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Former Knight head coach, Gopher star Gibson dies

August 23, 2004 at 8:44 am

Former Carleton head coach and University of Minnesota All-American George Gibson died Thursday in his home in Midland, Texas, at the age of 98. He led the Knights to the 1936 Midwest Conference title and compiled a 21-13-2 mark in four seasons.

Gibson, who played and roomed with the legendary Bronko Nagurski at the University of Minnesota, has his name, along with Nagurski's, on the Gophers' football training facility, the Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex.

He was born October 2, 1905 to Thomas Randall Gibson and Isabelle Skene Gibson in Kendaia, N.Y. He married Orpha Olsen on June 17, 1929 in Faribault, Minn. Gibson graduated from Medford High School in Medford, Okla, and from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. degree in 1930 and a PhD in geology in 1934. He led the 1927 team to an unbeaten record (with two ties) and was an All-American and captain on the 1928 squad that went 6-2-0.

He taught geology and coached football at Carleton College before moving to Midland, Texas. His best season at Carleton came in 1936 when Carleton posted a 6-1-0 mark, with its lone loss coming to the University of Iowa. The team was 3-0-0 in MWC play, claiming a share of the conference crown. In his first season, 1934, Carleton was 6-1-0 as well, outscoring its opponents 85-14 and posting five shutouts in seven contests. The 1935 squad also tallied five shutouts despite going 3-2-2. His .611 career winning percentage is the second-best in program history among coaches with four or more seasons as the head coach.

Gibson received many honors and awards in his field, among them the Petroleum Museum Hall of Fame in 2001.

He was preceded in death by his wife in 1993. Gibson is survived by his sons, Randall Gibson and Richard Gibson and his wife, Nancy. He is also survived by three grandchildren, Gina Gibson, Marisa Burns, Sally Agar and three great-grandchildren, all of Midland. Also surviving is his sister, Margaret Gibson Borlaug of Dallas and several nieces and nephews.