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Collected Wisdom: Joe Gilbert, Barnsdall girls basketball coach

Joe Gilbert hasn't always been a coach at Barnsdall, although it sure feels that way. Shortly after the Missouri native graduated from Northeastern State University in 1954, he was hired to coach a little bit of everything in the small town north of Tulsa. Since,
by Ryan Aber Published: March 9, 2013
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/articleid/3764532/1/pictures/1977874">Photo - Joe Gilbert, Barnsdall (55 years).  If there is one dean of coaching in Oklahoma, Gilbert is it. He's been coaching at the same place since 1955, coaching boys and girls basketball, baseball and softball  -  having success at each.
Joe Gilbert, Barnsdall (55 years). If there is one dean of coaching in Oklahoma, Gilbert is it. He's been coaching at the same place since 1955, coaching boys and girls basketball, baseball and softball - having success at each.

I get asked that every day it seems like — how long I'm going to coach. That's been happening for about the last 10 years. I don't pay attention to it much.

I just kind of go with the flow. The game has changed and I've changed with it. Probably one of the biggest things that has changed is the faster flow of the game now. I don't mind it. Those kids love it.

I never have had much trouble relating to my players. That part's always come naturally to me. I don't know what it is.

I had a baseball team beat three years in a row in the state tournament, twice in the finals by one run. You remember those. You remember the tough losses more than you do the tough wins for some reason.

If someone wanted to get into coaching, I'd tell them they better really like it. You better really like the game because it's not all gravy. You've got a lot of different people to deal with and just because you love the game, doesn't mean they all will. You've got to deal with so much more than just the games, though — facilities and schedules and everything else.

You're not always going to have good material every year, especially at a place like Barnsdall. When you don't have good kids, you do the best you can. You just deal with what you've got.

Coaching so many sports for me was always a good thing for me. When one season ends, you're sad. It gives me a chance to kind of forget that because there's always the next sport to look forward to. I'm never glad for a season to end, and having another sport helps you get over all that.

by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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