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Tony Knap Passes Away

Tony Knap was the all-time winningest coach at both UNLV and Boise State.

Sept. 26, 2011

LAS VEGAS ( - Tony Knap, the winningest coach in UNLV football history, died Sunday at the age of 96 in Washington.

Knap, nicknamed the Silver Fox, came to UNLV from Boise State in 1976 and won more games than anyone in school history at 47-20-2 over six seasons. He led the Rebels to an NCAA Division II playoff appearance his first year, a move to the Division I level in 1978 and a stunning road upset of No. 8 BYU in 1981, which was his final season. He and his wife, Mickey, then retired to the Northwest.

Knap's overall coaching record was 143-53-4 covering 18 seasons. He first went 25-14-1 at Utah State from 1963 to 1966. After a year as an assistant coach in the Canadian Football League, he was hired at Boise State where he led the Broncos to three Big Sky Championships and remains that school's all-time winningest coach as well, posting a 71-19-1 mark from 1968 to 1975 before coming to Las Vegas to succeed Ron Meyer.

"Coach was at the same time tough and demanding while letting you know of his love for you," said ESPN on-air personality Kenny Mayne, who played quarterback for Knap at UNLV. "It's been 30 years and I can still hear his voice like he's in the same room. To say he had an impact on all of us is an understatement. I do wish I had lived up to the potential he saw in me. He was a man you wanted to make proud."

Knap, a native of Milwaukee, was inducted into the UNLV Athletics Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.

"Tony Knap has been revered at this school for decades and we are saddened by the news of his passing," said UNLV Athletics Director Jim Livengood. "I hear players that he coached here still talk about what a great man, mentor and leader of men Coach Knap was. He brought a lot to this football program, this institution and this community."


YEAR RECORD 1976 9-3 1977 9-2 1978 7-4 1979 9-1-2 1980 7-4 1981 6-6 TOTAL 47-20-2 (.696)



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