Gordie Gillespie

Gordie Gillespie
Sport(s) Football, basketball, baseball
Biographical details
Born (1926-03-14) March 14, 1926 (age 88)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)



Joliet Catholic HS (IL)
St. Francis (IL)


Joliet Catholic HS (IL)
St. Francis (IL)
St. Francis (IL)
Head coaching record
Overall 1,893–952–2 (college baseball)
220–117 (college basketball)
222–54–6 (high school football)
College Baseball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2009

Gordie Gillespie (born March 14, 1926) is an American baseball, football and basketball coach. He has been a head baseball coach for 58 years at Lewis University, Ripon College, and the University of St. Francis. With a career coaching record of 1,893–952–2,[1] Gillespie has the most wins of any coach in college baseball history.[2][3][4] He has held the title as college baseball's winningest coach since 1993 when he passed the prior record set by USC's Rod Dedeaux.[5][6] He won his 1,800th game in April 2009 at age 82. He was also inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009.[4]

Playing career

Gillespie graduated from Kelvyn Park High School in Chicago, Illinois, and enrolled at DePaul University.[7] He played basketball at DePaul under coach Ray Meyer and toured with the College All-Stars when they played the Harlem Globetrotters.[3][8]

Coaching career

At age 26, Gillespie began his head coaching career at Lewis University in 1953. He was the head coach at Lewis from 1953 to 1976 and compiled a record there of 634 wins and 241 losses. His Lewis teams won three straight NAIA World Series championships from 1974 to 1976.[7] His Lewis baseball teams also finished among the top five teams nationally in 1962 (3rd), 1963 (5th), 1966 (2nd), 1971 (3rd), and 1972 (5th).[3] Gillespie also coached the Lewis Flyers basketball team from 1950 to 1965.[7]

Gillespie was the head baseball coach at Ripon College in Wisconsin for 10 years from 1996 to 2005. In 10 years at Ripon, he led the Ripon Red Hawks to a record of 239 wins and 130 losses. His Ripon teams advanced to the NCAA III playoffs six of his last seven years and won five league titles.[7]

Gillespie served as the baseball coach at St. Francis from 1977 to 1995 and again from 2006 to 2010. During his first stint at St. Francis, he led his team to the World Series on eight occasions. His 1993 won 38 of its final 39 games and won the national championship by any St. Francis team.[7] His Joliet baseball teams won the national championship in 1993 and finished in 5th place in 1978, 3rd place in 1985, 2nd place in 1989, 3rd place in 1990 and 5th place in 1995.[3] Gillespie also served as the head coach of the women's basketball team at St. Francis from 1976 to 1993.[3]

Gillespie has also had a successful career as a football coach. He was the head football coach at Joliet Catholic High School for 27 years and compiled a record there of 222 wins 54 losses and 6 ties. His Joliet football teams won five Illinois Class 5A state championships in 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1981.[3][7] In 1991, Gillespie was selected by the Chicago Tribune as the head coach of the newspaper's All-Time Illinois High School Football Team. Gillespie also started the football program at St. Francis University in 1986.[7]

In 1998, Gillespie was named the NAIA "Coach of the Century" by Collegiate Baseball Magazine.[9]

Asked about retirement in 2006, Gillespie said, "God will retire me. He'll tell me when it's time."[8]

Gillespie passed the St. Francis coaching reins to his assistant coach, Brian Michalak, for 2012.[10]

See also


External links

  • St. Francis baseball profile