Nov. 20, 2003 – Two high-profile Virgin Islanders will be inducted into the University of the Virgin Islands Athletic Hall of Fame on Sunday: Curtis Gilpin Sr., UVI's associate athletic director, and Pamela Richards, the territory's Tourism commissioner.
Both are being recognized for their volleyball prowess — Richards as a player during her student days and Gilpin as both player and coach.
The induction ceremony is to take place on Sunday night during halftime of the Men's Division game between Hampton and Wichita State Universities at the UVI Paradise Jam Basketball Tournament. The game is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. in the Sports and Fitness Center on the UVI St. Thomas campus.
The UVI Athletic Hall of Fame was established in January of 2001 with the opening of the center. The criteria for selection are athletic accomplishments and direct connection to UVI as a student, faculty member or staff employee.
Gilpin coaches the UVI volleyball teams and recently returned from the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado, where he received Level I coaching accreditation. He has been UVI's associate athletic director for the last three years; prior to that he was UVI housing supervisor for 16 years.
He took up volleyball in 1975 as a senior at Ivanna Eudora Kean High School under coach Bruce Wray. As a UVI student, he played under coach Elridge Blake, who recognized him as an outstanding hitter and setter versatile enough to play any position. During his years as a UVI student, the men's volleyball teams won six consecutive league championships and many tournaments home and abroad during his tenure. He earned MVP honors in 1979, 1980, 1986, 1990, 1996 and 2001.
Gilpin captained the Miller Lite Caribbean 4-Man Beach Champions that represented the Virgin Islands in the Bahamas. He later became president of the St. Thomas/St. John Volleyball Association, assistant coach of the men's V.I. national team, and vice president of the V.I. Volleyball Federation.
He coached the Antilles School boys' team to its only interscholastic title to date as well as the V.I. Interscholastic Championship. He led the Strikers boys' team to five consecutive titles in 1985-89 and has led the UVI Bucs to eight titles since 1990 in the local Power League. He also coached the St. Thomas Male All Stars, who placed second in the 2001 Leeward Islands Tournament.
Richards played center on the Charlotte Amalie High School varsity volleyball team in 1975-77, contributing to two Chickenhawk interscholastic titles. Recruited to join the V.I. junior national team during this period, she was one of the youngest players to represent the territory in 1977. She continued to play on the national team until 1979.
As a UVI student, Richards played volleyball under coach Blake. She earned numerous awards at the university and helped UVI win its first women's Power League title in 1979. She was named Most Valuable Player and Top Spiker and received sportsmanship awards throughout her volleyball career.
Gilpin and Richards will join the previous Hall of Fame inductees: Alphonso Andrews, Elridge Blake, Nellon Bowry, Juan Brannigan (deceased), Glenworth Byron, Cletis Clendinen Jr., Ronald E. Harrigan, Osbert Liburd, Rudolph Milligan, Glen Monticeux, Richard Skerritt, Elaine James Springer, Oscar Wells, Eugene Werts, Wallace Williams and Maureen Wynter-Moorehead.
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