Legendary retired Pahranagat Valley volleyball coach Ginger Whipple was inducted as an honorary member of the Southern Nevada Officials Association (SNOA) at the 50th annual SNOA banquet held Nov. 9 at Palace Station in Las Vegas.
Vince Kristosik, president of the SNOA, said the annual banquet this year honored four individuals: Whipple, Bruce Bayne (former SNOA President and SNOA official), Paul and Patricia Blackard (former SNOA officials) and the late Larry Goins (administrator and coach at Pahrump High).
He said this is “basically a Hall of Fame for the SNOA. We honor a coach, an official and an administrator.”
SNOA board members make recommendations at the annual banquet for those to be honored the following year. Kristosik said he recommended Whipple at the 2018 banquet.
Whipple served 36 years as coach of the Pahranagat Valley girls volleyball team and earned 16 1A Southern League championships, and a state-record 18 state championships, including nine in a row (1997-2005).
While she coached them, the Lady Panthers managed a record of attending the state finals 23 years in a row, winning 18 times.
Of the honor, Whipple said, “It came to me as a big surprise. I don’t know what the criteria is. I felt very honored to be able to receive that.”
She and a few members of her immediate family attended the banquet. “They basically just gave a brief overview of some of my accomplishments. I look at my career more in terms of all the friends and associations with other people, plus the hundreds of young women that I coached [including her own granddaughter] that came along over the years. I really enjoyed that.”
Kristosik said, “The SNOA has 113 honorary members, coaches, officials and administrators and it’s a tough decision to make from all our hundreds of people in both Las Vegas and the surrounding areas.”
He said due to her many years of coaching and success in volleyball, it was a good decision to nominate Whipple.
She was also inducted into the NIAA Hall of Fame earlier this year.
Whipple may be the only volleyball coach to have been selected by the SNOA to become an honorary member. Larry Conover was inducted in 2009, but he was not a coach. Rather, he made the official volleyball assignments and also did some volleyball officiating.
“To be an honorary member,” Kristosik said, “is the highest and most prestigious honor we give to somebody. It was nice to be able to give her this award.”