RENO, Nev. – Albert Rosette, a standout linebacker on the Nevada football team, was named today as the school’s inaugural recipient of the Bill Ireland Award as part of the Governor’s Series competition between the Wolf Pack and the UNLV Rebels.
Rosette’s nine-tackle performance spearheaded a Wolf Pack defensive effort that held UNLV to just 111 yards of total offense and 18 rushing yards in the second half as Nevada erased a 17-point halftime deficit to retain the Fremont Cannon. The Wolf Pack, which trailed 21-0 at one point in the first half, came back to beat the Rebels 42-35 to earn its record eighth-straight win in the rivalry.
“Albert Rosette represents all that is good about in-state rivalries,” former coach Chris Ault said. “His defensive effort, leadership and determination led the way for a great Pack win. I know Coach “I” would be very proud to have Albert as the first recipient of such a special award.”
As part of the Governor’s Series, each school annually honors one of its own student-athletes with the Ireland Award. Outstanding athletic performance within the Governor’s Series is the required component of the Ireland Award with the following criteria also considered: Sportsmanship; Academic Achievement; Character/Citizenship; and Community Service.
The award is named after Bill Ireland, who is deeply tied to the history of the Wolf Pack and Rebels athletics programs. A 1952 graduate of the University of Nevada, Ireland was the Wolf Pack’s first baseball coach (1961-67). After his time at Nevada, he went on to UNLV where he became the Rebels first football coach (1968-72) and later served as athletic director (1973-80). Ireland is credited with helping come up with the idea for the Fremont Cannon, which is the trophy awarded to the winner of the annual Rebels vs. Wolf Pack football game and known to be the largest and most expensive trophy in college football, weighing in at 545 pounds at an expense of $10,000 to build.
Rosette was named a team captain during the 2012 season in voting by his teammates. He broke the Nevada school record for tackles in a game last year with 25 stops against Air Force and he recorded 135 tackles on the year, which is the third-best single-season mark in school history.
He earned first-team All-Mountain West honors and was named the winner of Nevada’s Golden Helmet Award, given to the team’s Most Valuable Player.
Rosette graduated from Nevada in December of 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He is currently pursuing a Master’s in criminal justice and was recently invited to the New York Jets minicamp. An active participant in Nevada’s community outreach programs throughout his five seasons at Nevada, Rosette was a contributing member of Nevada’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
The Governor’s Series, presented by NV Energy, is a head-to-head athletic and academic challenge that awards annual bragging rights to one of the schools each year. As members of the Mountain West Conference, Nevada and UNLV compete in 15 sports plus a unique academic component.