LAS VEGAS (KLAS)– On Wednesday it was announced that Hall of Fame Coach Dwaine Knight, the 2021-2022 season Director of Golf for the UNLV men’s golf program, will be honored with a new scholarship in his name. The scholarship will be awarded to one Rebel men’s golfer on an annual basis.
“Coach Knight is one of the all-time UNLV legends,” said Erick Harper, UNLV Director of Athletics. “The program that he built and the success that it achieved is extraordinary and we continue to celebrate him and his legacy. This scholarship is just one way that we can recognize all that he has done for our university and community. We will continue to honor him and recognize his accomplishments and contributions in various ways throughout this next year and into the future.”
Knight will be moving into a new role within the athletics department starting July 1, 2022. He will become the new Special Assistant to the Director of Athletics and will work with the Rebel Golf Foundation helping with fundraising efforts.
Knight served as the head coach of the UNLV men’s golf program for 34 seasons. He is a two-time National Coach of the Year and 2002 Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame inductee. He took the program from near-anonymity to one of the premier programs in the nation.
“It has been extremely special spending more than three decades at UNLV and I am proud that Rebel Golf means so much to so many,” Knight said. “There are so many people that have helped to make the program successful throughout all of these years and I am appreciative of each and every one of them. Thank you to Erick Harper for the opportunity to continue to be a part of UNLV Athletics and I look forward to being involved in its success.”
In 1998, he guided the team to the NCAA crown in Albuquerque, N.M. Knight led the Rebels to an unprecedented 22 trips to the national finals and coached them to 11 top-eight finishes. He also led his team to an NCAA-record 31 straight appearances at the NCAA Regionals from 1988-2019.
Under his guidance, the Rebels earned their first-ever No. 1 ranking in 1993 and again in the 1997-1998 season where the team finished No. 1 in the nation in all polls. Since Knight came to UNLV, 12 of his players went on to play on the PGA TOUR, combining for 31 PGA Tour titles, including Adam Scott’s win at the 2013 Masters.
Knight tutored 48 All-Americans at UNLV, a National Player of the Year, a National Freshman of the Year, a U.S. Amateur Champion, three U.S. Public Links Champions, four Walker Cup participants, and eight Palmer Cup representatives. Additionally, three former Rebel golfers went on to play for the U.S. in the Ryder Cup.
Knight captured three national titles won eight conference championships and developed 89 all-conference players. Since 1998, Knight helped 22 Rebel golfers earn the All-America Scholar award and four were named Academic All-Americans.
Knight is the only two-time winner in the 1990s of the GCAA National Coach of the Year award (1991 and 1998). Knight was also proclaimed Golfweek National Coach of the Year in 1998, earned Coach of the Year honors at the conference level five times (1979, 1989, 1998, 2002, and 2017) and at the district tier four times (District VII in 1981, District VIII in 1991, 1998 and 2005).
Knight has been inducted into four Halls of Fame, the GCAA, the Southern Nevada Golf Association, the Southern Nevada Sports, and the Las Vegas Golf. In 2008, his 1998 National Champion squad was inducted into the UNLV Athletics Hall of Fame, then in 2016 it was inducted into the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2009 Knight was named the Southern Nevada Chapter’s PGA Golf Professional of the Year