Seaside Hall of Famer Gene Gilbertson, who coached four state championship teams, and 35 individual state champions, earning him Track and Field Coach of the Year three times for the state. Gilbertson died June 12, at the age of 79.
Gilbertson graduated from North Salem High School in 1959, where he was a state champion in track and field. He received scholarships in track and field, football and academics to attend Linfield, graduating in 1964.
Gilbertson moved to Seaside in 1965 to teach physical education and coach basketball and track. After earning a library degree from Portland State University, he served as librarian at Central School, Cannon Beach Elementary School, Broadway Middle School and Seaside High School.
In 1973, he was hired as head track coach at Seaside High School, retiring in 2007. “Mr. G,” in his years of teaching and coaching, numerous students and athletes were affected by his encouragement, inspiration and his ability to see the potential in all.
Family described him as “an educator, mentor, friend, master gardener, golfer, carpenter, cook and adept salmon fisher, which resulted in many amazing salmon dinners. He had unconditional love for all, even when occasionally out-fished or bested on the golf course.
A celebration of Gene’s life will occur on Saturday, July 13, at 3 p.m., at Beacon On Broadway in Seaside.