Primary donors Glen and Debbie Bickerstaff were also honored at the event.
Generous $2 million donation by Debbie and Glen Bickerstaff made project possible
The 49ers will play their first match of the emerging sport tomorrow.
Regarded as one of the top volleyball minds in the country, Brian Gimmillaro assume the head coaching duties for Long Beach State's sand volleyball program in addition to his work as one of the best women's volleyball coaches in the history of the NCAA.
Honored in 2008 with induction into the AVCA Hall of Fame, Gimmillaro has led his Alma Mater to three NCAA Championships and eight Final Four appearances in women's volleyball, and will help usher in a new era as the leader of an emerging sport in sand volleyball.
Despite sand volleyball entering just its first year as an NCAA sport, Long Beach State has a tremendous tradition of producing fine beach volleyball players that have found great success worldwide.
That list would certainly include Misty May-Treanor, arguably the greatest women's beach volleyball player in the world. May-Treanor is the all-time tournament wins leader in both professional and international competition, and with her partner Kerri Walsh, will be attempting to win a third straight Olympic Gold medal in London in 2012 after reaching the sport's pinnacle at both the Athens Olympics in 2004 and the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
May-Treanor's journey started at Long Beach State, where as a two-time National Player of the Year, she led the 49ers to the first perfect record in NCAA history on the way to a National Championship in 1998, Gimmillaro's third title.
Many other players have starred in beach volleyball after working under Gimmillaro's tutelage as well. Jenn Snyder and Brittany Hochevar are both among the nation's top money winners in professional beach volleyball. Alicia (Mills) Polzin was a member of Gimmillaro's first NCAA championship team in 1989, and has competed in beach volleyball for over 20 years.
Gimmillaro has been consistently one of the best coaches in the indoor game as well. With a 3-0 win over UC Irvine in 2010, Gimmillaro became just the eighth active coach to reach 700 Division I wins and the 10th all-time to reach 700 wins all coming at Division I. Gimmillaro ranks 16th in all-time victories, and his 703-171 all-time record entering 2011 stands as the No. 8 career winning percentage in Division I.
Gimmillaro graduated from Long Beach State in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. Gimmillaro has two children, a son, Stefan, and daughter, Lauren.
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