Top U.S. Coach To Salute Inspiring Students

Three-time national volleyball Coach of the Year Brian Gimmillaro this month will honor inspiring students for their character and courage to overcome challenges. The Long Beach Education Foundation 2005 Most Inspiring Students Awards will be presented at the Long Beach Hilton Hotel on Wednesday, April 20 to 96 exemplary students—one representing each school in the Long Beach Unified School District. Dinner starts at 6 p.m., with registration at 5 p.m. Gimmillaro, CSULB coach and national award-winning coach of some of the world’s best women’s volleyball players, will serve as the keynote speaker at the ninth annual salute to beat-the-odds students. "He’s one of the greatest leaders Long Beach has ever had," said Mike Murray, president of the Long Beach Education Foundation’s board of directors. "He’s the only coach in the nation to have won national championships three times at the club, high school and NCAA Division I college levels, yet he considers his work as a teacher even more important than his accomplishments as a coach." The coach has a lifetime winning percentage of .824 and since 1996 has posted a 218-22 (.908) record. He coached the first Division I volleyball team in the U.S. to finish the season undefeated. Several of his players have excelled on the U.S. Olympic team. The theme for this year’s event is "A Fairy Tale Evening," featuring appearances by the Millikan Concert Choir, Shrek, Donkey, Princess Fiona and fairy tale characters. For ticket reservations call the Long Beach Education Foundation at 997-8111. The donation is $100.