Thursday, March 23, 2017 | 10 a.m.
He helped the UNLV basketball team reach the 1987 Final Four and is one of the best guards in program history. Another won an individual national golf championship and was a four-time All-American. And she coached the Rebels’ softball team to three Women’s College World Series appearances.
Point guard Mark Wade, golfer Ryan Moore and softball coach Shan McDonald lead a group from six sports who will be inducted into the UNLV Athletics Hall of Fame on May 4 at the Strip View Pavilion inside the Thomas & Mack Center, the university announced today.
The class includes two former football players in safety Jamaal Brimmer, a local product from Durango High who was a two-time All-American, and offensive lineman Tony Terrell, a four-year starter and all-Mountain West pick who later earned a doctorate degree from UNLV.
It’s the first induction class since 2012.
“I commend the Hall of Fame executive board for selecting a terrific group of honorees,” UNLV Director of Athletics Tina Kunzer-Murphy said in a statement. “There are truly some Rebel greats representing many different eras and programs. It’s a fitting class for our first induction ceremony since 2012.”
Other inductees include: former women’s basketball standout Gwynn Hobbs, baseball’s Eric Nielsen and the 2003 Mountain West championship team he captained, and Dick Calvert, the voice of the Rebels. Additionally, longtime businessman and UNLV supporter Rich Abajian, who died in 2016, will be the third recipient of the prestigious Silver Rebel Award.
Moore, the most heralded golfer in program history and arguably UNLV’s most accomplished student-athlete in any sport, won the 2004 national championship during in his junior season. As a senior, he won three of the nine events he entered and didn’t finish lower than sixth place in any tournament to win every major award — the Ben Hogan Award, the Nicklaus Award and the Haskins Award. He’s now a fixture on the PGA Tour with more than $25 million in career earnings.
Wade set a Final Four single-game record with 18 assists in the Rebels’ national semifinal loss to Indiana. He played just two seasons at UNLV, yet his 689 assists are fourth all-time in program history. His 406 assists as a senior are a single-season best.
Hobbs averaged in double figures in each of her four seasons with the Lady Rebels and was the Big West Conference tournament MVP in 1995 when she led UNLV to league championship and an NCAA Tournament berth. A two-time first-team all-league selection, Hobbs is still the most accurate 3-point shooter in program history at 40.6 percent.
Nielsen led UNLV to back-to-back Mountain West championships and is the program’s last first-team All-American. He was the league’s player of the year in 2004 and won its triple crown with the best average, most home runs and most RBIs. His 87 RBIs that season rank second for a single season in league history. His 84 runs scored are still a conference best.
Calvert has been the public address announcers at many UNLV sporting events for nearly 50 years and is considered one of the nation’s long-tenured announcers. When he proclaims, “Let’s roll out the red carpet,” fans at UNLV basketball games know it’s time to stand up and cheer.
Abajian was on the UNLV football coaching staff from 1977 to 1981 before a lengthy career in auto sales for the Findlay Automotive Group. The group is one of the athletic department’s key donors, and Abajian was the liaison between the university and owner Cliff Findlay. The Silver Rebel Award was created to honor supporters who have brought recognition to UNLV, making it a perfect award for Abajian, according to officials. His kindness and generosity were unmatched, they said.
The university launched its Hall of Fame in 1987. This will be its 14th induction ceremony and grow its membership to 123. Under the hall’s bylaws, former student-athletes must have completed their eligibility at least 10 years earlier to be selected. Coaches and administrators must be five years removed.
The ceremony is open to the public. A limited number of tickets are available for $125 each by calling Tod Bannister at 702-895-3075.
Assistant Managing Editor Ray Brewer was part of the UNLV Athletics Hall of Fame selection committee