NIAA welcomes 10 into Hall of Fame
RENO – Alana Williams didn’t have to worry her mom screaming at her to open her eyes Thursday.
The former Carson High girls basketball coach, who guided five teams to state titles, was among 10 to be inducted into the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association 18th Hall of Fame class at the University of Nevada.
Williams coached at Carson from 1977-1996 and 2003-05 while posting a record of 444-131. Of course, during such a long period there were plenty of moments that stood out in her mind, but during a 2-minute video presentation she shared a moment during the Senators’ 1984 state title run against Reno at Lawlor Events Center.
“The game was extremely close and all the sudden I hear this voice screeching out from the top of the bleachers, ‘Coach, coach, open your eyes,'” Williams said. “And I remember thinking, ‘I’ve been watching this game with my eyes shut?’ And I turn around and it’s my mom, ‘I mean ref, ref.'”
Included in the class with Williams were Virginia City’s Lyle Damon and Bob Gallagher, former Fallon athlete Jack Beach, former Wooster and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Glenn Carano, former McQueen coach football Ken Dalton, former basketball coach of several Nevada schools Wint King, former football and basketball official Glenn Miers, former Yerington and Wooster track and field coach Phil Person and contributor Link Piazzo.
“It’s very humbling and I’m very honored,” Williams said. “I feel very honored to be amongst the people who have been previously inducted.”
Williams wasn’t the only inductee to give the crowd of more than 100 people a laugh. During the video presentations, Master of Ceremonies Chris Healy asked Damon, the former Virginia
City boys basketball coach, about a time when he wasn’t exactly truthful on a scouting report of an undefeated Wells team.
“I got as far as my hometown of Winnemucca and decided I didn’t want to go any further,” Damon recalled. “So, I stayed a few days in Winnemucca and came back and told the Virginia City kids that they were going to hammer us, etc., etc. Got em all charged up. They weren’t going to beat us.”
Damon coached the Muckers to five state championships during his six years at the helm while posting a 131-5 record from 1960-1966. He left coaching to earn his doctorate at the University of Southern California and returned to the area in 1968 to coach Hug to a 73-29 record in a four-year stretch.
He went on to coach at the collegiate level at San Francisco State University from 1972-1983. He returned to the high school ranks in 1984 at Reed and made six more stops, including Carson from 1995-98 where he led the Senators to a state tourney appearance in 1996.
Gallagher’s inductions has become a family tradition. The former Virginia City athlete joined his father and legendary Muckers’ coach, Hugh Gallagher, along his brother and another Mucker athlete, Hugh Gallagher Jr. Also, his brother-in-law Joe deArrieta from Winnemucca was inducted into the Hall in 1993.
Gallagher won state titles with the Muckers in 1969 and 1972 and was named the state player of the year as a senior. He went on to coach basketball, baseball and golf at Elko High and worked as the athletic adminstrator there for 14 years.