Butler Did It: Rebel TE Voted Wiesner Winner
Sept. 3, 2007
LAS VEGAS - Before UNLV's home-opening football game vs. Wisconsin on Saturday night, senior tight end Chris Butler will be recognized as this year's recipient of the Tom Wiesner Award and will have the honor of wearing the Wiesner Jersey throughout the season.
Butler, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound former junior-college transfer from Canyon Country, Calif., (Canyon HS/College of the Canyons) is the returning starter at tight end for the Rebels. He was a 2006 Academic All-Mountain West Conference honoree and is a member of the 2007 Rebels Leadership Committee.
The award, which debuted in 2002 and is voted on by the coaching staff and senior class, was created to honor one senior player that best exemplifies the late Mr. Wiesner's courage, enthusiasm, dedication and toughness.
The first two jerseys went to Rebel offensive linemen, inaugural winner Tony Terrell and 2003 honoree Dominic Furio, while the next two went to safeties, All-American Jamaal Brimmer in 2004 and Joe Miklos in 2005. Last year it was running back Erick Jackson who wore the Wiesner.
"We were not short on worthy candidates but Chris Butler has earned his teammates' and coaches' respect through a lot of hard work and a team-first attitude," UNLV head coach Mike Sanford said. "It will be even more special this year with Chris being honored in front of fans from both UNLV and Wisconsin because Mr. Wiesner is the main reason these two schools are playing each other this weekend."
A Wisconsin native and three-time letterman on the Badger football team, Mr. Wiesner sought his fortune out West and became one of the Las Vegas' leading businessmen, philanthropists, politicians and ambassadors.
The founder of the successful restaurants that are part of Big Dog's Hospitality Group, Mr. Wiesner helped guide Rebel Athletics from their infancy and was inducted into the UNLV Athletic Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Contributor in 1994. Also a member of the Nevada Board of Regents, he died in 2002 at the age of 63 after a battle with Leukemia.
The Rebels will kick off their home season by taking on the Badgers beginning at 7 p.m. at Sam Boyd Stadium. A limited amount of tickets remain and are available now by calling (702) 739-FANS or logging on to