OXFORD, Miss. (WJTV) – Former Ole Miss track & field head coach Dr. Ken Gibson, who was the first Black head coach in the history of Ole Miss Athletics, passed away on Wednesday, July 27. He was 88.
Gibson led the Rebel track & field and cross country programs from 1985 to 1988. During that time, he 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).
According to a news release from the University of Mississippi, Gibson 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.
Gibson’s teams won one NCAA team title and five individual national championships.
Gibson graduated from Indiana University in 1955 and obtained his master’s in 1958. He received his doctorate from Brigham Young University in 1978.
His tenure at Ole Miss from 1985-88 was his final coaching stop.
Since 1991, he has been an adjunct professor in physical education at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky.
Gibson is a member of several halls of fame, including the KSU Hall of Fame and the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Gibson is survived by his wife and two children. A service is scheduled for Friday, August 5 at the Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Frankfort, Kentucky. Visitation is set for 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., with a funeral mass to begin at 11:30 a.m.