HALL OF FAME SPOTLIGHT: Gary Shiffrin Leads Cape Coast Conference For 22 Years
By Charles Parker // February 17, 2017
ABOVE VIDEO: Gary Shiffrin – whose career in the Brevard County education system spanned 42 years – coached a variety of sports and was the Cape Coast Conference Commissioner for 22 years.
GARY SHIFFRIN – 2015 INDUCTEE
• Member of the FHSAA Hall of Fame
• Cape Coast Conference Commissioner
• Teacher and Principal of the Year Awards
BREVARD SCHOOLS ICON
Gary Shiffrin admits he was never a great athlete – or for that matter a great coach. But he loved all sports and loved to be a part of the competition.
“I tried everything growing up,” he said.
“I played baseball, basketball, golf, swimming, soccer, and any other sport that came my way. So, when I came to Florida to begin my teaching career, I knew I wanted to include athletics as an important part of my life.”
Shiffrin – whose career in the Brevard County education system spanned 42 years – coached a variety of sports during his first teaching job at Melbourne High School in the early 1970s.
He even coached the first inter-scholastic girl’s volleyball team there when the sport was added to the Florida High School Athletic Association.
But as his job moved from teaching to administration, so did his role in Brevard County sports when he became the athletic director at Cocoa Beach High School in 1980.
But ultimately his role was not to be limited to the local school level.
“Truly my involvement in athletics hit a high point when in 1977 I was made an officer of the Cape Coast Conference,” Shiffrin said.
“Then, due to the untimely passing of my good friend David St. John in 1991, I was appointed the Commissioner of one of the strongest athletic conferences in the state of Florida.”
While he has had many personal high points in his long career in Brevard – including Teacher of the Year in 1976 and Principal of the Year in 2010 – Shiffrin notes the top ones are related to his association with sports.
“Maybe the moment that defines my career was when I received the phone call in February 2013 informing me that I had been selected for induction into the FHSAA Hall of Fame,” he said.
“And then the notification that I had been selected for the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
LABOR OF LOVE
Of course, Shiffrin has made a major impact in the lives of many students, teachers, and other Brevard administrators beyond his work in sports.
His “labor of love” has been his dedication to education and he is proud of seeing students achieve things under his mentorship they never thought possible.
But for Gary Shiffrin, it somehow always comes back to sports.
“At a very early age, I would fantasize about hitting the game-winning home run in the seventh game of the World Series, or of making the 20-foot jump shot at the buzzer to win the NBA Championship, or of sinking the long putt on the 18th hole at the Masters to beat my hero Arnold Palmer.
“Obstacles I faced along the way were not physical, but rather a lack of talent. But I overcame that by immersing myself into the sports world through coaching and administering.”
And Brevard County sports are better because Shiffrin made that choice.
THE 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 12.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT the 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME OR TO MAKE A NOMINATION, call 321-615-8111 or e-mail MaverickMultimedia@gmail.com