Slats Gill

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Amory T. "Slats" Gill
Slats-Gill.jpg
Sport(s) Basketball
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Oregon State
Biographical details
Born May 1, 1901
Salem, Oregon
Died April 5, 1966
Corvallis, Oregon
Playing career
1922-1924 Oregon State
Position(s) Forward
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1928-1964 Oregon State
Head coaching record
Overall 599-392
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
Regional Championships - Final Four (1949, 1963)Pacific Coast Conference championship 1933, 1947, 1949, 1955, 1958
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1968

Amory Tingle "Slats" Gill (May 1, 1901 – April 5, 1966) was a men's basketball and baseball coach at Oregon State University.

Early life

Gill was born in Salem, Oregon, the youngest of eight children. His father died when he was a child. His nickname "Slats" was given to him at age 12. Gill was swimming in a local pond one summer afternoon. Upon exiting the pond, a buddy joked with Gill about his scrawny frame with his ribs protruding, which he said looked like slats in a picket fence. Gill was from then on known as Slats.1

Gill attended Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University) in Corvallis, Oregon. While at OAC, he played baseball from 1919 to 19212 and basketball from 1922 to 1924. Gill was an All-American forward in 1924.3

Coaching career

Gill's first head coaching position was at a high school in Oakland, California. After one season there, he returned to Corvallis to be the head coach of the Rooks (the OSU freshman team). He spent two seasons in that capacity.1

In the summer of 1928, OAC's current head coach Bob Hager was fired by then school president Jasper Kerr. Kerr did not look far for his new head coach. Even though Gill was only 27 years old and had just three years of coaching under his belt, Kerr hired him as the head basketball coach.1

In his tenure, Oregon State won five Pacific Coast Conference titles, four Northern Division championships, and a pair of Final Four appearances (1949 and 1963). His teams won eight consecutive Far West Classic titles. Gill had 599 coaching victories with the Beavers.

Gill also coached the Beavers' baseball team from 1932 to 1937.

As past president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, Slats coached in the 1964 NABC All-Star Game.

Legacy

When he retired from coaching in 1964, Gill became the Oregon State athletic director, a position he held until his death from a stroke in 1966.3

Gill was elected a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. Oregon State's basketball arena, Gill Coliseum, is named for him.

Gill was the first OSU coach to have an African American player to play on the team. Norman Monroe was a walk on and was the first black basketball player to play at OSU and played for the team for half of the 1960-1961 season.4 The first recruited, scholarship black athlete to be named to the OSU basketball team arrived only in 1966, when Charlie White was named to the squad.5

This policy of institutionalized racism in OSU athletics would come to a head in another of the school's major sports when in 1968 OSU football player Fred Milton would clash with Head Coach Dee Andros over grooming policy — a battle reduced to racial terms as a struggle of black athletes against white coaches and administrators. In the supercharged political climate of the decade, the so-called Milton Affair would lead to a protest march and a walk out of classes in sympathy and the mass departure of African-American athletes from the OSU football team.6 It would be several years until tensions abated and Oregon State sports could be called fully integrated.

Personal life

Gill Coliseum

Gill met his wife, Helen, on a blind date at OAC in the early 1920s. They were married in 1932. They raised two children, a son John, and a daughter Jane.1

Head coaching record

Basketball

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason


Oregon State University (Pacific Coast Conference) (1928–1959)
1928–1929 Oregon State 12-8 4-6 4th-North
1929–1930 Oregon State 14-13 7-9 4th-North
1930–1931 Oregon State 19-9 9-7 3rd-North
1931–1932 Oregon State 12-12 8-8 3rd-North
1932–1933 Oregon State 21-6 12-4 1st
1933–1934 Oregon State 14-20 7-9 3rd-North
1934–1935 Oregon State 19-9 12-4 1st-North
1935–1936 Oregon State 16-9 10-6 2nd-North
1936–1937 Oregon State 11-1 5-11 4th-North
1937–1938 Oregon State 17-16 6-14 5th-North
1938–1939 Oregon State 13-11 6-10 4th-North
1939–1940 Oregon State 27-11 12-4 1st-North
1940–1941 Oregon State 19-9 9-7 2nd-North
1941–1942 Oregon State 22-7 15-3 1st-North
1942–1943 Oregon State 22-9 12-6 2nd-North
1943–1944 Oregon State 8-16 5-11 t-3rd
1944–1945 Oregon State 20-8 10-6 3rd-North
1945–1946 Oregon State 13-11 10-6 2nd-North
1946–1947 Oregon State 28-5 13-3 1st
1947–1948 Oregon State 21-13 10-6 t-1st-North
1948–1949 Oregon State 24-12 12-4 1st Final Four
1949–1950 Oregon State 13-14 8-8 t-2nd-North
1950–1951 Oregon State 14-18 6-10 t-4th-North
1951–1952 Oregon State 9-19 3-13 5th-North
1952–1953 Oregon State 11-18 6-10 4th-North
1953–1954 Oregon State 19-10 11-15 1st-North
1954–1955 Oregon State 22-8 15-11 1st
1955–1956 Oregon State 8-18 5-11 t-6th-North
1956–1957 Oregon State 11-15 6-10 t-6th-North
1957–1958 Oregon State 20-6 12-4 t-1st
1958–1959 Oregon State 13-13 17-9 6th-North
Oregon State University (Independent) (1959–1964)
1959–1960 Oregon State 15-11
1960–1961 Oregon State 14-12
1961–1962 Oregon State 24-5
1962–1963 Oregon State 22-9 Final Four
1963–1964 Oregon State 25-4
Oregon State: 599-392
Total: 599-392

      National champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d Welsch, Jeff Tales from Oregon State Sports. Sports Publishing. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  2. ^ Gill, the veteran OAC backstop. Accessed 24 March 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Amory Gill". HickokSports.com. Retrieved 2007-05-21. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ George Beres, "Basketball's Best Once Were Blackballed from the College Game," History News Network, April 3, 2006. Retrieved February 9, 2011.
  6. ^ Paul Buker, "'Giant Killers' Standout Milton Befriended Coach After Clash," The Oregonian, February 9, 2011, pp. D1, D3.

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