Keith Gilbertson
Biographical details
Born (1948-05-15) May 15, 1948 (age 71)
Snohomish, Washington
Playing career
1967–1970Central Washington
Columbia Basin JC
Position(s)Offensive line
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Idaho State (GA)
Western Washington (GA)
Washington (GA)
Utah State (OC)
Idaho (OC)
Los Angeles Express (OC)
Idaho (OC)
Washington (OC/OL)
Seattle Seahawks (assistant)
Washington (OC)
Seattle Seahawks (assistant)
Cleveland Browns (scout)
Head coaching record
Tournaments2–3 (I-AA playoffs)
College Football Data Warehouse

Keith Gilbertson, Jr. (born May 15, 1948) is a former American football coach and former player. Gilbertson has served as the head football coach at the University of Idaho (1986–1988), the University of California, Berkeley (1992–1995), and the University of Washington (2003–2004), compiling a career college football record of 55–51. Gilbertson retired in 2011 as a coach.

Early life and playing careerEdit

The son of a high school football coach, Gilbertson grew up in Snohomish, Washington, northeast of Seattle. He graduated from Snohomish High School in 1966 and attended Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Columbia Basin College, the University of Hawaii, and returned to Central Washington, where he received a bachelor's degree in social sciences in 1971. He later earned a degree in education from Western Washington University in 1974.[1]

Coaching careerEdit

After three stints as a graduate assistant, Gilbertson became an offensive coordinator in 1977 at Utah State under head coach Bruce Snyder. After five seasons in Logan, he joined Dennis Erickson's new staff at Idaho, who immediately turned the Vandal program around in 1982, going 8–3 in the regular season and advancing to the quarterfinals of the I-AA playoffs. The following spring, Gilbertson departed for the Los Angeles Express of the newly formed USFL, where he coached as offensive coordinator for three seasons. Following the demise of the league, Gilbertson returned to Idaho in 1985, and the Vandals won their first Big Sky Conference title in 14 seasons. Erickson departed for Wyoming following the 1985 season, and Gilbertson was promoted to head coach of the Vandals program. In his three seasons as head coach (1986–88), Gilbertson's win-loss record was 28–9 (.757). Following consecutive conference championships and advancing to the Division I-AA national semifinals, Gilbertson left Moscow in 1989 for Seattle to become an assistant at Washington under Don James. His three-year stint concluded with the undefeated 1991 national championship team, for which served Gilbertson served as offensive coordinator.

After Washington, Gilbertson became the head coach at California in 1992. Despite leading Cal to a 9–4 record with a decisive victory in the 1993 Alamo Bowl, he was dismissed after his fourth season when the 1995 Bears went 3–8. Gilbertson's overall record at Cal was 20–26 (.435).

After Cal,he was an assistant coach for the NFL's Seattle Seahawks for three seasons (1996–1998) under Erickson. He would serve as the TE coach for the 1997 and 1998 seasons. In 1999, he returned to the Washington Huskies as an assistant head coach under new head coach Rick Neuheisel.

Gilbertson became the head coach at Washington in 2003 following the abrupt summer dismissal of Neuheisel. His first season was fairly respectable at 6-6; only a blowout loss to Cal in the next-to-last game of the season kept the Huskies out of a bowl game. The bottom fell out a year later, in which the Huskies finished 1-10, including only their second winless PCC/Big Five/Pac-8/Pac-10 record in peacetime. He was fired near the end of the season. His record at Washington was 7–16 (.304), the second worst coaching record in the history of the program, next to that of his successor, Tyrone Willingham.[2] He then returned to the Seattle Seahawks as an assistant under Mike Holmgren.

Gilbertson overall record as a collegiate head coach stands at 55–51 (.519).

Head coaching recordEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Idaho Vandals football (Big Sky Conference) (1986–1988)
1986 Idaho 8–4 5–2 T–2nd L NCAA Division I-AA First Round
1987 Idaho 9–3 7–1 1st L NCAA Division I-AA First Round
1988 Idaho 11–2 7–1 1st L NCAA Division I-AA Semifinal
Idaho: 28–9 19–4
California Golden Bears (Pacific-10 Conference) (1992–1995)
1992 California 4–7 2–6 9th
1993 California 9–4 4–4 T–5th W Alamo 24 25
1994 California 4–7 3–5 T–6th
1995 California 3–8 2–6 T–8th
California: 20–26 11–21
Washington Huskies (Pacific-10 Conference) (2003–2004)
2003 Washington 6–6 4–4 T–5th
2004 Washington 1–10 0–8 10th
Washington: 7–16 4–12
Total: 55–51
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. 2003 Washington Football Media Guide, p. 78-79
  2. Raley, Dan - Gilbertson ousted as UW coach. SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, Monday, November 1, 2004

External linksEdit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.