Published in North
County Times on June 12, 2011
Dr. Allison Gilbert,
83 CARLSBAD -- Dr. Allison Gilbert, an internationally acclaimed track
and field coach and a Dean at MiraCosta Community College for 30 years,
passed away Monday, June 6, 2011. The Carlsbad resident had battled Parkinson's
disease for eight years.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Colleen Hurley (1996) and his second
wife, Margaret Gilpin (2006).
He is survived by his daughters, Carol Van Vooren (Paul) and Cindy Snow
(Russ) of Carlsbad; a brother, Gary Gilbert (Gail) of Sacramento; and
four grandchildren, Jason Jenkins, Allison Van Vooren, Scott Snow, and
His extended family includes literally thousands of students, athletes
and friends he influenced through his remarkable coaching and teaching.
Gilbert was a pioneer in women's track and field and cross country. He
coached his youngest daughter, Cindy, to an Olympic berth in 1972. Through
his progressive coaching techniques, Al mentored dozens of international
athletes, creating a Mecca for world class training at MCC. At MiraCosta
College from 1983-1987, his womens' cross country and track teams brought
home five state titles. Al Gilbert was born March 5, 1928 in Los Angeles
and graduated from Dorsey High School where he was selected the L.A. City
Athlete of the Year in 1945.
He joined the Marines (1946-48) and played on the All-Marine Corps basketball
and baseball teams in the Pacific. In 1948, he was drafted by the Detroit
Tigers and played minor league ball until 1953, ending his career with
the Durham Bulls.
After receiving his B.A. degree from Culver Stockton College, Missouri
in 1953, he accepted the head basketball and assistant football jobs at
Chula Vista High School. In 1960, Gilbert was selected as the CIF Southern
California Coach of the Year. In 1962, Gilbert joined the faculty of the
Oceanside-Carlsbad Junior College (MCC) where he coached men's basketball,
womens' track and field, and served as Dean.
Al continued his education, receiving both his master and doctorate degrees
from USC. He retired from MCC in 1992 and devoted his time to his greatest
passions; his family and his athletes. He continued to shoot his age at
golf until his mid seventies. Al was cared for by his family and his caregivers,
Alma Delfin and Melanie Rose.
He will be greatly missed.
A celebration of his life will take place from 1 p.m.-5 p.m., Saturday
June 18th at the family home.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made through the Carlsbad Educational
Foundation to Jefferson Elementary School, where his daughter was the
principal and his two granddaughters attended. Checks can be sent to:
CEF, 5631 Palmer Way, Suite L, Carlsbad, Calif. 92010.