The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) annually bestows an honor, regarded as the highest achievable accolade in high school sports and activities, upon 12 individuals with their respective enshrinement into the NFHS National High School Hall of Fame. The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) is proud to announce that long-time girls’ basketball coach at John Marshall Metropolitan High School in Chicago, the winningest basketball coach in IHSA history, Dorothy Gaters, has been selected as a member of the 2018 NFHS National High School Hall of Fame inductee class.
“Dorothy Gaters is high school basketball in Illinois,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson, “That is something that I don’t say lightly when you take into consideration the history and tradition of high school basketball in this state, and especially in the city of Chicago. There are plenty of legendary coaches and players, but none has done it as long or as successfully as Dorothy.”
Dorothy is the 28th individual representing the IHSA to be honored in the NFHS National High School Hall of Fame and will be formally honored at an enshrinement ceremony banquet on Monday, July 2, 2018 as a part of the 2018 NFHS Summer Meeting in Chicago. Inductees must be nominated by their respective state association and categorized based on their contributions as Athletes, Coaches, Officials, Administrators or in the Fine Arts. Dorothy is the ninth IHSA enshrinee to represent the Coach category.
“It is a great honor to be inducted into the NFHS Hall of Fame,” said Dorothy. “It is recognizing the accomplishments of so many dedicated young ladies who have made it possible for me to be a recipient. Our families, city, school and community share this award.”
Dorothy’s amazing coaching career at her alma mater began in 1975, while just weeks ago she captured her ninth state championship when Marshall defeated Harlan in the IHSA Class 2A title game. With 1,106 career victories and counting, Gaters has won more games than any other high school basketball coach in Illinois, while ranking in the Top 10 in girls’ basketball nationally. She has never encountered a losing season en route to 27 state final appearances, which include three runner-up finishes and eight other state final trophies.
“Dorothy is the epitome of what a coach should be in an interscholastic athletic program,” said Calvin Davis, current Proviso West High School Athletic Director and former Chicago Public Schools Director of Sports Administration. “It is difficult to find words that give justice to what she has achieved as a teacher, coach, mentor and role model. No one has brought more dedication, desire, hard work and commitment than Coach Gaters. She has impacted thousands and thousands of students.”
Marshall High School has undergone significant change throughout Dorothy’s tenure, but her presence and the success of her program have remained a constant. Marshall had an enrollment of over 2200 students when she won her first state title in 1982, while this year’s title team draws from a student population of under 400. In 41 seasons, Dorothy has never had a team finish .500 or below, while her squads have won 20 games or more in 37 of those campaigns.
“Historically, we have waited until coaches retire to nominate them for the NFHS National High School Hall of Fame,” said Anderson. “When you consider Dorothy Gaters’ success and all the kids she has impacted throughout her career, all right here in Chicago, it felt right to set that practice aside and see her be inducted here in her city.”
Dorothy’s countless career accolades include induction in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000, as well as receiving the Morgan Wootten Lifetime Achievement Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009. She is a member of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) Hall of Fame and has been one of the organization’s Coaches of the Year on 19 different occasions. Throughout the years, Dorothy has been selected to coach the Junior Olympic team, assisted at the U.S. Olympic Festival and has coached in both the WBCA and McDonald’s All-American games.
The other members of the 2018 Hall of
Fame Class include: — Tom Osborne (Athlete, NE), Dick Fosbury (Athlete, OR), Nicole Powell (Athlete, AZ), Carrie Tollefson (Athlete, MN), Miller Bugliari (Coach, NJ), Buddy Anderson (Coach, AL), Jeff Meister (Coach, HI), Bill O’Neil (Coach, VT), Roger Barr (Official, IA), Dick Neal (Administrator, MA) and Bill Zurkey (Arts, OH). Click here for NFHS release on HOF class
Dorothy Gaters is the 28th NFHS National High School Hall of Fame member from Illinois, joining:
Norm Geske (Official from Buffalo Grove, inducted in 1982)
H.V. Porter (IHSA & NFHS Staff, 1982)
Arthur Trout (Coach at Centralia, 1982)
Dwight "Dike" Eddleman (Athlete at Centralia, 1983)
Vergil Fletcher (Coach at Collinsville, 1983)
Milt Sprunger (IHSA Staff, 1983)
Fred "Brick" Young (Official from Bloomington, 1983)
Harold "Red" Grange (Athlete at Wheaton, 1984)
Bart Connor (Athlete at Niles West, 1986)
John Griffith (Special contributor from Chicago, 1986)
Charles Farina (Coach at Leyden & Gordon Tech, 1987)
Quinn Buckner (Athlete at Thornridge, 1989)
Gordon Gillespie (Coach at Joliet Catholic, 1989)
Jackie Joyner-Kersee (Athlete at East St. Louis Lincoln, 1989)
Keith Parker (Official from Granite City, 1990)
David Robertson (Coach at New Trier, 1991)
William "Red" Schmitt (Coach at Granite City, 1993)
Tom Frederick (IHSA & NFHS Staff, 1994)
Larry Wilcoxen (Official from Walnut, 1994)
Ola Bundy (IHSA Staff, 1996)
Dick Deitz (Official from McLeansboro, 1996)
Joe Newton (Coach at York, 2004)
Dana Miroballi (Athlete at Wheeling, 2009)
Jan Heiteen (Fine Arts, Coach at Downers Grove South, 2012)
Haig Nighohossian (Official from Granite City, 2013)
Peg Kopec (Coach at Wheaton St. Francis, 2016)
Bill Laude (Official from Frankfort, 2017)