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Gimmillaro Honored by AVCA

Published: January 15, 2009

As part of the events surrounding the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Tournament semifinals in December, CSULB women’s volleyball coach Brian Gimmillaro was inducted into the American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Gimmillaro was one of three honorees selected to be part of the 2008 class. The honor is given to those whose service to the game of volleyball is deemed extraordinary.

Gimmillaro, who finished his 24th season as the 49er coach in 2008, has consistently brought excellence to women’s volleyball at CSULB. During his tenure, the 49ers have won three national championships, advanced to the national semifinals eight times and have qualified for the NCAA Tournament for 22 straight seasons — a feat matched only by Stanford, Penn State and Nebraska.

Under Gimmillaro’s leadership, CSULB has reached 656 of the program’s 1,026 wins (4th most in the nation) earning a winning percentage of .809 over that time (656-154). In 2003, Gimmillaro was the sole recipient of the USA Volleyball All-Time Great Coach Award (Contemporary Division), as well as the “Excellence in Leadership” award presented by Leadership Long Beach.

One of Gimmillaro’s greatest accomplishments has been the abundance of players who have been recognized as some of the nation’s elite. In January of 2001, the NCAA released its 20th Anniversary team, and of the six players chosen, three were coached by Gimmillaro. All three players were Olympians in Sydney in 2000, and one — Misty May-Treanor — is now a two-time gold medalist and the MVP of the AVP Pro Beach Tour for the last three seasons.

Prior to coming back to his alma mater to coach, Gimmillaro crafted a powerhouse at Gahr High School in Cerritos. In his eight years, Gimmilllaro compiled a 142-15 record, winning four Southern Section championships and two state championships.

Gimillaro AVCA Hall of Fame

Photo courtesy of CSULB Sports Information

Also inducted along with Gimmillaro were Deitre Collins-Parker, a three-time All-American from Hawaii, and Don Shaw, the retired coach of the women’s and men’s programs at Stanford. All three were feted at the Jostens Coaches Honors Luncheon, held in conjunction with the 2008 AVCA Annual Convention in Omaha, Neb.

“If you want to know the quality people in volleyball, just look at this year’s AVCA Hall of Fame class,” said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. “The first volleyball player to win the Honda Broderick Cup awarded to the top female athlete in the country, a coach who has trained players who have competed in over 10 Olympic Games, and the coach with the highest winning percentage of any collegiate coach ever…remarkable people, outstanding achievements.”