weather icon Clear

Jennings returns as head coach

TONOPAH – Not only is the new head volleyball coach not that new, but she is a former Mucker to boot.

Melissa Jennings is the new head volleyball coach at Tonopah High School, a position that she held once before.

Jennings was the head volleyball coach for the Muckers in 2001 and 2002.

She also volunteered to coach in 1999, 2000 and 2015.

Jennings is a 1989 graduate of Tonopah High School. She then attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas from 1989-1994, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in geoscience.

“I worked in the lithium industry from 1995 to 2015 as a geologist, hydrogeologist and supervisor,” she said. “I received my Master’s in environmental engineering in 2010. I currently work at the Bureau of Land Management as a geologist.”

She played volleyball in high school for then-coach Judi Boni.

“I was captain and MVP my senior year at THS, where we were state runner-up in volleyball,” Jennings said. “I played middle hitter. Because volleyball was not offered at UNLV during my attendance years, I walked on to the basketball team and played with the Rebels from 1989 to 1991, when we won the Big West conference.”

Jennings is married and has lived in Tonopah for 15 years and before that, in Goldfield, since she was a child. Jennings is from a family of seven and her parents, RJ and Rita Gillum are from Goldfield.

When she is not coaching volleyball, she and her husband enjoy hiking, camping, gardening, and photography.

“We are amateur photographers for various occasions,” Jennings said.

As far as the sport of volleyball, she enjoys every aspect of it.

”I hope that I can infuse the love of volleyball into the girls I coach because I do love to play and teach the sport,” she said.

Contact sports editor Vern Hee at vhee@tonopahtimes.com

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Ruling: Miners violated BLM regulations near site of protected flower

Conservationists from the Center for Biological Diversity were monitoring the site where Tiehm’s buckwheat grows on Dec. 26, 2022, when they reportedly discovered a staging area for Ioneer’s drilling operations with a truck, water tanks and materials near the newly protected critical habitat for Tiehm’s buckwheat.

Muckers defeat Panthers in league opener

The Muckers’ game against the Panthers was their first action on the court since mid-December when they defeated the Beatty Hornets in the Kody Beach Memorial tournament.

Cows threatening protected flowers, activists say

The Center for Biological Diversity says it intends to sue the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to protect the rare Nevada wildflower Tiehm’s buckwheat from destruction due to cattle grazing. It’s not the first time a legal challenge has been filed over the plants, which grow near a proposed lithium mine.

Goldfield aims to complete grotto dedicated to patron saint of miners

GOLDFIELD — Between the glitz of Vegas and the big litte city of Reno, there is a small mining town nestled between them known as Goldfield. Once the largest town in Nevada, Goldfield has with it an inescapable, rich history.

Tonopah Airport plans unveiled

The 20-year strategy details growth and operations at the northern Nye County aviation facility.

Esmeralda wildflower will be protected under Endangered Species Act

Tiehm’s buckwheat grows on just 10 acres of public land in the Silver Peak Range in Esmeralda County, and environmentals say a proposed lithium mine could’ve destroyed nearly all its habitat without the federal protections.