Joe Gilbert

November 5, 30-July 13, 2020

Joe Gilbert passed away on July 13, 2020 in Oklahoma. He was born in Roxdale, MO near the old Shell Pipe Line station on 11/5/1930, 9 Mi. south of Buffalo. He graduated from Buffalo HS in 1947, having played on the Basketball & Baseball teams. After graduating from high school, he joined the Air Force & was stationed at Moses Lake Air Force Base in the state of Washington. He received his BS & Master’s degree in Education from NE State University in Tahlequah, OK where he had an athletic scholarship & lettered in football, basketball, baseball & track, one of very few students to ever accomplish this feat. In 1954 he accepted a teaching & coaching job at Barnsdall High School where he remained until his recent death (66 years) as a teacher, coach & Athletic Director. Throughout his legendary career he amassed 3,912 wins as a high school coach in several different sports & was proclaimed “high school sports winningest coach” with the most wins of any coach in national high school history. He was referred to as “The Legend” which he was embarrassed by. He always said “the kids won” those games. He was inducted into the NE State University Hall of Fame, Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Oklahoma High School Softball Coaches Hall of Fame, Oklahoma HS Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, Oklahoma HS Slow Pitch Softball Coaches Hall of Fame, Oklahoma HS Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, Oklahoma HS Girls Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame & Oklahoma HS Slow Pitch Softball Coaches Hall of Fame. In 2018 he was honored at the Tulsa World All World Awards with Blue Cross Blue Shield Lifetime Achievement Award & in 2019 he was inducted into the National Federation of High School Associations National High School Hall of Fame. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank & Delphia Gilbert, three brothers, Fred Gilbert (killed in WWII), Harry Gilbert (died before Joe’s birth at the age of 6 days), & Bill Gilbert. Joe is survived by his wife Joyce Gilbert of Barnsdall, OK; sister Jean Gilbert Lockerby of Lusby, MD; & several nieces & nephews. A Memorial service was conducted on the Barnsdall, OK high school football field on Saturday, July 18th. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to American Heritage Bank account in Barnsdall, OK for improvements to the Joe Gilbert fieldhouse.

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