Kunzer-Murphy Honored

Bowl's Executive Director Named Sportsperson of the Year

LAS VEGAS - MAACO Bowl Las Vegas Executive Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy was honored as Las Vegas' Sportsperson of the Year in July as part of the annual ''24-Hour Radiothon'' staged by ESPN Radio 1100/98.9.

It all benefited The Caring Place, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to easing the journey of those affected by cancer. The events began six years ago to help make The Caring Place a reality. The Caring Place offers no-cost services and programs to those battling cancer such as gentle yoga, massage therapy, meditation for stress reduction, nutrition classes and support groups provided by certified, licensed professionals that are intended to support conventional medical treatments.

Kunzer-Murphy has been a fixture in the Southern Nevada sports community since earning her bachelor's degree at UNLV in 1975. The former Rebel student-athlete and head coach went on to work for UNLV Athletics as Senior Women's Administrator, Assistant Athletic Director and Senior Assistant AD before joining the Las Vegas 51s and Thunder professional franchises as Director of Corporate Sales and Marketing. After UNLV moved to the Western Athletic Conference in 1996, Kunzer-Murphy was hired by the league to run its annual football championship game and men's and women's basketball championship events in Las Vegas. Kunzer-Murphy was then selected to run the local ESPN Regional Television office and in 2000 she became Executive Director of the Las Vegas Bowl, which ERT purchased in 2001. Under her leadership, the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas has enjoyed six consecutive sellouts along with record TV ratings. The bowl will celebrate its 20th year on Thursday Dec. 22, 2011. One of only two current female bowl-game directors in the nation, Kunzer-Murphy currently serves as President of the Football Bowl Association. She was inducted into the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

The radio show was broadcast from the Palms Casino and Resort for 24 hours beginning at 10 a.m. on July 22 and featured celebrity hosts, including Kunzer-Murphy from 5-6 p.m. PT. Listeners bid for a one-hour co-hosting spot with one or more of the participating celebrities.

Previous Sportsperson of the Year recipients were Sacramento Kings & Palms owners Joe and Gavin Maloof, college basketball coach Lon Kruger, boxing promoter Bob Arum, Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White and Las Vegas 51s executive director Don Logan.

For more information on The Caring Place and these events, go to www.thecaringplacenv.org. For more information on the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, go to www.maacobowllv.com.