Coach Dan Dittmer will “never forget” one of Mr. Gilbertson’s letters

Coach Gilbertson was well known for his prolific letter-writing. It was how he kept in touch. From thanking people to congratulating them to encouraging them, he wrote a lot of letters. Here is a story from a reader whose life was forever changed by one of those letters:

Mr. Gilbertson had graduated a year after my mother and a year before one of my uncles from Snohomish. I was first introduced to Mr. Gilbertson through a letter I received from him my sophomore year. In it he congratulated me on my junior high track season for the Snohomish Cubs and invited me to turn out for cross country at SHS. I will never forget that letter. Mr. Gilbertson motivated me to bust my tail to be in the top half of the team and earn a letter. Mr. Gilbertson knew how to push my buttons and get me to run the quarter in track season. I loved that quarter. Unfortunately, we moved after my sophomore year and I never got to run for him anymore. That was the biggest regret of my high school athletic career. However, that year of cross country and track remains with me today. Mr. Gilbertson is the reason I am starting my forty-first year of coaching track and field along with cross country.

Dan Dittmer

Keith Olson poked around  the Internet a bit and found this outstanding piece in the Kitsap Sun about Coach Dittmer and his career.  Coach Gilbertson would be very proud of Coach Dittmer: http://web.kitsapsun.com/redesign/2004-04-04/sports/prepfriday/440468.shtml.

If you would like to submit your story about how Coach Gilbertson affected your life click here and fill in the form.

To contribute to Coach Gilbertson’s scholarship click here and fill in the form – 100% of your donation will go to his scholarship recipients.

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