John Gill (coach)

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John Gill
John Gill (coach).jpg
Sport(s) Football, baseball
Biographical details
Born (1898-11-27)November 27, 1898
Akron, Michigan
Died March 4, 1997(1997-03-04) (aged 98)
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1942–1952 Western Michigan
1944–1945 Western Michigan
Head coaching record
Overall 50–34–1 (football)
20–13–2 (baseball)

John W. Gill (November 27, 1898 – March 4, 1997)[1] was an American football coach. Gill graduated from Western State Teachers College (now known as Western Michigan University) in 1924 and became an assistant football coach under head coach Mike Gary. At the time of the 1930 United States Census, Gill was living in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and his occupation was listed as a teacher at a college.[2] In 1939, Gill recommended that the Western Michigan athletic teams change their mascot from "Hilltoppers" to "Broncos," and his suggestion was adopted by the school.[3] Gill was awarded $10,000 for submitting the team's nickname, funds which he donated to the Waldo Stadium building fund.[3] He was the head football coach at Western Michigan University for 11 years from 1942 to 1952.[4] He compiled a record of 50–34–1 as head coach, and his best season was 1948 when he led the Broncos to a 6–3 record as his team outscored opponents 199 to 106.[4] In 1952, Gill was appointed as the associated athletic director at Western Michigan.[5] He continued to serve in that capacity until his retirement in 1969.[3]

Head coaching record[edit]


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Western Michigan Broncos (Independent) (1942–present)
1942 Western Michigan 5–1
1943 Western Michigan 4–2
1944 Western Michigan 4–3
1945 Western Michigan 4–3
1946 Western Michigan 5–2–1
1947 Western Michigan 5–4
Western Michigan Broncos (Mid-American Conference) (1948–1952)
1948 Western Michigan 6–3 3–1 T–2nd
1949 Western Michigan 4–4 2–3 4th
1950 Western Michigan 5–4 1–3 T–4th
1951 Western Michigan 4–4 1–4 6th
1952 Western Michigan 4–4 1–4 T–6th
Western Michigan: 50–34–1 8–15
Total: 50–34–1


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Census entry for John W. Gill. 1930 United States Census [database on-line]. Census Place: Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, Michigan; Roll: 998; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 21; File: 180.0.
  3. ^ a b c "Mascots". June 7, 2005. 
  4. ^ a b "John W. Gill Records by Year". College Football Data Warehouse. 
  5. ^ "Jack Petoskey Gets Bronco Grid Post". Toledo Blade. December 13, 1952.