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NIAA selects nine for Hall of Fame

Nine individuals have been selected for induction into the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame, the association announced Wednesday.

Pat Hayden, Charles Hurley, Ray Mathis, Todd Liebenstein, Bill Casey, Darwin Rost, Jerry Huston, Florindo Mariani and William McGee were named to the 25th class of the Hall of Fame, and will be inducted March 14 at Orleans Arena.

“The nine individuals we are inducting have contributed greatly to high school athletics in Nevada as an administrator, athlete, coach, contributor and/or official,” NIAA’s executive director Bart Thompson said in a release. “They have made a positive impact on the young men and women of our state in some very important ways and have helped to make many of their dreams come true.”

Hayden worked 34 years in the Clark County School District before passing away in 2013. He was a coach at Western for 14 years, an athletic administrator at Cheyenne and Centennial from 1993 to 2005 and helped open Arbor View and served as its principal from 2005 to 2011.

Hurley was a teacher, coach and administrator at Virgin Valley for 30 years. He had three separate terms as athletic director at Virgin Valley and helped direct 23 tournaments for the NIAA.

Mathis was an administrator for 37 years working at Valley, Silverado and a four-term president of the NIAA’s Board of Control, where he helped found the NIAA’s Citizenship Through Sports and state Alcohol, Drug & Tobacco Policy committees. He was also a coach at Rancho, Tech and Valley.

Liebenstein was a four-year letter winner and three-year starter in football and basketball at Valley. He then started on the defensive line for UNLV and was drafted in the fourth round in 1982. He made two Super Bowl appearances.

Casey was named Bishop Gorman’s offensive coordinator in the 1979 and helped the Gaels win three state titles in his first four seasons. He coached through the 1990s for Bishop Gorman.

Rost helped turned Palo Verde into a state powerhouse as the Panthers’ head football coach from 1996 to 2014. Under Rost, Palo Verde won the 2004 state title, was the runner up in 2008, won five region titles and seven league titles. He was also the athletic director from 1996 to 2015.

Huston helped start boys volleyball as a varsity sport in the CCSD and NIAA after winning five state titles as Chaparral’s volleyball coach from 1991 to 2003 and was CCSD’s volleyball coordinator for 18 years and the volleyball tournament director for 23 years.

Mariani started his career, which he spent the entirety of in Ely, as a teacher for White Pine in 1958 and finished as the superintendent of the White Pine County School District in 1991. He was White Pine’s vice principal from 1964 to 79 and principal from 1979 to 1988.

McGee began as an official for Nevada high school basketball and football games in 1977 and has been UNLV men’s basketball’s timer since 1992. He is a past president of the Southern Nevada Officials Association, and worked seven state football games and six state basketball games.

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