THURSDAY, JUNE 29, 2000
West Chester State University (1979)
B.S. in Health, Physical Education
and Recreation K-1
Indiana University (1980)
45-53 (10 seasons)
RECORD AT JU:
Upsala (N.J.) College
1996 New York Metro Football
1996 Maxwell Football Club
To start from the ground floor and build is a dream in many walks of life. Whether it be a dream house, small business or large corporation, there is a satisfaction that comes with developing a product from scratch. That was the drawing card that brought Steve Gilbert to Jacksonville University.
"It has always been intriguing to me to start a program from the ground up," said Gilbert. "We are making history just about everyday we walk into the office."
History was made on February 26, 1997 when Gilbert was first introduced as JU's inaugural head coach. From that moment, it has been a steady march forward.
It opened with a recruiting process that brought 86 young men to campus for a year of PRACTICE. Over 100 players dotted the roster to open the inaugural campaign in 1998 that saw a 2-0 start as the Dolphins opened with a 19-14 win over Davidson.
The inaugural season finished with a 4-5 mark which included several memorable moments. All-in-all, it was much more successful than anyone surrounding the program could have dreamed.
Success in difficult circumstances is nothing new when looking over Gilbert's background as he enters his second year at JU, his 12th year, 11th season as a collegiate head coach. As the head coach for nine seasons at Ursinus (1988-96), he won more games (41) than any other coach in school history while under the burden of no full-time assistants on staff.
His career with the Bears culminated in a 9-2 mark in his final season with the school's first trip to the NCAA Division III Playoffs. Other firsts included a 7-0 conference record in the Centennial which provided the first conference crown for UC.
The nine wins were the most since 1902. It earned him Maxwell Football Club and New York Metropolitan Football Writers Division III Coach of the Year honors. He was the American Football Coaches Association Division III Coach of the Year for region two. He also earned Division III Coach of the Year honors from the East Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC).
During Gilbert's tenure at Ursinus 39 offensive records were broken. His offense produced the first 1,000-yard runner and receiver at the Collegeville, Pa.-based institution. In 1996, the Bears were ranked 16th nationally in total defense, sixth in pass defense, fifth in scoring defense and ninth in turnover margin. His 1995 squad finished ninth in the nation in pass defense.
Prior to Ursinus, Gilbert served as quarterbacks and receivers coach at Washington University (1984-88) in St. Louis, Mo., before being promoted to offensive coordinator. Just before arriving in St. Louis, he spent a season as the defensive line and strength coach at the University of San Diego (1983-84).
He got his coaching start in 1980 as the quarterbacks and receivers coach at Upsala College in East Orange, N.J. From there Gilbert went to Penn where he was the offensive line and strength coach. He helped lead the Quakers to an Ivy League Championship in 1982.
Gilbert is a 1979 graduate of West Chest State University in West Chester, Pa. He was a four-year letterman at wide receiver for the Golden Rams where he received his bachelor's degree in health, physical education and recreation K-12. He earned a master's degree in physical education from Indiana University in 1980.
A native of Freehold, N.J., Gilbert and his wife Jo Ellen have two children, Kyle and Kerri.
The Gilbert File
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