McNutt heading into NIAA Hall of Fame
It’s a no-brainer that legendary former Carson High baseball coach Ron McNutt is going into the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame.
But McNutt admitted it’s something he never could have imagined happening when he embarked on his coaching career.
McNutt is among 12 individuals who will be inducted into the NIAA Hall of Fame during a ceremony to be held on February 21. The others to be inducted are Dr. Jerry Hughes, who recently retired as the NIAA executive director, legendary football coach Joe Sellers, Mike Bearman, Hugh Gallagher Jr., John Gonda, Tim Griffin, Dave Nolte, Tom Olivero, Don Reynolds, Casey Stevens and former NFL star David Wyman.
“I’m very excited,” said McNutt about the honor. “You know it’s not something that you set out to work for. It’s just something that happened. I feel very honored.”
Even though he didn’t set out to become the most successful and influential high school baseball coach in Northern Nevada history, that’s what happeend. He was the head coach at Carson from 1976-2004 for 29 seasons.
During that time he won 657 games, the most in state history. He was also the Northern Nevada Coach of the Year 11 times, the state Coach of the Year five times and a district Coach of the Year, which covered 11 states, three times.
He’s also just as well known as being the coach of the Carson Capitols, a team he led to well over 1,000 wins. McNutt led Carson to two state titles in 1979 and 1992 and had numerous players from his Capitol and Senator teams play at the professional level.
Seven of his players at Carson went on to play in the Major Leagues (Charlie Kerfeld, Matt Williams, Bob Ayrault, David Lundquist, Donovan Osborne, Dusty Bergman and Darrell Rasner).
McNutt was also honored in 1995 by the National High School Coaches Association as its Groundskeeper of the Year. He also served as Carson’s athletic director from 2001-2006 before retiring and now serves as the Northern 4A commission. And of course, Ron McNutt Field, Carson varsity baseball field, is named after him.
McNutt was quick to acknowledge his wife, Teri, for enabling him to have all of his success.
“First of all I have to point out my wife, who was supportive in every step of the way,” he said.
He also said the support of his son, R.C., was important to his success. He added he couldn’t accomplished what he did without the support of all the administrators and coaches he worked with over the years. “Without good coaches you don’t go very far,” McNutt said.
And of course, McNutt acknowledge he couldn’t have realized all his accomplishments without the student-athletes he coached.
McNutt said he was thankful for “all the student-athletes I had and the opportunity to share their lives.”
Here’s a look at the other Hall of Fame inductees:
Michael Bearman: Bearman, who passed away in 2004 at the age of 59, was a legendary character within the Northern Nevada Officials Association’s circles.
Hugh Gallagher, Jr.: He is symbolic of Virginia City’s overwhelming success in boys basketball in the 1960s. He was instrumental in leading the Muckers to the first four (1962-65) of its six consecutive state titles. He helped lead the Muckers to 55 straight wins from 1962-64, and a 95-1 record overall. The three-time all-State player scored 32 points against Reno in a famous 1965 game. Gallagher also won four titles in NIAA state track meets.
John Gonda: He’s known for his outstanding contributions to Sparks High School as its long-time head varsity football coach, to Reed High School as its athletic administrator and to the Washoe County School District as the Director of Student Services.
Tim Griffin: He’s one of the all-time great athletic directors, tournament conductors and officials from Sparks. From 1981-1992, he co-directed the Northern zone and state basketball tournaments with Carson High’s Tom Andreasen, who was inducted into the NIAA Hall of Fame in 2002. Griffin grew up playing football and basketball at Carson.
Dr. Jerry Hughes: He retired from his post as NIAA Executive Director last December. He completed nearly 18 years of service in the state association office.
Hughes oversaw the formation of many new events, award programs and projects, including the NIAA Hall of Fame, the state team academic championships, the Nevada Drug and Alcohol Policy, the Nevada Coaching Education Program, the Top 10 Student-Athletes of the Year program and NIAA Award of Excellence.
Hughes was honored with the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association’s State Award of Merit (1995) and National Federation Interscholastic Coaches Association’s Distinguished Service Award.
Dave Nolte: His overall coaching record includes 19 state team titles, 30 regional team titles and 24 Coach of the Year honors at Reed. His contributions to cross country and track and field are legendary. His own efforts to raise funds for Washoe County’s first synthetic track facility (now named the Dave Nolte Northern Nevada Regional Track and Field Facility at Reed H.S.) left a lasting legacy. More than 90 of his athletes went on to compete in college.
Tom Olivero: He has been a top organizer in the NIAA for more than three decades. He coached football, baseball and track at Sparks for 25 years. Olivero also helped to open North Valleys as its athletic administrator.
Don Reynolds: He has been a top director in the NIAA for more than three decades. He was an all-State quarterback for Wooster’s 1967 state championship football team. He coached multiple sports at McQueen, Reno and Wooster. He was the athletic administrator at Galena upon its opening.
Joe Sellers: He is the state’s all-time winningest football coach with nine state championships and 250 career victories. He led the nationally-ranked Wooster Colts to seven state titles from 1976-1998, and Bishop Manogue to two from 2001-04. He posted a 214-37 record at Wooster and a 36-8 record at Bishop Manogue.
Casey Stevens: He made his mark serving as Sellers’ assistant at Wooster and Manogue and served as an athletic administrator for Washoe County Schools.
Dave Wyman: He graduated from Wooster in 1982 and went on to play at Stanford and in the NFL.
The Hall of Fame event will be held at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, February 21 in the Silver and Blue Room at Lawlor Events Center during the state basketball tournament. Tickets are $25 and can be made payable to the NIAA and sent to 1 East Liberty Street, Suite 505, Reno 89701.