Longtime Pahranagat Valley High School volleyball coach Ginger Whipple is stepping down after at least 36 years at the helm for the Lady Panthers.

Milly Walch has been hired as head coach of the program. Walch is a 2001 graduate of PVHS, played for Whipple in 1997-2000, and was part of the nine consecutive state championship teams the Panthers had between 1997-2005.

Principal Mike Strong made the announcement on the school’s Facebook page July 31.

Whipple, a definite choice for a future spot in the Nevada Sports Hall of Fame, says she doesn’t even she even know the exact number of years she’s been coaching.

She guided the Panthers to all 19 of their record-setting state championships during her tenure. Several of the players on her teams returned to serve as assistant coaches, including her own daughter, Nikki Maxwell, and now Walch, another former player.

Not only did Whipple coach her own daughter, but also her own granddaughter, Karley Whipple, who graduated this past spring after helping the Panthers win their second straight title, and No. 19 for Grandma Ginger.

Whipple also guided the Panthers to the state finals a record-setting 21 years in a row. Only 3A Moapa Valley comes close to that, and they are still afar off. The Lady Pirates were in the finals 13 years in a row, 1991-2003.

Walch attended Dixie State University and the Community College of Southern Nevada, where she earned an associates degree. She and her husband Kenyon have four children.

Walch said she knows there are big shoes to fill behind Whipple, “but I feel we will do all we can to keep the legacy alive. I’ll just do my best and get the girls to do their best and that’s all we can ask.”

She has coached at the Pahranagat Valley Middle School for the past couple of years, but not in the high school program. “There are things that I will have to learn, because back in my day we didn’t play with a libero [girl in the middle who usually receives the first serve], and I feel, together, we can learn.”

Pahranagat Valley has an open volleyball camp with Mike Daniels on August 8 at the school.