Bill Gibson (basketball)

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William J. "Bill" Gibson (c. 1928 – July 23, 1975) was an American basketball coach who was the head men's basketball coach at the University of Virginia and the University of South Florida.

Gibson played basketball at Penn State University, graduating in 1952.[1][2] He began his head coaching career at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania in the 1956–57 season. In seven seasons, Mansfield posted a 102–37 win–loss record under Gibson. In April 1963, Virginia named him its men's basketball coach; at the time, the Cavaliers were struggling to compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).[3] Virginia was 8–16 in Gibson's first season as coach and did not win 10 games in a season until 1968–69.[4] The Cavaliers lost in the ACC Tournament's first round (the tenth consecutive season Virginia had exited the tournament at that stage), and Gibson faced a "revolt" at the hands of his own players.[5] They petitioned against Gibson, and met with Virginia's athletic director, a group of faculty, and Gibson himself.[6] The university retained Gibson following the meetings, and the players' complaints were not mentioned in Virginia's statement to the press, though the Associated Press said they were related to "Gibson's tactics and handling of players."[5]

After another 10-win season in 1969–70, the Cavaliers improved to 15–11 and 21–7 the next two seasons,[4] and Gibson was selected as ACC Men's Basketball Coach of the Year for the latter campaign.[7] In March 1974, he accepted an offer to coach at South Florida.[8] Four months later, he had a heart attack and was hospitalized.[9] Gibson recovered and his South Florida team had a 15–10 record in 1974–75. On July 23, 1975, he died of what was reported as a likely second heart attack.[7]


  1. ^ Richards, Dan B. (2002). 40 Years Behind The Sports Desk. iUniverse. p. 35. ISBN 9780595246939. 
  2. ^ "Men's Basketball Coaches Career" (search for Gibson under Player/Coach Search). National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved March 22, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Gibson Gets Post As Virginia Coach". Reading Eagle. Associated Press. April 9, 1963. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Bill Gibson". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Player revolt fails to uproot Gibson from coaching post". The Rock Hill Herald. Associated Press. March 14, 1969. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Cagers will present grievances against Virginia coach today". The Rock Hill Herald. Associated Press. March 11, 1969. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "Former Virginia basketball coach dies of heart attack". The Dispatch. United Press International. July 24, 1975. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Gibson will leave Cavs for South Fla.". Star-News. United Press International. March 2, 1974. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Gibson 'guarded to poor'". St. Petersburg Times. July 6, 1974. Retrieved August 29, 2010.