Cardinal Gibbons’ Mike Zarate Named Broward Boys’ Volleyball Coach of the Year

June 13 13:02 2024

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – Cardinal Gibbons High School proudly announces that head coach Mike Zarate has been named the Miami Herald’s Broward Boys’ Volleyball Coach of the Year for his exceptional leadership and remarkable achievements with the boys’ volleyball team.

Coach Mike Zarate, a highly respected figure in the volleyball community, has guided Cardinal Gibbons volleyball team to continued success despite significant challenges. This season, Zarate faced the departure of key players, including UCLA signee Thiago Zamprogno, but managed to lead a young team to the state tournament. His ability to foster new talent and maintain the team’s competitive edge has earned him this prestigious recognition.

Gabriel Nejad: The Rising Star

A pivotal player in this season’s success is junior setter Gabriel Nejad. Recognized as a two-time All-Broward first-team selection, Nejad has been instrumental in the Chiefs’ advancement to the state tournament for the fourth consecutive season. His journey to Cardinal Gibbons is a testament to his dedication and talent.

Gabriel Nejad initially played for several clubs, including Ocean Bay Volleyball (OBV), where Coach Zarate first noticed his exceptional skills as a setter. Zarate recommended that Nejad consider Cardinal Gibbons, a private Catholic school in Fort Lauderdale known for its strong volleyball program. Inspired by Zarate’s recommendation, Nejad decided to transfer from Design and Architecture Senior High (DASH), an award-winning M-DCPS district-wide magnet school with a unique art and design curriculum complemented by rigorous academics.

Coach Mike Zarate: A Legacy of Excellence

Coach Mike Zarate’s illustrious career spans over 30 years, marked by numerous accolades and a profound impact on the volleyball community. Some of his notable achievements include:

– 2023 Miami Herald Boys High School Coach of the Year

– 2022 Miami Herald Boys High School Coach of the Year

– 2018 Florida Dairy Farmers Coach of the Year

– 2018 Sun-Sentinel and Miami Herald Boys High School Coach of the Year

– 2017 Sun-Sentinel and Miami Herald Boys High School Coach of the Year

– Over 30 years of coaching experience

Currently, Zarate serves as the Girls’ Volleyball Assistant Coach at Cardinal Gibbons HS (since 2015, including the 2015 State Championship) and the Boys’ Volleyball Head Coach (since 2009, including the 2018 State Championship). His extensive experience includes roles as a USA High Performance Coach, Head Coach at various schools and clubs, and founder of multiple volleyball clubs.

About Cardinal Gibbons High School

Cardinal Gibbons High School is committed to fostering excellence in education and athletics. Under the guidance of esteemed coaches like Mike Zarate, the school continues to nurture young talents and achieve remarkable success in various sports, including volleyball.

For more information, please contact:

Cardinal Gibbons High School

+1 (954) 491-2900

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