Longtime former volleyball coach won 19 state titles

By Dave Maxwell

Ginger Whipple

The Nevada Interscholastic Athletic Association (NIAA) announced Pahranagat Valley’s retired girls volleyball coach Ginger Whipple is to be inducted in the NIAA Hall of Fame April 25 in Las Vegas.

Assistant Director Donnie Nelson announced Jan. 29 that Whipple will be one of 11 inductees at the ceremony on April 25 at 6 p.m. at The Orleans in Las Vegas.

Whipple, who retired in 2017 after 36 years as head coach of the Pahranagat Valley High School (PVHS) girls volleyball team, won the 1A class state championship 19 times between 1985 and 2018, was runner-up five times, and led the Lady Panthers to 16 consecutive Southern League championships.

Her successor this year, former PVHS player and first-year coach, Milly Walch, directed Pahranagat to their 20th state title last November.

Whipple also holds the state record for consecutive state titles, nine, [1997-2005] in all classifications, a record 23 straight years appearing at the state championship match, as well as another championship three-peat, 2009-2011.

As reported in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nelson said, “These are 11 truly outstanding individuals, all of them worthy of selection to our Hall of Fame.”

Others to be inducted include Hunkie Cooper, now the wide receivers coach at San Diego State, a 43-20 record from 2009-2014 with the Canyon Springs Pioneers, who renamed their football field after him on Jan. 10.

In addition, other coaches being inducted include Ron Adams (Moapa Valley, volleyball), Phil Lawton (Bonanza, cross country), Randy Minagil (Rancho and Chaparral, soccer), Art Plunkett (Las Vegas, football and golf), and the late Rod Poteete (Pahrump Valley, baseball).

Larry Goins (Sierra Vista, Desert Oasis, Pahrump Valley) and Larry McKay (Clark County School District) also were nominated as administrators. Former Rancho golfer Kerri Clark, who won a state golf championship, will go in as an athlete. Southern Nevada tennis coordinator Kim Barnett will go in as a contributor.

The 11 were inducted by an eight-member committee comprised of former athletes, coaches, and administrators. Applications for induction are compiled throughout the year, and Nelson said holdovers from previous years also are considered. “There is no set number of inductees per year,” he said. “This year’s group made a lasting impact as a collective group as much as any other group I’ve ever seen in my 21 years in this office.”