Pompano Beach High School graduate Rocky Gillis is Broward County‘s Athletic Association Director. He is recognized for his dedication to his public education career where he has been a teacher, a coach and an athletic administrator at both Pompano Beach High School and Blanche Ely High School, as well as at the district level. Gillis played football while a student at Pompano Beach High. He graduated from Iowa State and where he was a 4-year football letterman. He became the football coach at Blanche Ely High in 1987, wining three district tittles. In 1998 returned to his alma mater to coach football and girls track & field. His football coaching has produced many NFL players. Gillis is member of the Florida Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Board of Directors since 2013 and currently on the FIAAA Executive Board as the Secretary. He is the 2014-15 recipient of Lifetime of Contribution to Amateur Athletics Award from the Brian Piccolo Chapter, National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, Inc. and of the 2016 Broward Education Foundation Hall of Fame of Distinguished Alumni. In 2017, he was named to the Broward County Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame for his contribution to the sport as an Administrator. Gillis is married 32 years to wife Kimberly, and they have three children, Ashley,
Roderick II and Rodney.
While at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Claire Sua-Amundson was a star softball player. Her career high school numbers include a .474 average, 143 hits, 140 RBI, 97 runs and 27 home runs to go with a 48-4 record in the circle, 534 strikeouts and a 0.36 ERA. She was named Broward County Female Athlete of the Year in 2000. Gatorade Player of the Year for softball in the state of Florida in 2000. She is a six-time first-team All-Broward County honoree and a four-time state player of the year and Broward County Player of the Year. Sua-Amundson attended UCLA, where she was one of the most decorated softball players in school history. She played four seasons for the Bruins, during which time the team posted a record of 218-31. She batted .325 for her career and still ranks in the top-10 in program history in home runs. Four times she was an All-Pac 10 selection and a two time All American. UCLA advanced to the Women’s College World Series all four seasons she played. Sua-Amundson has gone on to become a championship college softball coach for the past 13 years. She was most recently named the head coach at Cal State East Bay in 2015. She resides in the San Francisco bay area with her husband Matt Amundson, former UCLA football player, and their children Michael and Corinne.
Seilala Sua-Zumbado is a multi-talented track and field athlete and was a member of both the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympic teams. While she was a St. Thomas Aquinas student, this multi-talented Cooper City native set the all-time FHSAA record in 1996 for discus throw. She has excelled in all four throwing events, shot put, discus, hammer and javelin and has been twice selected as PAC10 Women’s Track and Field athlete of the year. Sua-Zumbado is recognized as one of the most accomplished females in track and field history. She held the discus title for 4 consecutive years. Sua-Zumbado has also served as a throwing coach for Cal State Northridge, UCLA and University of Hawaii. Sua-Zumbado and her husband Juan Carlos live in the Bay Area with her two sons, Solomon and Sebastian.
Dave Hyde is an award-winning Sun Sentinel sports columnist for the last 27 years. He won the 2016 National Headliner Award from the Press Club of Atlantic City for the best sports column in the country. He finished 16 times among the Top 10 in the annual Associated Press Sports Editors contest for his column and investigative work. His work has been featured in the “Best American Sports Writing “anthology. Hyde is the author of “Still Perfect The Untold story of the 1972 Miami Dolphins,” “Perfection with Bob Griese,” “Dan Marino: My Life in Football” and “1968: The Year That Saved Ohio State Football.” Hyde has covered two Florida Marlins World Series titles, three Miami Heat NBA championships, the Florida Panthers 1996 Stanley Cup Finals and various national championships for the University of Miami, University of Florida and Florida State.
South Plantation High School graduate Melvin Randall has reached the pinnacle of the coaching profession. His 25-year career includes the position of Head Boys Basketball Coach at Deerfield Beach High (1993-2001) and he is presently at Blanche Ely High since 2001. He has also been named basketball coach of the year by the National High School Coaches Association. Coach Randall holds 8 state championships, 14 district championships, 9 regional championships, 2 state titles at Deerfield Beach High and 6 State Titles at Blanche Ely. He has been named Broward County Coach of the Year 10 times. His numerous awards have put Randall in a category by himself, highlighted by him winning 2015 USA Today National High School Coach of the Year. When he is not coaching basketball, you can find him bass fishing and spending time with his siblings: Nadine, Leroy, Anthony, Diane, Eddie and MaryAnn.
St. Thomas Aquinas High School graduate Twan Russell became a top athlete in high school. In 1992 he won the Florida Track Championship in the 300-meter hurdles, one of his proudest accomplishments. He was part of the St. Thomas football team that played in their first state championship. Twan was named the Sun Sentinel track athlete of the year and first-team All-Broward County in football. He accepted an athletic scholarship from the University of Miami and went on the play for the Washington Redskins, the Miami Dolphins and the Atlanta Falcons. Injury spurred retirement in November 2004. In 1999, while still playing in the NFL, Twan and his mother began The Russell Education Foundation, formally The Russell Life Skills and Reading Foundation, Inc. As a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization it was formed to “tackle” the high illiteracy rate of inner-city youth and lack of educational resources. Its mission, “Opening Books to Open Doors,” inspires and equips underserved children and families with tools for continued success. Twan has received several awards: The Iron Arrow Award, the highest award attained at University of Miami (1997), the Miami Dolphins Nat Moore Community Award (2002), The Silver Medallion Award 2008 (OneCommUnity) and the Kate Platt Award (2010). Twan serves as Miami Dolphins Youth Ambassador serving South Florida Youth. Additionally, he serves on the executive board for the Early Learning Coalition of Broward County.
The longtime Coral Springs resident’s passion for basketball and his desire to helps kids has always been a driving force. He began as a coach, where he secured sponsors to develop courts and led fundraising for Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) teams. A champion of grassroots basketball, he was President of Florida Gold Coast AAU for 12 years; launched the area’s first Nike league for high school teams; and mentored/coached countless local standouts. In 1989, he founded the Kreul Classic in honor of his late friend Jim Kreul. Twenty-nine years later, the event has evolved into one of the most prestigious tournaments in the nation. More than 18,000 student-athletes representing 26 states, Canada, and the Bahamas, have showcased their athletic prowess and many have gone on to compete at D-1 colleges and in the NBA. The volunteer-driven organization has enabled Broward teams to benefit from having one of the country’s most competitive events in our local community; been a catalyst for local teams to secure national rankings; and served as a premier recruiting venue for college scouts. The Kreul has proudly awarded 90 four-year academic tuition scholarships for Broward graduates to attend FAU. Jim is the recipient of the Industry Appreciation Award (Broward Tourism, 1998), Hometown Hero Award (Broward County Commissioners, 2000), Lynn Johnson Volunteer Award (City of Coral Springs, 2015) and a Respecty (RMF Magazine, 2016). Married for 52 years to his soul mate Gay, his greatest joy is his four grandchildren.