Gib Holgate
Biographical details
Born(1920-08-13)August 13, 1920
Gary, Indiana
DiedNovember 7, 2011(2011-11-07) (aged 91)
Southbury, Connecticut
Playing career
Head coaching record

James Gibson "Gib" Holgate (August 13, 1920 – November 7, 2011) was an American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at Hillsdale College in 1948, compiling a record of 6–2–1. Holgate was later an assistant football coach and an administrator in the athletic department at Yale University.

Early yearsEdit

Holgate was born in Gary, Indiana, in 1920 and spent his youth in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[1] His father, Clarence G. Holgate, was an engineer with a steel construction company. At the time of the 1930 United States Census, Holgate was living with his parents, four sisters, and a brother in Shorewood, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.[2] At the time of the 1940 United States Census, Holgate was living in McGill, White Pine County, Nevada, where he was living in a men's dormitory and working as a "surveyor helper" at a copper smelter.[3]

Wisconsin and MichiganEdit

Holgate enrolled at the University of Wisconsin where he played freshman football. After the United States entered World War II, Holgate enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. In 1943, he was transferred to the University of Michigan as part of the V-12 Navy College Training Program. While at Michigan, he played at the halfback position for the 1943 Michigan Wolverines football team that tied for the Big Ten Conference championship and was ranked No. 3 in the final AP Poll.[1]

In October 1943, Holgate and several Michigan players who were part of the V-12 program received orders transferring them to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, effective immediately after the homecoming game against Minnesota on October 23, 1943.[4] Holgate served on an assault transport in the Pacific Theater of Operations and attained the rank of a lieutenant colonel.[1]

In 1946, after concluding his military service, Holgate returned to the University of Michigan where he received both bachelor's and master's degrees. He served as a graduate assistant to Fritz Crisler on the undefeated 1947 Michigan Wolverines football team.[1][5]

Coaching/administrative careerEdit

In 1948, he was hired as the head football coach and athletic director at Hillsdale College. He compiled a 6–2–1 record in his one season as the football coach at Hillsdale.[1][5]

In March 1949, he was hired as an assistant football coach at Yale University.[6] He became the coach of the freshman football team in 1951. He served as the freshman coach for 14 years, compiling a record of 52–26–7.[1][7] He became Yale's assistant athletic director in 1961,[8] and associate athletic director in 1967. He was also a fellow at Yale's Morse College. He remained at Yale until 1984. Gibson also served on the executive committee of the New England Athletic Conference and the executive council of the Eastern College Athletic Council (ECAC). He was also the author of "Fundamental Football" published in 1959.[1][5]


Holgate was married to Marjorie Koch Holgate in approximately 1945. They had three children, Randy Lowe Holgate, Chris Ann Pearce, John Gibson Holgate. Holgate died at age 91 on November 7, 2011, in Southbury, Connecticut.[1][5]

Head coaching recordEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Hillsdale Dales (Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1948)
1948 Hillsdale 6–2–1
Hillsdale: 6–2–1
Total: 6–2–1
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 "James Gibson Holgate". New Haven Register. November 13, 2011.
  2. Census entry for Clarence G. Holgate and family. Son James G. Holgate, age 9 (as of April 1930), born in Indiana. Year: 1930; Census Place: Shorewood, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Roll: 2600; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 364; Image: 253.0; FHL microfilm: 2342334. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line].
  3. Census entry for Gibson Holgage, age 19 (as of April 1940), born in Indiana, resident of Milwaukee in 1935. Year: 1940; Census Place: Ely, White Pine, Nevada; Roll: T627_2282; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 17-5. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line].
  4. Edward Burns (October 23, 1943). "Minnesota Battles Michigan: Last Game for White, Captain of the Wolverines; Gets Service Call; So Does Daley". Chicago Daily Tribune: p. 19.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "James "Gib" Holgate Retired Yale coach". Waterbury Republican-American. November 2011.
  6. "Holgate Appointed To Yale Grid Staff". Hartford Courant. March 30, 1949.,%201949&author=&pub=Hartford%20Courant&edition=&startpage=&desc=Holgate%20Appointed%20To%20Yale%20Grid%20Staff.
  7. "Gib Holgate Will Speak at Sports Dinner". Hartford Courant. December 7, 1960.,%201960&author=&pub=Hartford%20Courant&edition=&startpage=&desc=Gib%20Holgate%20Will%20Speak%20at%20Sports%20Dinner.
  8. "Holgate Given Yale Promotion". Hartford Courant. June 15, 1961.,%201961&author=&pub=Hartford%20Courant&edition=&startpage=&desc=Holgate%20Given%20Yale%20Promotion.
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