His first senior team was ASK Riga. From 1965 to 1968 Gilis played in the strongest Latvian team - FK Daugava Rīga, after a conflict with the team manager he left the team for Zvejnieks Liepāja. The 1969 season Gilis started as a player in FK Lielupe but soon he got an offer to become a manager for Lielupe thus ending his playing career.
His first team as a manager was FK Lielupe, later he was an assisting manager for FK Daugava under Vadims Ulbergs (from 1977 to 1979), worked as a coach in the Riga school of football, and manager of FK Pārdaugava reserves squad. In 1991 Gilis was appointed as the first general manager of the Latvian national football team after regaining stately independence. The first match under his management for Latvian team was played on April 8, 1992 against Romania (0:1). Under Gilis Latvia participated in qualifying for two World cups and one European championship. The first years for the national team were tough although under Gilis Latvia got some notable wins (1:0 against Northern Ireland, 3:2 against Austria) and also a couple of historical draws (0:0 against Spain and European champions Denmark). Gilis' son Gints Gilis had 5 caps for Latvia under his father. After the work with the national team Gilis managed Liepājas Metalurgs but in 1999 - FK Rīga which under Gilis won the Latvian Cup in the first year of the clubs existence. Gilis died on 13 September 2000.