Melissa Belcher - 2013
Melissa Belcher always knew she wanted to be a coach. After playing volleyball in high school, she chose to study secondary education in college so that she could become a high school teacher and coach.
In 2006, Melissa was offered the Varsity Coaching position at Toledo Central Catholic and it didn't take long before long before the Fighting Irish won the Div. II state championship in 2007. She was named Coach of the Year and followed 2007 with many successful seasons.
The fall of 2010 brought Melissa a very unexpected challenge when she was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. She was told that her ALS was progressing slowly however it would get to a point where she can no longer coach. Due to her battle with A.L.S., Coach Belcher was forced to resign both positions at the young age of 41.
With her in mind, Coaches Bob Moran and Bill Bonham founded the Melissa Belcher Summer Classic volleyball tournament with an an initial plan to raise money for their fellow coach and personal friend.
In the first year of the event, they managed to get 62 teams from all across Ohio to participate! Combined with t-shirts sales, raffles and donations, the event was a huge success. And in the fall of 2013 at a high school game between Toledo Central Catholic and Coach Moran’s Findlay H.S., with the Belcher family present in the crowd, they handed Missy a check for $10,000.