Gillespie says he will retire
|Bob Gillespie has been
Ripon's head men's basketball coach for 32
Ripon athletics photo
The 2012-13 school year will be the first time in 34 years that Bob Gillespie won't be roaming the sidelines as a head coach at Ripon. The Red Hawks' long-time men's basketball and baseball head coach has announced his retirement, effective at the conclusion of the 2012 baseball season. Entering his final season as head coach, Gillespie has compiled a combined coaching record of 852-517-3 in basketball and baseball.
As Ripon's men's basketball coach, Gillespie took the Red Hawks to new heights, winning six Midwest Conference championships and taking the team to 10 NCAA Tournaments, while averaging 16 wins per season. In his 32 years as head coach, Gillespie saw just four losing seasons, while recording a school-record 22 consecutive winning campaigns from 1983-2004. He finished his career this year as the school's all-time winningest basketball coach. His 510-248 career record gives him a winning percentage of .673, which is amongst the top 40 in Division-III history. As head men's basketball coach, Gillespie has coached four All-Americans, three Academic All-American selections, 14 All-Region selections, 76 All-Conference performers and five MWC Players of the Year, including his son Scott Gillespie '11, who is Ripon's career scoring and assist leader.
"I know I will never be able to accurately describe my feelings for Ripon College and the many great players I have had the privilege to coach," said Gillespie. "I have been very fortunate to have worked at such a great institution with excellent coaches and the faculty and staff have been very supportive during my 33 years at Ripon College."
On the baseball diamond, Gillespie is in his 23rd season as head coach where he has led Ripon to six conference championships and three NCAA Division III playoff appearances, while compiling a 342-269-3 (.559) record. One highlight of Gillespie's baseball coaching career came during the 2006 season when the Red Hawks became the first MWC team to go undefeated in a 16-game conference season. He was a part of seven more MWC baseball championships as an assistant coach under his father Gordie from 1995-2005.
"The experience and memories that Ripon College have given me has been wonderful for my family," said Gillespie. "I was able to coach with my father for 10 years and coaching my son Scott was the biggest thrill I've ever had as a coach. I am retiring because it is the right time to do so, but the memories will last a lifetime."
Gillespie has earned several distinguished awards and honors during his storied career, including his induction into the Ripon College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996 and into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Hall of Fame in 2008. Possibly his greatest honor came in 2010 when the college announced that the basketball court in Wyman Gymnasium at Storzer Center shall be named "Bob Gillespie Court."
"Bob has helped put Ripon College on the map through his coaching and guidance of countless student-athletes," Ripon athletic director Julie Johnson said. "He has held nearly every job in the athletic department over the years, including coach, advisor, professor and Athletic Director. He left an indelible mark on Ripon College that will last forever and he will be missed by everyone."
A 1971 graduate of Lewis University, Gillespie began his coaching career at Wausau Newman High School before joining Ripon during the 1979-80 school year, where he served one year as an assistant basketball coach under Kermit "Doc" Weiske '50.