Slats Gill

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Slats Gill
Gill in 1933 OSC yearbook
Sport(s) Basketball
Biographical details
Born (1901-05-01)May 1, 1901
Salem, Oregon
Died April 5, 1966(1966-04-05) (aged 64)
Corvallis, Oregon
Playing career
1922–1924 Oregon State
Position(s) Forward
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1928–1964 Oregon State
Head coaching record
Overall 599–393
Accomplishments and honors
  • 2× First-team All-PCC (1922, 1924)
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1968
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Amory Tingle "Slats" Gill (May 1, 1901 – April 5, 1966) was a basketball and baseball head coach at Oregon State University in Corvallis.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Salem, Oregon, Gill was the youngest of eight children and his father died when he was a child. His nickname "Slats" was given to him at age 12. Gill was swimming in a local pond one summer afternoon and upon exiting the pond, a buddy joked with Gill about his scrawny frame with his ribs protruding, which he said looked like slats in a picket fence. Gill was from then on known as "Slats."[3]

Gill attended Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University) in Corvallis. While at OAC, he played baseball from 1919 to 1921[4] and basketball from 1922 to 1924. Gill was an All-American forward in 1924.[5]

Coaching career[edit]

Gill's first head coaching position was at a high school in Oakland. After one season there, he returned to Corvallis to be the head coach of the Rooks (the OSU freshman team). He spent two seasons in that capacity.[3]

In the summer of 1928, OAC's current head coach Bob Hager was fired by then school president Jasper Kerr. Kerr did not look far for his new head coach. Even though Gill was only 27 years old and had just three years of coaching under his belt, Kerr hired him as the head basketball coach.[3]

In his tenure, Oregon State won five Pacific Coast Conference titles, four Northern Division championships, and a pair of Final Four appearances (1949 and 1963). His teams won eight consecutive Far West Classic titles, and Gill had 599 coaching victories with the Beavers.

Gill also coached the Beavers' baseball team from 1932 to 1937.

As past president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, Slats coached in the 1964 NABC All-Star Game.


When Gill retired from coaching in 1964,[6] he became the Oregon State athletic director, a position he held for two years, until his death.[1][5]

Gill was elected a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. Oregon State's basketball arena, Gill Coliseum, is named for him.

Gill was the first OSU coach to have an African American player to play on the team. Norman Monroe was a walk on and was the first black basketball player to play at OSU and played for the team for half of the 1960–1961 season. The first recruited, scholarship black athlete to be named to the OSU basketball team arrived only in 1966, when Charlie White was named to the squad.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Gill Coliseum, opened in late 1949

Gill met his wife, Helen, on a blind date at OAC in the early 1920s and they married in 1932. They raised two children, a son John, and a daughter Jane.[1][3]

Following a game in Seattle in early 1960, Gill suffered a heart attack in his hotel room while with his wife. He was taken to Providence Hospital and stayed for more than three weeks.[8][9][10]


Gill suffered a stroke in March 1966 and died less than two weeks later at age 64.[1][5] His funeral was held at Gill Coliseum and he was buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in Corvallis.[11]

Head coaching record[edit]


Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason

Oregon State University (Pacific Coast Conference) (1928–1959)
1928–29 Oregon State 12–8 4–6 4th-North
1929–30 Oregon State 14–13 7–9 4th-North
1930–31 Oregon State 19–9 9–7 3rd-North
1931–32 Oregon State 12–12 8–8 3rd-North
1932–33 Oregon State 21–6 12–4 1st
1933–34 Oregon State 14–10 7–9 3rd-North
1934–35 Oregon State 19–9 12–4 1st-North
1935–36 Oregon State 16–9 10–6 2nd-North
1936–37 Oregon State 11–15 5–11 4th-North
1937–38 Oregon State 17–16 6–14 5th-North
1938–39 Oregon State 13–11 6–10 4th-North
1939–40 Oregon State 27–11 12–4 1st-North
1940–41 Oregon State 19–9 9–7 2nd-North
1941–42 Oregon State 18–9 15–3 1st-North
1942–43 Oregon State 19–9 12–6 2nd-North
1943–44 Oregon State 8–16 5–11 t-3rd
1944–45 Oregon State 20–8 10–6 3rd-North
1945–46 Oregon State 13–11 10–6 2nd-North
1946–47 Oregon State 28–5 13–3 1st
1947–48 Oregon State 21–13 10–6 t-1st-North
1948–49 Oregon State 24–12 12–4 1st Final Four
1949–50 Oregon State 13–14 8–8 t-2nd-North
1950–51 Oregon State 14–18 6–10 t-4th-North
1951–52 Oregon State 9–19 3–13 5th-North
1952–53 Oregon State 11–18 6–10 4th-North
1953–54 Oregon State 19–10 11–15 1st-North
1954–55 Oregon State 22–8 15–11 1st
1955–56 Oregon State 8–18 5–11 t-6th-North
1956–57 Oregon State 11–15 6–10 t-6th-North
1957–58 Oregon State 20–6 12–4 t-1st
1958–59 Oregon State 13–13 17–9 6th-North
Oregon State University (Independent) (1959–1964)
1959–60 Oregon State 9–3
1960–61 Oregon State 14–12
1961–62 Oregon State 24–5
1962–63 Oregon State 22–9 Final Four
1963–64 Oregon State 25–4
Oregon State: 599–393
Total: 599–393

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Long time Oregon State coach Slats Gill dead at 64". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. April 6, 1966. p. 14. 
  2. ^ "Sports world mourns Gill's death". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. April 6, 1966. p. 1D. 
  3. ^ a b c d Welsch, Jeff Tales from Oregon State Sports. Sports Publishing. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  4. ^ Gill, the veteran OAC backstop. Accessed 24 March 2008.
  5. ^ a b c "Amory Gill". Retrieved 2007-05-21. 
  6. ^ Applegate, Howard (February 3, 1964). "Retiring coach Slats Gill wtill withoug national flag". The Bulletin (Bend Oregon). UPI. p. 6. 
  7. ^ George Beres, "Basketball's Best Once Were Blackballed from the College Game," History News Network, April 3, 2006. Retrieved February 9, 2011.
  8. ^ "Slats Gill hospitalized in Seattle". Eugene Register-Guard. AP & UPI reports. January 12, 1960. p. 2B. 
  9. ^ "Slats Gill leaves hospital with no guess of future". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. February 3, 1960. p. 10. 
  10. ^ "Slats Gill returns to Corvallis home". Eugene Register-Guard. UPI. February 3, 1960. p. 3C. 
  11. ^ "More than 1,000 at rites for Slats Gill". Eugene Register-Guard. April 8, 1964. p. 1B. 

External links[edit]