Degree: ’04, BS-Recreation & Leisure Studies
After retiring from professional football, UNLV Alumni Association member Randall Cunningham ’04, dedicated his life to giving back to his community. He was recognized by the NFL Alumni Association with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Community Service on Saturday, Feb. 4 in Indianapolis.
Reflecting on his time with UNLV, Cunningham said, “Through the grace of God, I was able to attend UNLV on a scholarship. This gave me the chance to play with the Rebels and, ultimately, to play in the NFL. My education and experiences with UNLV helped prepare me to accept the mission God chose for me — serving those in need in Las Vegas.”
Cunningham came to UNLV on a football scholarship. He played for the Rebels from 1981-84. His football career at UNLV is unmatched. He still holds several Rebel records including career passing with 8,020 yards, career touchdowns with 59, and all-time punting average leader at 45.6 yards. In 1984, he left UNLV to play football in the NFL.
One of the best athletes ever to quarterback in the NFL, Cunningham was chosen in the second round of the 1985 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. His professional career spanned 16 seasons playing for the Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, and Philadelphia Eagles. Before Michael Vick broke the record in 2011, Cunningham was the NFL’s all-time leading rushing quarterback with 4,928 yards. He was a four-time Pro Bowl invitee and a three-time winner of the Bart Bell Award, which annually goes to the league’s top player. He still ranks in the top 35 in league history for passing yards, touchdowns, and completions.
After retiring from the NFL, Cunningham returned to UNLV to complete his degree in 2004. He became an ordained minister and founded Remnant Ministries that same year. Through his ministry as senior pastor, Cunningham has served the Las Vegas community by hosting Unity Days to bring together residents for family fun and fellowship. He leads the ministry’s counseling and mentoring activities, spending countless hours during evenings, weekends, and in the middle in the night serving others.
“The people (at UNLV) treated me with great kindness: administration, coaches, and professors. It made me want to come back to Las Vegas,” he said. “When I returned, I started a bible study and it grew from there -- helping kids from single parents families mature and be better people in society. It’s not just African Americans - its kids all across the board. My goal is to make Las Vegas a better city by giving money and using my platform to make a difference.”
Cunningham regularly coaches and assists youth sports teams in the Las Vegas area at no charge, including football and track and field.
- Former UNLV Great Cunningham To Receive NFL Achievement Award, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Feb. 1, 2012
- Another Completion, UNLV Magazine, Spring 2005.
- Randall Cunningham: Football (1982-84), Las Vegas Sun, Mar. 9, 2009
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