About a year ago, head coach Ken Roberts’ 2011-12 Snohomish High girls basketball players adopted the season slogan “Leaving a Legacy” in memory of Keith Gilbertson Sr., who had died nine months earlier at age 83 in his 61st consecutive year as an SHS coach.
To mark the dedication at their home opener, the Panthers wore and distributed t-shirts bearing their slogan and an image of Coach Gilb. Also, the Snohomish Girls Basketball Booster Club created a video that was shown at halftime featuring testimonials about Gilbertson from former standout players who knew him as an assistant on Roberts’ coaching staff.
Players in the video include Kirsten Brockman Reinhard (2001), Anne Bailey (2002), Beth Krause (2002), Daesha Henderson (2006) and Katie Benson (2009). Brockman (UW), Bailey (Gonzaga), Henderson (SPU) and Benson (SPU) were all-state players who went on to play college basketball. Krause, a third-generation Panther player, is now teaching and coaching in Port Angeles.
Among the video highlights:
- Bailey: “When I think about Coach Gilbertson and the impact he had on me and Snohomish High School I think about what a caring guy he was and the number of people he impacted . . . He was “Mr. Snohomish High School” and had such a positive impact on so many people including me.”
- Reinhard: “What I remember most about Coach Gilbertson is his dedication . . . not just on game days and practice days . . . but if you needed extra help he was willing to meet you in the summer, on the weekends . . . and it wasn’t half-hearted dedication but was full-bore . . . I love Coach Gilbertson very much. The legacy he left at Snohomish High School is unmatched and I appreciate all his service and his love and his mentorship.”
- Henderson:: “Once I graduated Coach kept in contact with me via letters, which I think was pretty special . . . He was an amazing guy who impacted so many people it is unbelievable how many he stayed in contact with. It is an awesome thing the Fitness Center is named after him.”
- Benson: “Gilby was an amazing man . . . What made him leave a legacy was how much care he put in for his athletes. For me, even in the middle of football season, or spring or summer, he would create these workouts for me to do because I asked him to. For a guy training so many kids at one time to put in so much effort for just one athlete is what made him so special. He knew how to treat each athlete and what they needed because he knew us personally. It was so amazing for a man that was a legend to put so much care into every athlete. He will always be remembered . . . He’ll always be in my heart.”
- Krause: “I was not a particularly gifted athlete, but I was willing to work hard and that was all the motivation Coach needed. That was one of his greatest coaching qualities — he made all athletes feel important and saw potential for greatness in all kids. Now as a teacher and coach . . . there is hardly a day that goes by when there is not something I use that I learned from Coach . . . He devoted his life to serving kids and coaches.”
To view the entire booster club video, click here. Coach Roberts did most of the camera work. Video editors were Kody Sparks and Conner Brennick.
To view the message Coach Roberts wrote to girls basketball fans in the “Leaving a Legacy” program, click here.
To make a donation toward endowing the the Keith Gilbertson Sr. Memorial Scholarship at SHS permanently, click here.