ne of the most legendary coaches in sports history, Gordon “Gordie” Gillepsie, passed away at age 88 on February 28, 2015.
Gillespie is well known for winning 1,893 collegiate baseball games, which was the most in baseball history until Auggie Garrido of Texas surpassed the mark in 2014.
Before his time as a successful collegiate coach, Gillespie made his mark at the high school ranks. He led Joliet Catholic to four consecutive IHSA Football State Championships from 1975-1978, and then a fifth state crown in 1983 when he was named the National High School Football Coach of the Year by the NFHS.
The NFHS enshrined him in its National High School Hall of Fame
, the highest achievable honor in high school sports and activities, in 1989.
Gillespie moved to Ripon, Wisconsin in the mid-1990’s and helped the Ripon High School football team to a WIAA state title in his third year as an assistant coach. He also became a special assistant to current Joliet Catholic football coach Dan Sharp, who he coached in high school, beginning in 1999. Gillespie was with the Hilltoppers through summer camp and then made the trip from Wisconsin to attend the final practice and game each weekend. He was a part of several more state championship teams in that capacity.
Across all sports and levels, he compiled a remarkable tally of 2,402 coaching wins in 61 years.
A look below at how Gordie was remembered:
Joliet Herald News Story
Joliet Herald News