Longtime Carson coach to take over the Grizzlies
By Charles Whisnand
Even though he knew it was time to step down as Carson High's baseball coach after the 2004 season, Ron McNutt never counted out the possibility that he would return to coaching.
McNutt did just that on Friday when he accepted the position as baseball coach at Galena High. McNutt takes over for Tom Flynn, who served as the Grizzlies' coach for just one year this past season.
McNutt's legacy at Carson speaks for itself. He spent 36 years there as an educator, including the last five from 2001-2006 as the school's athletic director before retiring completely as an educator and a coach.
But the retirement was always really just temporary. McNutt briefly stepped back on the field last summer when he coached and took a team to Australia.
He called that experience the turning point that really led to him seriously looking to reenter the coaching ranks. After the experience during dinner one night, McNutt said his wife, Terrie, told him "It looked like you were having a lot of fun," commenting on the trip to Australia.
"I really missed being around the kids and the game," said McNutt, who has always noted the support of Terrie and their son, R.C., in his coaching career.
There are two major issues in McNutt's hiring that can't be denied: One is how long he would be coaching at Galena after 36 years at Carson. The other is how will people in Carson react.
Galena athletic director Teresa Burrows and McNutt dealt with the issue of his longevity during an interview on Thursday.
"Yes there were concerns about that and it was addressed with Ron," said Burrows about McNutt's longevity. "He's committed to building a top notch program. "We have very high expectations here at Galena High School."
Burrows added "the reasons are pretty obvious" when commenting on why Galena hired McNutt.
He's the winningest coach in Nevada state high school history, accumulating 657 wins over 29 seasons from 1976-2004. He also led Carson to two state titles in 1979 and 1992.
In addition, he accumalated well over 1,000 wins with the Carson Capitols summer team while coaching that club through the 2001 summer. It's those accomplishments that earned McNutt a place in the Nevada interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame this year.
"We're just very excited," Burrows said. "I'm extremely excited to be able to work with a great coach and somebody who has his passion for the game."
"We discussed a lot of things. Teresa did have a concern," said McNutt about his longevity.
McNutt said he couldn't promise that he would stay at Galena for 10 years, but said he wouldn't take the job at Galena if he wasn't in it for long-term success.
Ironically with the Northern 4A realignment, Galena and Carson will be in the same league next season. McNutt admitted it will be awkward to face Carson, but added once he's coaching he'll be determined to field the most competitive team possible.
At least for next season that may be difficult as league opponents Manogue, Douglas, Carson and Damonte Ranch all return a strong nucleus and Wooster and South Tahoe will also be improved. Meanwhile it could be somewhat of a rebuilding year for Galena.
"We're going to come in there very young and very inexperienced," McNutt said. But the future looks bright as Galena looks to have a large group of talented players coming up in the following years.
So how will the people of Carson react? "I don't know," McNutt said. "It's probably like everything else.
"I know I have a lot of my friends that I've talked to and are encouraging and are glad to have me get back into it (coaching). You can't please everybody. The reaction's going to be mixed. I can't sit back and worry about it."
McNutt said he would only come back to coach if it was the right situation. If he couldn't come back to the right situation then McNutt said he knew "I had a great career and everything."
About Carson, McNutt said, "That chapter at Carson High is closed. I have no regrets. I had a great time.
"It's time to close that chapter. It's time for another challenge. I have a life to live. It's going to give me the chance in my life to do something I really love."
But when asked if he would have a special place in his heart for Carson, McNutt said, "Always."
Besides, McNutt said Carson has two excellent candidates for its job in two of his former players in Cody Farnworth and Bryan Manoukian, who both teach at Carson High.
"They're both very, very deserving to be the head coach at Carson High School," said McNutt, adding either one would do an outstanding job.
McNutt said he's told Farnworth and Manoukian that if they needed any help, "don't hesitate to call me. They're both great young men."