Oct 18, 2016
USABA Now Accepting Applications for 2016 Hall of Fame Class
The USABA Hall of Fame was established in 2009 to recognize members of our organization who clearly distinguished themselves through exceptional athletic accomplishments or lasting contributions to the advancement for people who are blind or visually impaired.
We are requesting nominations for the 2016 USABA Hall of Fame class. Eligiblity and nomination procedures are available here: Information Package
Nomination are due to USABA by December 31, 2016.
Oct 17, 2016
Breakfast with Champions: Meet the Guest Speakers
On Friday, November 4th, we invite you to join us for a Breakfast with Champions in the newly renovated Hall of Fame Rotunda at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Former ESPN commentator and current USOC Director of Olympic Training Center Business Development, Michael Cain will sit down with Paralympians Lex Gillette, Amanda Dennis and Matt Simpson to talk about their experiences in Rio. Want a sneak peek? Meet our guest speakers before they take the stage:
Michael Cain, Breakfast with Champions Emcee and USOC Director of Olympic Training Center Business Development
Hometown: Bellevue, Nebraska
Michael Cain’s broadcast career began at the ESPN Wide World of Sports’ on-site broadcast/production center, which specializes in productions of amateur & collegiate athletic events for broadcast on the ESPN3 network and at the Walt Disney World Resort. As part of the broadcast team at EWWS, Michael has commentated on a full range of sporting events – from football to basketball, volleyball to golf, and gymnastics to taekwondo. In 2004, Michael served as a member of the Delegation for Team USA at the Athens Olympic Games. He was responsible for managing the logistical aspects of the 2004 Olympic Track & Field Team, the 2003 Pan-American Games Team and numerous other USA National Teams.
Michael is currently the Director of Business Development for the United States Olympic Committee’s Olympic Training Centers. In this role, Michael manages the team responsible for creating innovative strategies targeting new and existing audiences to maximize revenue growth at the three U.S. Olympic Training Centers (Colorado Springs, Chula Vista, Lake Placid). Michael also works with leaders across the USOC and with NGBs to activate new sales & marketing opportunities for the Olympic Training Centers and the organization as a whole.
Lex Gillette, Three-time Paralympic silver-medalist (long jump)
Hometown: Raleigh, N.C.
Elexis “Lex” Gillette is the best totally blind long and triple jumper in the history of U.S. Paralympics. Lex is the only totally blind athlete in the world to eclipse the 22-foot barrier in the long jump. He earned his third Paralympic silver medal in Rio this summer.
In 1992, Lex experienced a rapid loss of sight due to recurrent retina detachments. After 10 operations, Lex and his mother accepted he would likely never see again. As a teenager, Lex attended a USABA Sports Education Camp and learned about multiple sports he could compete in but track & field was the one that stuck. He won his first silver in the long jump at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens and hasn’t stopped training and competing since. In addition to bettering himself as a track & field athlete, Lex earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation Management from East Carolina University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.
Amanda Dennis, Two-time Paralympian (goalball)
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
Two-time Paralympian Amanda Dennis helped her team win bronze at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games this summer in goalball – a team sport for blind and visually impaired athletes. Amanda has been called one of the best defenders in the world on the goalball court.
Born with aniridia and nystagmus, Amanda tried many different sports as a child before finding goalball through Blaze Sports in Atlanta, Georgia. At the age of 11, she knew she wanted to be a Paralympian. Her hard work and determination paid off in 2012 when she was named to the team that would represent the U.S. at the London Paralympic Games. Between London and Rio, Amanda earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management and Exercise and Sport Science from the University of Georgia.
Matt Simpson, Paralympic silver medalist (goalball)
Hometown: Smyrna, Ga.
Member of the first-ever U.S. goalball resident program at Turnstone Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana, U.S. Men’s Goalball National Team member, Matt Simpson helped earn his team a silver finish at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, the team’s best finish since 1988.
Born with a congenital retina disease that left him with severely impaired vision from an early age, Matt attended a USABA Sports Education Camp at 10-years-old where he learned about goalball. He fell in love with the sport and has been playing competitively ever since.
Matt graduated from Washington and Lee University, a small liberal arts school in Virginia, in 2012, and accepted a job with USABA in Colorado Springs as Membership & Outreach Coordinator. While working for USABA, Matt trained at the Olympic Training Center before moving to Indiana to train full-time at U.S. Men’s Goalball Resident Program which was established in October of 2015. Matt plans to continue to represent Team USA and intends to pursue a law degree in the near future.
Oct 14, 2016
Legendary Goalball Coach, Ken Armbruster, Retires
Legendary Goalball Coach, Ken Armbruster, Retires
Winningest coach in USABA history retires with 4 Paralympic medals after 20 years of service.
Colorado Springs, Colo. (October 14, 2016) - After 20 years as Head Coach of the USA Women’s Goalball team, Coach Ken Armbruster will retire effective 15 October 2016.
“I depart from coaching with both a heavy heart and a sense of accomplishment,” said Armbruster. “The friends I gained with fellow coaches, players and officials are some of the most cherished of my life.”
Coach Armbruster accumulated more wins than any other coach in USABA history with an international record that includes 284 victories and 4 Paralympic medals, including a Gold medal at the 2008 Paralympic Games. Most recently, Coach Armbruster led the U.S. Women’s team to a bronze medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
As a club coach, Armbruster amassed 472 additional victories including, 10 National Championships and 31 Regional Championships. In 2008, Armbruster was named the United States Olympic Committee’s Paralympic Coach of the Year.
In summarizing his success, Armbruster said, “No coach is successful without great players and I was fortunate to coach many of them over the years.” One constant during those years on the goalball court was his daughter Jen Armbruster, who was a member of every national and international team he coached.
“Coach Armbruster built a standard of excellence that leaves an indelible mark in the history of USA goalball,” said Mark Lucas, executive director of U.S. Association of Blind Athletes. “USABA congratulates Coach Armbruster on his retirement and thanks him for his many years of volunteer service!”
Pictured: Coach Armbruster leading the pregame "U-S-A" chant before U.S. Women played Brazil in the bronze medal game at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Photo: Michael A. Clubine of Wheelchair Sports Federation
Pictured: An emotional Coach Armbruster embracing his daughter, Jen Armbruster, after winning bronze at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Photo: Michael A. Clubine of Wheelchair Sports Federation
- Visual Classifications
- Safe Sport
- Athlete Development Accounts
- Copeland Scholarship
News & Events
USABA Now Accepting Applications for 2016 Hall of Fame Class - The USABA Hall of Fame was established in 2009 to recognize members of our organization… Read This Story
2016 USA Hockey – Blind Ice Hockey Summit and Training Camp - 2016 USA Hockey – Blind Ice Hockey Summit and Training Camp Chicago, Illinois -… Read This Story
2016 USABA High School National Goalball Championships - St. Augustine, FL Information package will be provided in August 2016. Contact: … Read This Story