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CCU announces 2016 Outstanding Alumni of the Year

October 27, 2016
Gary Gilmore is CCU's 2016 Alumnus of the Year.Meghan Laffin (right) receives the Young Alumnus of the Year Award from CCU President David A. DeCenzoCathy Gilmore (right), wife of Gary Gilmore, accepts the Alumnus of the Year Award from CCU President David A. DeCenzo on behalf of her husband at the Homecoming football game.

Coastal Carolina University announced the 2016 Outstanding Alumni of the Year honorees during its homecoming football game on Saturday, Oct. 22, in Brooks Stadium. Gary Gilmore is the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year, and Meghan Laffin received the Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year Award.

Candidates nominated for the alumni awards are chosen by a panel of faculty judges who consider such characteristics as integrity, loyalty, leadership and civic involvement.

Gilmore, a native of Rocky Mount, Va., earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1980. After graduating from Coastal, he played baseball for a short time in the Philadelphia Phillies organization and then became a scout for the Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians. In 1990, he was promoted to head baseball coach at the University of South Carolina-Aiken, where he had served the previous four years as an assistant coach. During his six seasons as mentor, he recorded 253 wins and earned a trip to the 1993 NCAA Division II College World Series.

Gilmore was named CCU’s head baseball coach prior to the 1996 season. During his 21 seasons as skipper, he’s tallied an overall record of 847-438 and has led the program to 14 NCAA Division I Regionals, three Super Regionals and the 2016 College World Series. His 1,100 career victory came in the final game of the 2016 College World Series, where the Chanticleers won the national championship.

Laffin, a native of Long Island, N.Y., earned a bachelor’s degree in business management with a minor in journalism in 2014. Captain of the volleyball team, she was named the 2013-14 Presidential Student-Athlete of the Year, and she received the 2014 Ronald D. Lackey Service Award. She was a member of the University Honors Program and the Wall Fellows program, and she was active in WCCU Radio, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the Golden Key International Honor Society.

After interning at CBS News to help fulfill her degree requirements, Laffin was later hired on a full-time basis. She began by learning the fundamentals, shadowing producers and assisting them with major projects. From there, she produced live shots with reporters in the field and the “Eye Opener” segment on Saturday morning. Later she switched to the control room where she now works as an associate producer for “CBS This Morning.”