Keith Gilbertson, Sr

Keith Gilbertson, Sr
Multi-Sport Coach

A Snohomish native, Keith Gilbertson, Sr., (known as Coach Gilby) earned 10 varsity letters in four sports at Snohomish High School. He was a two-time Most Inspirational Player in football and captain of the 1944 football squad that had eight shutouts in nine games while posting the first unbeaten, untied season in school history. Upon graduation in 1945, he joined the Navy for a year and then attended Washington State College (now Washington State University).

In 1950, he returned to Snohomish as a teacher and coached track and cross country. During his tenure at the school, he held head coaching positions in football (1953-55), cross country (1956-65), and track (1956-66). For 61 years, (the last 30 as a volunteer), he coached at Snohomish High School including as an assistant with the boys’ basketball team and later with the girls’ basketball team. Coach Gilby also operated a largely self-funded summer AAU track program (1958-65) and served as a national high school representative and committee worker for the NCAA Track & Field Committee and the U.S. Track & Field Coaches Association.
He coached Snohomish High School boys’ cross country team to state titles in 1960 and 1965 and added three runner-up finishes. His cross country teams held an all-time record of 75-0 in dual meets. In 17 years as a track coach, he helped mentor two state individual champions. As an assistant for the girls’ basketball team, he helped three squads reach the state finals.

Some of his career honors include: Everett Herald Man of the Year in Sports (1978), Washington State Coaches Association (WSCA) Football Hall of Fame (1985), WSCA Cross Country Hall of Fame (1994), Snohomish High School Fall of Fame (1994), and John R. Wooden Coaches Wall of Honor (2006).

Keith, Sr. passed away in February of 2011 at the age of 83.