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Former Kansas State Football Coach Vince Gibson Dies At Age 78

Vince Gibson took over a Kansas State football program in 1967 that had gone two succesive seasons without winning a game and brought it back to some respectability in his eight seasons as head coach.

Former Kansas State head coach Vince Gibson
Former Kansas State head coach Vince Gibson

Before Bill Snyder arrived in Manhattan, Vince Gibson had moderate success and some thrilling wins coaching Kansas State football. Gibson, who coached at Kansas State from 1967-74, died Monday after a long struggle with ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

In his eight seasons in Manhattan, Gibson's teams won 33 and lost 52. He led the Wildcats' to their first national ranking in 1969, and that same year they beat their first ranked opponent, walloping 11th-ranked Oklahoma and Heisman Trophy winner Steve Owens by a count of 59-21.

One year later, Gibson's 1970 team, led by one of the Big Eight's all-time great quarterbacks in Lynn Dickey, finished the year with a 6-5 overall record, the first non-losing season by the Wildcats since 1954. He was named Big Eight Coach of the Year that same season. In Gibson's first season at Kansas State, 1967, his team went 1-9.

"Coach Gibson was instrumental in the development of the K-State football program, and we appreciate all that he and his wife, Cecile, have done for Kansas State University," athletic director John Currie said.

After Kansas State, Gibson coached at Louisville for five seasons and, later, for two years at Tulane.

Funeral services are pending.