Two New Members Of Athletics Walk Of Fame Inducted

Glenn Hamanaka and Brian Copeland are tabbed after decades of service for the city's young athletes.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

When a person is recognized for a body of work, it’s truly humbling, and it was for two individuals who have spent decades in the Burbank Parks and Recreation Department.

Glenn Hamanaka and Brian Copeland were recently inducted into the Burbank Athletics Walk of Fame at George Izay Park, Bill Burton Field at Olive Park on a beautiful sunny morning as a crowd of about 150 people looked on.

The ceremony lasted an hour and was hosted by Marisa Garcia, the director of the Parks and Recreation Department, and was officially kicked off when 13-year-old Isabella Meneses delivered a stirring rendition of the National Anthem.

Konstantine Anthony, the Burbank mayor, spoke as did Parks and Recreation board member Mickey De Palo and Karen Sartoris, the Burbank Athletic Federation president.

“I am extremely honored to have been elected to the Burbank Parks and Recreation’s Walk of Fame,” said Hamanaka, the coach of the Burroughs High freshman girls’ volleyball team. “I can’t believe that I’m included with this distinguished list of past Walk of Fame inductees.”

Hamanaka, who began his tenure at the Parks and Recreation Department in 1989, as a youth coach, focused on the fundamentals and foundation for later success spoke about the day and the atmosphere.

“The induction ceremony was so beautiful and classy,” he said. “Thank you to the Athletic Foundation Board, the past inductees, the staff and all of the people that came out to support Brian Copeland’s and my induction.”

This has been a long and wonderful journey for Hamanaka, a UCLA graduate, and was capped off with the induction.

“From playing in the coed leagues with my wife and friends to managing and coaching Burbank’s youth and my own kids, I couldn’t be prouder of this community and the Burbank Parks and Recreation program,” he said. “This award feels like a part of that pride is being reciprocated, and I don’t think that is something many people get to experience.”

Hamanaka knows that nothing is earned in a vacuum and that there were many people who helped him along the way.

“That being said, this award was not earned alone. It is thanks to my fellow teammates, players, coaches, parents and the Parks and Recreation staff that have supported me for the past forty years,” he said. “I love coaching, so it’s a great feeling to be recognized in this way. I am very thankful.”

Copeland was also thrilled to be chosen to join the other Walk of Fame members.

“Being inducted into the Walk of Fame is a great honor. It is a reflection of years of effort and labor in volunteering in the Burbank Parks and Recreation Department,” he said. “To me, it represents all the work that goes into putting together a sports program from the sports office, officiating, coaching and the parents that help keep the teams running. I feel humbled and honored to be accepted for this award.”

Copeland is described as mild-mannered and soft-spoken and started his association with the Parks and Recreation Department in 1994 as a player and coach for a men’s basketball team.

In time, Copeland would coach his six children through Burbank’s sports leagues and coached 30 youth sports teams, including boys’ and girls’ basketball, football, volleyball, PonyTail softball, and Hap Minor baseball.

Copeland took the Parks and Recreation Department philosophy to heart, making sure that every kid had a team to play on and also enjoyed their time while playing.