The UNLV Rebels football team has received a rather large gift of $2 million late last week. The donor who is a life long supporter of the Rebel football program did not want to take credit for this generous gift which is the largest ever given toward the football team.
These type of donations are huge for the football program which has struggled to keep up with the Mountain West in facilities over the past decade. It seems that the hire of Tony Sanchez is having an impact with fan excitement.
“A tremendous gift such as this is further evidence that the UNLV football program is on the rise,” said UNLV Director of Athletics Tina Kunzer-Murphy. “The donor sat down with Coach Sanchez and me during the season and we heard about his love for this university, its athletic teams and specifically how optimistic he feels about what is going on with the football program.
"He and his family have given so much to this university over the years and made a real difference in people’s lives. This gift will continue that legacy.”
Typically, this type of gift would go to the more established basketball team, but this particular long-time donor wants to see the football team have similar success.
“What an exciting day to spend time with this generous donor,” said Sanchez “He has been a respected member of this community for decades and is a great example of how the city is recognizing the resurgence in our football program and helping it grow.”
This is the third gift that has specific instructions that it goes toward the football team and also the same number that has been for more than seven-figures. UNLV operates on a $33 million budget for its athletics department so having around $5 million in gifts is a huge boost for the football program.
"It’s a big gift and a big deal. It’s a gift to help move the football program forward,” Sanchez said. “We’ll make sure it’s used to make a major difference.
“We’re out there aggressively fundraising,” Sanchez said. “Since we’ve gotten here, a good handful of people have already made a difference in the program. It’s an extremely exciting time to be a Rebel.”