The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association, the (501c3) non-profit governing body of high school athletics in the Silver State, will be inducting 14 Northern Nevadans to its Hall of Fame this year.
The individuals set to be inducted as the NIAA’s 22nd class —John Prida, the late Ron Eller, John Gamble, Angela Munger, Jake Sellers, Lynette Davis, Paul Kautz, Pete Padgett, Mike Rippee, Bob Shaffer, Jerry Gribble, Dave Nevin, Terrie McNutt and Randy Melendez — have secured for themselves a special place in the history of Nevada high school athletics by the sheer magnitude of their contributions to the youth of the Silver State.
“The 14 individuals we are inducting have contributed greatly to high school athletics in Nevada as an administrator, athlete, coach, contributor and/or official,” said Eddie Bonine, executive director of the NIAA. “They have made a positive impact on the young men and women of our state in some very important ways and have helped to make many of their dreams come true.”
The ceremony will be at 6 p.m. March 27 in the Capri Ballroom at the Peppermill Resort and Casino in Reno. Tickets are $35.
The Class of 2014 features, generally, one administrator, four athletes, five coaches, two officials and two contributors. Chris Healy, the long-time commissioner of officials in baseball for the Northern Nevada Officials Association, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.
Prida (administrator inductee) is a former standout high school student-athlete (Pershing County High School in Lovelock, 1958), coach (Wooster, Truckee and Incline high schools) and principal (Yerington High School). He started the boys and girls golf teams at YHS, and he served on the NIAA’s Board of Control.
Eller (athlete) was a six-time varsity letter winner (three in cross country and three in track) from Bishop Manogue in Reno (1965). He was the first Nevada prep runner to break the 4 minute, 20 second mark for the mile and the 2-minute barrier in the 880-yard run during the state championship meet (and he accomplished those feats over a dirt surface).
Gamble (athlete) was a three-time all-State participant in football, basketball and baseball while participating at Carson in Carson City (1966). He helped to lead the Senators to the Class 2A state football title in 1964. Gamble played in the (MLB’s) Los Angeles Dodgers’ farm system from 1966-1971 and for the Detroit Tigers from 1971-1976.
Munger (athlete) was a superstar basketball, softball and volleyball player for Mineral County in Hawthorne (1996). She helped to lead the Serpents to three consecutive Class 2A state basketball titles (1994-96), a state academic basketball championship (1996), a state softball title (1995) and multiple volleyball league crowns.
Sellers (athlete) earned 11 varsity letters and numerous all-state accolades while participating for Wooster in Reno (1995). He was a four-time large-school division state wrestling champion (the first Northern Nevadan to accomplish that feat and at that time the only one statewide in the upper weight classes) and a two-time defensive lineman of the year in football. Sellers helped lead the Colts to Class 3A state titles in football and wrestling in 1994.
Davis (coach) guided her Carlin (1971-1979) and Elko (1979-2002) high school girls basketball teams to the NIAA record book with a total of 563 victories. Her teams also won a combined total of seven state championships and four state runner-up trophies. Davis’ most successful Elko teams captured three consecutive Class 2A titles and 57 consecutive wins from 1982 through 1984.
Kautz (coach) served as Reed’s (Sparks) first varsity boys basketball coach (1974-1989), and he returned later (after retirement from the Washoe County School District) to coach the school’s freshman team for 13 seasons. His varsity head coaching record was 12-23 at Bishop Manogue (1967-1969) and 216-115 at Reed. The three-time Northern Nevada Coach of the Year led his Raider teams to two zone titles. The Reed gymnasium is named in his honor.
Padgett (coach) compiled a career head varsity boys basketball coaching record of 341 wins and 198 losses during his tenures at Carson (1980-1995) and Reno (1995-2000, 2001-2003) high schools. The two-time Class 4A Northern Nevada Coach of the Year led his teams to 14 state championship tournament appearances, seven league titles and two zone championships. Padgett is also remembered for his outstanding collegiate playing days at the University of Nevada in the mid-1970s.
Rippee (coach) was at the helm of the Douglas football program for 27 years. He worked in the classroom and with the Tigers’ athletic department for a total of 34 years. He compiled a varsity record of 139-125 with multiple playoff appearances. Rippee is also known for his assistance in helping to form the Northern Nevada Football Coaches Association.
Shaffer (coach) led the Truckee varsity football team to 170 wins (compared to 32 losses for an 84-percent victory rate), nine state championships and 14 league titles over the course of an 18-year career. His teams never missed the playoffs and qualified for 12 state final games. Shaffer led the Wolverines to four straight state championships and 41 consecutive victories from 2009 through 2012.
Gribble (official) worked football, basketball and baseball games within the Northern Nevada Officials Association for periods extending 45 school years (1968-2012). He continues to this day as an evaluator, instructor and editor of the procedures manual for the NNOA’s football chapter. Gribble was assigned to nine state and eight regional championship football games, four state and four regional championship basketball games, and multiple high-profile regular-season tilts and postseason all-star events for all three sports.
Nevin (official) worked 39 years for the NIAA and the NNOA as a top-level wrestling official, sport commissioner (1990-2009), and state and national rules interpreter (author of 16 rules changes). He is a co-founder of the National Federation of State High School Association’s and the NIAA’s weight management program. He served on the NNOA wrestling chapter’s board for 29 years and as a president for multiple terms. Nevin, who is also qualified as a USA Wrestling M-1 official, worked 20 Nevada state meets.
McNutt (contributor) served as the NIAA’s State Rules Interpreter and the NFHS’s regional director for Spirit from 1987-2013. She helped to initiate the Silver State’s movement of Spirit to a recognized program as she authored the NIAA’s spirit regulation that exists within Nevada Administrative Code 386 (the NIAA’s Handbook of association rules and regulations). McNutt served on the NFHS’s first Spirit Advisory Board and she was awarded the NFHS Citation for Merit in 2002.
Melendez (contributor) will always be synonymous with Pyramid Lake High School. He served as the Lakers’ athletic director for the last 20 years of his 30-year career. He is a former Nevada Athletic Directors Association’s Athletic Director of the Year. Melendez taught at PLHS for 10 years, served as the school’s principal for 10 years and coached basketball for all 30 years. He has multiple state and region championship trophies to show for his coaching success.