. The next season the game was marred by pre and post game fights between both teams and with many fights between fans in the stands. Nevada would go on to win the game and the conference title outright, since then the rivalry has lost some of its luster, but as of 2012, Nevada and UNLV became members of the same conference once again.

The Fremont Cannon is the largest and most expensive trophy in the all of college football, the current holder is Nevada, following its 45–10 victory over UNLV on November 26, 2016.

Retired numbers[edit]

No. Player Position Career
27 Frank Hawkins RB 1977–80
41 Marion Motley FB 1940–42
  • 27 – Frank Hawkins played four seasons with the Wolf Pack (1977–80) as a running back, was a three-time All-American (Division I-AA), and led Division I-AA in rushing twice. Selected in the tenth round of the 1981 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders, he played seven seasons with the Raiders and was a member of the 1984 team that won Super Bowl XVIII. He rushed for 5,333 yards at Nevada and also had 11 consecutive games in a season with at least 100 rushing yards per game.He would be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997.
  • 41 – Marion Motley played three seasons with the Wolf Pack (1940–42)[55] and has been considered by many as "The Jackie Robinson of Football." Motley was one of four black players to break professional football's color barrier when he signed with the Cleveland Browns in 1946, and helped lead the Browns to four straight AAFC titles and the 1950 NFL title in their first year in the league. Motley was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1968 and was selected to the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1994.

Players and coaches[edit]