Historical Recognition: Tara Cross, Antoinnette White, Trisonya Thompson, Cheryl Stevens, Vicki Pullins and Sheri Sanders, A.K.A The Soul Patrol, and Brian Gimmillaro
WHEREAS, in 1989, Tara Cross, Antoinette White, Trisonya Thompson, Cheryl Stevens, Vicki Pullins, and Sheri Sanders represented for the first time five (5) African American women, and a Native American woman comprised the starting lineup in an NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball National Championship finals; and
WHEREAS, the 1989 Long Beach State University women's volleyball team referred to themselves as The Soul Patrol;and
WHEREAS, Brian Gimmillaro served as head coach of the women's volleyball team at Long Beach State University for 32 years, and led The Soul Patrol to the 1989 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball National Championship title over #5 ranked Nebraska; and
WHEREAS, The Soul Patrol under Coach Brian Gimmillaro became the FIRST and ONLY all women of color, five (5) African American women, and a Native American woman, starting lineup to ever win an NCAA Division I National Women's Volleyball Championship; and
WHEREAS, The Soul Patrol under Coach Brian Gimmillaro won the first National Championship in any sport for Long Beach State University; and
WHEREAS, the 1989 Women's Volleyball team, in 2011, was the first team inducted into the Long Beach State University Hall of Fame; and
WHEREAS, in the years following this historic event, members of the team have contributed significantly to sports and society both nationally and globally.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the NAACP recognizes and applauds this historic accomplishment of volleyball players Tara Cross, Antoinette White, Trisonya Thompson, Cheryl Stevens, Vicki Pullins, Sheri Sanders, and coach Brian Gimmillaro, and honors them for this historical first, and their past/future accomplishments as African American women.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this historical resolution be recorded and included in the archives of the NAACP signifying this stellar performance of these African American athletes on this 16th day of the month of April in the year 2022.