Leaving a large legacy of basketball state championships behind him, former Mineral County High School basketball coach David Gelmstedt will be inducted into the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame, posthumously, on March 22 in Reno.
Gelmstedt, who passed away on Jan. 4 of this year, led the Lady Serpent Girls Basketball team to 10 state championships during his reign from 1985 to 2003.
As a college athlete, Gelmstedt would manage the University of Nevada, Reno men’s basketball team where he graduated from with a degree in special education.
His career began in Hawthorne during the 1982-83 school year as a special education teacher and a Serpent junior varsity football coach.
He would continue coaching the youth of Mineral County by serving as the Lady Serpents softball assistant coach for 13 seasons (1985-1997 – winning two state titles in 1994 and 1995); head football coach for the 1985 and 1986 seasons and serving as the student council advisor for ten years, 1993-94 through 2002-2003).
The Lady Serpent basketball program thrived under Gelmstedt while under his direction as the girls’ dominated on the court. His first state title came in 1989.
“When I started here I just wanted to win one (state title),” Gelmstedt said in an interview with the Reno Gazette-Journal when announcing his leave from Mineral County High School. “And after we won that first one, I thought that was it.”
But for Gelmstedt, that was just the beginning. The Lady Serpents began to control the hardwood winning three consecutive state titles from 1994-1996 led by Lady Serpent Angela Munger, who was also inducted into the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association in 2014 and is now the Assistant Director of Athletic Academic Advising at the university of Southern California.
So many Mineral County girls shined on the basketball court under the direction of Gelmstedt. Besides Munger, the Orndorff sisters: Ashlee and Sidney as well as Delicia Jernigan would go on to play in college.
Ashlee would lead the Lady Serpent team for titles in 1997, 1998 and 2000. The 2000 team would also feature Ashlee’s little sister, Sidney and Delicia Jernigan. Both Sidney and Jernigan would be among the first team to win four state titles consecutively.
The winning 10th title would come in 2003 with the Lady Serpents beating the White Pine Lady Bobcats. During that game, Sidney had scored 27 points. That year, while only 46 years old, Gelmstedt was named the NIAA Class 2A All-State Coach of the Year.
As head coach, Gelmstedt’s stats were as follows: 393 wins – 84 losses in 18 seasons as head coach.
But Gelmstedt didn’t just push his athletes on the court – he also pushed them in the classroom. Serving as the assistant principal of Mineral County High School, Gelmstedt also helped his athletes win two academic state titles during his time at the school.
“I take a lot of pride also in the fact that we also won two academic state titles during my time here,” he said in the interview with the Reno paper. “The girls had success on and off the court. Some of them went off to college and earned their degrees. I also took a lot of pride when we would travel around the state and people would come up to me and tell me that they enjoyed watching our girls play.”
Though gone, the legacy that Gelmstedt left lives on in the students he educated, the athletes he coached and his daughter, Elizabeth and stepdaughter, Bonnie.
The induction of Gelmstedt as well as other outstanding former coaches, athletes, officials, contributors and administrators/directors will take place at the Peppermill Resort Casino & Spa, Capri Ballroom on Thursday, March 22 at 6 p.m.
Tickets are available for purchase on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets will not be sold at the door.