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But add them all together and you still come up nearly 600 wins short of Joe Gilbert's all-time win total. A three-sport coach for Barnsdall (Okla.)
, population 1,203, for over 60 years, Gilbert entered the month of October with a staggering all-time win total of 3,905 victories.
No other coach comes close to matching Gilbert's total. The late Jack Curran of Archbishop Molloy (Queens, N.Y.)
won 972 boys basketball games and 1,708 baseball games (not reported to the NFHS) in 55 years of coaching for a total of 2,680 wins. Larry Niemeyer coached in Iowa for 52 years, winning 871 basketball games and 2,089 softball games for a total of 2,960 wins.
Curran and Niemeyer are likely the second and third winningest coaches
in high school history, and yet both are nearly 1,000 wins short of
Then there are Morgan Gilbert of Tuckerman (Ark.)
and Jeff Holman of Haddonfield (N.J.)
. They are the only two coaches believed to have won more than 1,000 in two different sports. Gilbert won 1,077 basketball games and 1,030 baseball games for 2,107 career wins. Holman has had an incredibly similar career as the boys and girls tennis coach, winning 1,138 boys matches and 1,125 girls matches for a total of 2,263 wins.
A trio of Oklahoma baseball coaches also have over 2,000 career wins. The retired Murl Bowen of Asher
is the all-time leader with 2,115 while active coaches Eddie Collins of Latta (Ada)
and Billy Jack Bowen of Silo
have 2,067 and 2,004 wins, respectively. All three coaches played a fall and spring schedule.
But none of those coaches come close to matching Gilbert.
The Barnsdall coach, now 85, takes it all in stride, however. Also the athletic director at Barnsdall, Gilbert says he isn't looking for any publicity and he even admits he doesn't really know how many wins he has. He just enjoys coaching.
"I don't think you will find a bigger sports fan than me," Gilbert said. "I've always loved what I'm doing and I've always looked forward to the next season."
Gilbert arrived at Barnsdall in the fall of 1954, fresh out of Northeastern State University where he played football, basketball and ran a little track.
"I did a little bit of everything in college," Gilbert said. "Sort of like my teaching career. I started out teaching biology and P.E., but I also taught psychology and other classes. I've also coached just about every sport except for wrestling."
In a time when coaches and athletes specialize and participate in just one sport, Gilbert has coached three sports a year for the better part of six decades. In some instances, he coached two sports in one season.
"A few times, our boys and girls basketball teams both went to the state tournament," Gilbert said. "That was challenging because I coached both teams. Any time you go to the state tournament, though, that's a fun time."
Count Gilbert's win totals in just one sport and that stat would be impressive enough. But consider that he has 600 or more wins in four different sports and you begin to understand Gilbert's accomplishment.
Currently coaching fast pitch softball, Gilbert has 1,183 wins, which is believed to rank him No. 9 overall nationally. In girls basketball, Gilbert ranks No. 2 all-time in state history with 917 wins. That total ranks No. 13 all-time nationally.
Gilbert has 801 career baseball wins, which puts him No. 30 in Oklahoma state history. He also has 649 wins in boys basketball, 395 in slow pitch softball and even five wins in football.
His teams have made numerous trips to the state tournament, winning a baseball state championship in 1980 and a slowpitch state crown in 2013.
While Gilbert has had several opportunities to coach somewhere else, he's never left the town where he began his coaching career.
"I started to move several times. I had jobs in college lined up and I was ready to go," said Gilbert. "But I ended up never leaving. Barnsdall is just the type of small town that I like. The people have always treated me good."