Matt Williams to be inducted into NIAA Hall of Fame

A drive to succeed: Matt Williams used coaching, community support to go from Carson High star to the majors

Positioned as third base coach, Carson High School alum Matt Williams gets ready to direct a play during a spring training game in March. Williams will go into the NIAA Hall of Fame on June 13.

Positioned as third base coach, Carson High School alum Matt Williams gets ready to direct a play during a spring training game in March. Williams will go into the NIAA Hall of Fame on June 13.

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Matt Williams’ name is painted on a green street sign that stands just outside of Carson High’s baseball field.

The longtime professional baseball player and current third base coach for the San Francisco Giants said it was the coaches and the community around him that led to “Matt Williams Drive.”

“It starts with the opportunities that are provided for us,” said Williams. “I think it was a community effort. … The community wrapped their arms around us and rallied around us.”


Williams won’t hesitate to point to the McNutt family when it comes to his successes.

Ron, Terry and RC all played a valuable role in helping to shape his life through high school. Ron McNutt is a 2008 Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame inductee after coaching for 35 seasons between Carson and Galena high schools. McNutt won 783 games in his career.

“I and everybody else who got a chance to live their dream are very appreciative of that and would’ve never made it without that support,” Williams said. “It’s a tribute to the coaches for the effort.”

Next week, Williams will join McNutt in the NIAA Hall of Fame when he is inducted on June 13, with the ceremony beginning at 5 p.m. at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino in Reno.


Williams’ drive at an early age came from observing McNutt’s dedication to the field and giving the Carson Capitols summer squad every opportunity he could to play across the country.

The Capitols traveled to Minnesota, Hawaii and other states around the U.S., competing against some of the best talent in the country.

“They (the community) would open their doors for us and give us money to go do it. In the small town of Carson City, it was a huge baseball town. They appreciated the effort,” said Williams in a phone call with the Appeal during spring training. “There were many days where nobody was around and you would see (McNutt) out on that mower. That’s the kind of dedication that it takes to be a success.”

Williams, along with his father, helped build the clubhouse at Ron McNutt Field.

Aptly nicknamed the “Carson Crusher,” Williams capitalized on his prep opportunities and was drafted in the 27th round of the 1983 MLB entry draft by the New York Mets.

He chose to go to UNLV instead, hitting 58 home runs with a .327 batting average in three seasons, before being drafted again in 1986 as the third overall pick of the first round by the San Francisco Giants.

Williams went into the UNLV Hall of Fame in 1997.

The five-time MLB All-Star also played football and basketball while donning the Senators’ blue and white.

On the gridiron, Williams was the centerpiece of the offense at quarterback. During basketball season, “The Big Marine” was slated as a forward.

“I was a better baseball player than a football player and basketball player,” said Williams. “I think the weather played a lot into it. … Everybody that was part of those teams were multi-sport athletes and some of them went on to play college basketball and some went on to play college football. It was a great time to be a Senator.”


Williams went on to win four Gold Gloves, four Silver Sluggers and a World Series ring in 2001 during his career as a player.

He played his last professional season in the big leagues in 2003 with Arizona, but wasn’t out of the sport long before making a return as a coach in 2010 with the Diamondbacks.

In 2014, he was named Manager of the Year while in charge of a Washington Nationals team that went 96-66 before losing in the National League Division Series to the Giants.

Prior to joining the Giants’ coaching staff in 2023, Williams spent two years as a coach with the Padres, who drafted Reno native Robby Snelling with their first pick in the 2022 MLB draft.

Playing 162 games in 180 days doesn’t give the Northern Nevada native a lot of leeway to spend time glancing at the Nevada prep baseball scene, but based off his own experience he knows the region is more than capable of producing top-tier talent.

“I know there are great opportunities for young student-athletes. There is great coaching in the area and there is tradition there. If they want to seize the opportunity, it is right in front of them,” said Williams. “That tradition stays and they (coaches) work really hard every day to help these young athletes become better students, better players and fight for them to get on to college or into the professional ranks to help them fulfill their dreams.”

(San Francisco Giants third base coach Matt Williams works a spring training game between the Giants and the Kansas City Royals in Surprise, Ariz. on March 11. Cathleen Allison / Special to the Nevada Appeal)


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