May 15, 1948 |
Columbia Basin JC
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Idaho State (GA)
Western Washington (GA)
Utah State (OC)
Los Angeles Express (OC)
Seattle Seahawks (assistant)
Seattle Seahawks (assistant)
Cleveland Browns (scout)
|Head coaching record|
|Tournaments||2–3 (NCAA I-AA playoffs)|
Keith Gilbertson, Jr. (born May 15, 1948) is a retired American football coach and player. He was the head coach at the University of Idaho (1986–1988), the University of California, Berkeley (1992–1995), and the University of Washington (2003–2004), compiling a career college football record of 55–51. Gilbertson retired in 2011 as a coach.
Early life and playing career
The son of a high school football coach, Gilbertson grew up in Snohomish, Washington, northeast of Seattle. He graduated from Snohomish High School in 1966 and attended Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Columbia Basin College, the University of Hawaii, and returned to Central Washington, where he received a bachelor's degree in social sciences in 1971. He later earned a degree in education from Western Washington University in 1974.
After three stints as a graduate assistant, Gilbertson became an offensive coordinator in 1977 at Utah State under head coach Bruce Snyder. After five seasons in Logan, he joined Dennis Erickson's new staff at Idaho, who immediately turned the Vandal program around in 1982, going 8–3 in the regular season and advancing to the quarterfinals of the I-AA playoffs. The following spring, Gilbertson departed for the Los Angeles Express of the newly formed USFL, where he coached as offensive coordinator for three seasons. Following the demise of the league, Gilbertson returned to Idaho in 1985, and the Vandals won their first Big Sky Conference title in 14 seasons. Erickson departed for Wyoming in December, and Gilbertson was promoted to head coach of the Vandals program. In his three seasons in Moscow as head coach (1986–88), Gilbertson's win-loss record was 28–9 (.757). Following consecutive conference championships and advancing to the Division I-AA national semifinals, Gilbertson interviewed at UTEP in December 1988 but withdrew from consideration. Days later he accepted an offer to coach the offensive line in the Pac-10 at Washington in Seattle under head coach Don James and offensive coordinator Gary Pinkel. Gilbertson replaced Dan Dorazio, the first assistant coach James had fired at Washington, after they missed the bowl season for the first time in a decade. (After three wins to start the 1988 season, the Huskies finished 6–5 and 3–5 in conference, with losses to USC, UCLA, Oregon, Arizona, and WSU.) Gilbertson's three-year stint concluded with the undefeated 1991 national championship team, for which he was also offensive coordinator.
After Washington, Gilbertson became the head coach at California in 1992. Despite leading Cal to a 9–4 record with a decisive victory in the 1993 Alamo Bowl, he was dismissed after his fourth season when the 1995 Bears went 3–8. Gilbertson's overall record at Cal was 20–26 (.435).
After Cal, he was an assistant coach for the NFL's Seattle Seahawks for three seasons (1996–1998) under Erickson. He would serve as the TE coach for the 1997 and 1998 seasons. In 1999, he returned to the Washington Huskies as an assistant head coach under new head coach Rick Neuheisel.
Gilbertson became the head coach at Washington in 2003 following the abrupt summer dismissal of Neuheisel. His first season was fairly respectable at 6–6; only a blowout loss to Cal in the next-to-last game of the season kept the Huskies out of a bowl game. The bottom fell out a year later, in which the Huskies finished 1–10, including only their second winless PCC/Big Five/Pac-8/Pac-10 record in peacetime. He was fired near the end of the season. His record at Washington was 7–16 (.304), the second worst coaching record in the history of the program, next to that of his successor, Tyrone Willingham. He then returned to the Seahawks as an assistant under Mike Holmgren.
Gilbertson's overall record as a collegiate head coach is 55–51 (.519).
Head coaching record
|Idaho Vandals football (Big Sky Conference) (1986–1988)|
|1986||Idaho||8–4||5–2||T–2nd||L NCAA Division I-AA First Round|
|1987||Idaho||9–3||7–1||1st||L NCAA Division I-AA First Round|
|1988||Idaho||11–2||7–1||1st||L NCAA Division I-AA Semifinal|
|California Golden Bears (Pacific-10 Conference) (1992–1995)|
|Washington Huskies (Pacific-10 Conference) (2003–2004)|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
|#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.
- 2003 Washington Football Media Guide, p. 78-79
- Boling, Dave (December 21, 1988). "Gilbertson withdraws". Spokane Chronicle. p. C1.
- "Goodbye Gilby". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press and staff reports. December 24, 1988. p. B1.
- Meehan, Jim (December 24, 1988). "Official: Gilbertson leaving Vandals to accept Husky post". (Moscow) Idahonian. p. 1D.
- "Huskies have Gilby look". Spokane Chronicle. Associated Press. April 18, 1989. p. B1.
- Raley, Dan - Gilbertson ousted as UW coach. SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, Monday, November 1, 2004