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Ken Gibson, the first Black head coach at Ole Miss, passes away

Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Track & Field/Facebook.

This morning, Dr. Ken Gibson, the first Black head coach at Ole Miss, passed away at the age of 88. The former coach led the Rebels track & field and cross country program from 1985 to 1988.

During his time at Ole Miss, Gibson coached two Olympians for the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul: Allan Ince for Barbados (400-meter hurdles) and Gary Kinder for Team USA (decathlon). He also coached All-American Earl Bridges, who finished seventh in the outdoor triple jump in 1986, and he oversaw the beginning of the Ole Miss women’s track & field program, which started his first season in 1985-86.

At the end of his three years with the Rebels, Gibson’s teams won one NCAA team title and five individual national championships. Ole Miss was Gibson’s final collegiate coaching position before taking a position as an adjunct professor in physical education at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky.

Gibson has published numerous articles in Scholastic Coach, Track Technique, and Varsity Magazine, and he was a contributor to the Athletics Congress Coaches Manual. He has served as a staff member of numerous international teams, including as head coach of the 1997 USA World Indoor Championship Team.

The former coach is also a member of several halls of fame, including the KSU Hall of Fame and the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Hall of Fame.

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