The Obit For Al Gilbert

Dr. Allison Gilbert

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 Alana Snow.

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.