Three football stars from the 2010 Nevada Football "Dream Team" and a trio of former Wolf Pack basketball standouts make up the 2020 Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame class, the department announced on Friday.
Former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, running back Vai Taua and defensive end Dontay Moch starred for Nevada's best team in school history and their names are etched throughout the Wolf Pack record books.
Kaepernick and Moch both earned WAC Player of the Year awards and Taua is the second all-time leading rusher in school history.
Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson were both Northern Nevada standouts who went on to star for their hometown school, with Johnson earning Freshman of the Year and All-WAC honors during his career, and Babbitt being named the WAC Player of the Year in 2010 and earning All-America accolades. Both players were selected in the 2010 NBA Draft and enjoyed professional careers.
Dellena Criner was a standout for the women's basketball team from 2005-09, twice earning WAC Defensive Player of the Year honors. She was the first player in school history to record at least 1,500 career points, 350 career assists and 250 career steals and she is Nevada's all-time steals record holder.
"The 2020 Hall of Fame class represents some of the best of the best in Wolf Pack history," said athletics director Doug Knuth. "This is an incredible collection of accomplished student-athletes and we can't wait for the opportunity to welcome them back to campus and celebrate their careers."
Due to COVID-19, an official induction dinner will not be held this fall. The athletics department will work towards a celebration ceremony when it is safer to do so in the future.
Longtime athletics trainer Tony Marek will also be honored in the 2020 class as the department's Silver and Blue Service Award recipient. Marek developed the undergraduate and graduate athletic training program at Nevada in the 1980s and 90s and volunteers as the medical observer on football game days.
2020 University of Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees:
- Luke Babbitt – Men's Basketball (2008-10)
- Dellena Criner – Women's Basketball (2005-09)
- Armon Johnson – Men's Basketball (2007-10)
- Colin Kaepernick – Football (2006-10)
- Dontay Moch – Football (2006-10)
- Vai Taua – Football (2006-10)
Luke Babbitt – Men's Basketball (2008-10)
Was named the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year and an honorable-mention All-American by the Associated Press in 2010 … became the first men's basketball student-athlete in Nevada history to be named an ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American, earning second-team honors … two-time first-team All-WAC selection and all-district honoree by both the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the United States Basketball Writers Association… led the Wolf Pack in scoring and rebounding in each of his two seasons at Nevada … in 2009-10, ranked second in the WAC and ninth in the NCAA with 21.9 points and second in the league and 51st in the nation with 8.9 rebounds per contest … broke the school single-season scoring record with 743 points in 2009-10 and became just the eighth player in school history to reach 1,000 points in two seasons… led the WAC and checked in at third in the nation in free throw shooting at 91.7 percent (199-217) in 2009-10… broke Nevada's single-season records for free throws made (199) as well as free throw percentage (.917)… also set the school record for consecutive free throws made, knocking down his final 34 free throw attempts of the season… ended his Wolf Pack career ranked 12th (now 17th) on Nevada career scoring list with 1,316 points… still holds Nevada's career record for free throw percentage at 89.3 percent (351-393)… made 42.1 percent of his career three point attempts (75-178)… started all 68 games over the last two years and scored in double figures in 59 of those 68 contests… averaged 19.4 points and 8.1 rebounds per game in his career… declared for the NBA Draft following his sophomore season and was selected as the 16th overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the draft before being traded to the Portland Trailblazers… played eight seasons in the NBA, spending time with the Blazers, the New Orleans Pelicans, the Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks… appeared in the 2018 NBA playoffs with Miami.
Dellena Criner – Women's Basketball (2005-09)
Named the WAC Defensive Player of the Year in each of her last two seasons at Nevada… also earned first-team All-WAC, WAC All-Defensive Team and WAC AllAcademic honors three times during her career (2007, 2008, 2009)… regional finalist for the 2009 Women's Basketball Coaches Association All-America team and one of 30 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award… became the first player in school history to record at least 1,500 career points, 350 career assists and 250 career steals… is Nevada's career steals leader with 271… ranks second in career free throws made (551), fourth in scoring (1,629), fifth in assists (374) and three-point percentage (.352), sixth in games played (124), seventh in free throw percentage (.788) and ninth in three-point field goals made (124)… led the team in scoring in each of her last three seasons at Nevada… still holds the school record for most steals in a season (87 in 2006-07) and has three of the top seven seasons in school history in that category… also ranks in the single-season records books in assists, free throws made and free throw percentage…. Her 13 assists vs. St. Mary's in 2008 still ranks fifth all-time… is currently working as a firefighter with Las Vegas Fire & Rescue.
Armon Johnson – Men's Basketball (2007-10)
Earned first-team All-WAC honors in 2009 and second-team accolades in 2010… was named the WAC Freshman of the Year in 2008… tallied 1,441 points, 370 rebounds, 445 assists and 83 steals in his career… was a two-time all-district selection by the National Association of Basketball Coaches… led the Wolf Pack in assists in each of his three seasons and finishes his career ranked fourth (now fifth) in all-time assists at Nevada with 445… finished first in the WAC and 22nd in the nation with 5.6 assists per game his junior season… became the sixth player in school history to score at least 1,000 points and dish out at least 250 assists… ended his career ranked ninth (now 11th) in all-time scoring at Nevada with 1,441 points… made 99 starts in 101 games… the Wolf Pack won 21 games each of his three seasons and made postseason appearances every year… helped the Wolf Pack to a share of the WAC title in 2007-08 and second lace finished in both 2009 and 2010… played his high school ball at Hug High School in Reno and set the state scoring record (since broken)… declared for the NBA Draft following his junior year and was taken in the second round by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 34th overall pick… played for Portland from 2010-12 and New Jersey in 2012… also spent several years playing professionally overseas… returned to the Wolf Pack as an undergraduate assistant for one season in 2018-19 and was recently named the head coach at Excel Christian, a private school in Sparks.
Colin Kaepernick – Football (2006-10)
Finished his career as the only player in college football history to pass for 10,000 yards and rush for 4,000 yards… was also the only player to ever pass for rush for 1,000 yards and throw for 2,000 yards in the three consecutive years… tied former Nebraska quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch for most career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in FBS history (59)… was named the WAC Offensive Player of the Year twice in his career (2008 and 2010) and was a three-time WAC all-conference selection… earned honorable-mention All-America honors from SI.com in 2010… was named the WAC Freshman of the Year in 2007… earned the starting job at quarterback as a sophomore and never looked back… became the first sophomore to win the WAC Offensive Player of the Year award since Marshall Faulk of San Diego State in 1992… finished his career with 10,098 passing yards, 82 passing touchdowns, 24 interceptions, 4,112 rushing yards and 59 rushing touchdowns… led the Wolf Pack to one of the greatest seasons in school history in 2010 with a 13-1 record, a WAC conference championship, a win in the Kraft Fight Hunger bowl and final rankings in the national top 15… was invited to participate in the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl… was presented with the Award of Distinction by the Touchdown Club of Columbus in 2010… also finished eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting that season… was selected in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers… played for six seasons for the 49ers, leading the team to the Super Bowl in 2012 after taking over for the injured Alex Smith and the NFC Championship game the following year… started sitting and then kneeling for the national anthem during the 2016 preseason as a protest against racial injustice, police brutality and systematic oppression in the country… became a free agent following the 2016 season and has not been signed since in what appears to many observers to be a reaction to his civil rights activism… founded the "Know Your Rights Camp", an organization which held free seminars to disadvantaged youths to teach them about self-empowerment, American history and legal rights… has been widely recognized for his social activism, winning prestigious awards including 2017 GQ Magazine Citizen of the Year, the 2017 Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, the 2017 American Civil Liberties Union Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award and the 2018 Harvard University W. E. B. Du Bois Medal… most recently he has been selected along with the nation's top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci as the 2020 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope award laureates, an award given out to leaders who use their platforms for good and demonstrate a commitment to social change.
Dontay Moch – Football (2006-10)
Earned first-team All-WAC honors in 2009 and 2010… earned second-team All-America honors from SI.com in 2010… was named the WAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2009… ranks among Nevada's career leaders in tackles, TFL and sacks… benefited from Nevada's switch to the 4-3 defense in 2009 and earned second-team AllWAC honors that season after recording 50 total tackles (33 solo), 17.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, two broken-up passes and four forced fumbles… ranked 12th in nation in sacks that season… In 2010, registered 22 tackles for loss to tie the single-season WAC record and bring his career total to 63 tackles for loss, the most of any active player in the nation and setting a WAC record in the category… led the defense for the 2010 "Dream Team" that finished the season 13-1, ranked in the national top 15, won a share of the WAC title and won the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl… was drafted in the third round with the 66th overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2011 NFL Draft… spent two seasons with the Bengals… played professionally for the next seven years spending time in the NFL, the CFL and the Arena League… currently owns Inferno Performance, a personal fitness company in Phoenix.
Vai Taua – Football (2006-10)
Three-time first-team All-WAC honoree… also earned third team All-America honors from the Associated Press in 2010… was also named the WAC's Most Valuable Offensive Player that year by The Sporting News… was a huge part of the 2010 Dream Team that finished 13-1, ranked in the national top 15 and earned a WAC cochampionship… ranks second in school history in rushing and first in the Wolf Pack's FBS era) with 4,588 rushing yards… averaged 6.5 yards per carry and scored 53 touchdowns in his career (45 rushing, 8 receiving)… rushed for at least 1,300 yards rushing in three seasons… rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown in Nevada's thrilling 34-31 OT win over Boise State in 2010… became Nevada's starting running back in 2008 when WAC rushing leader Luke Lippincott suffered a season-ending injury… rushed for 1,521 yards on 236 carries (including 15 touchdowns) and also made 29 receptions for 226 yards (including two touchdowns) that season… signed as a free agent with the NFL's Buffalo Bills in 2010 and then again with the Seattle Seahawks in 2011… is in his third season as Nevada's running backs coach. 2020 Silver & Blue Service Award Winner
Tony Marek – Athletic Trainer (1985-98)
Served as Nevada's head athletic trainer from 1985-98… developed the academic athletic training program for undergraduate students and the implementation of the graduate athletic training program providing athletic trainers for the Washoe County School District while at the University… served as the Vice President of National Athletic Trainers Association and the director of the District 8 Far West Athletic Trainers Director from 1997-2002… was inducted into the National Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Far West Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame in 2006… has continued to volunteer for Nevada Athletics, serving as a medical observer on football game days.