Dennis Gilbert, who has been the head coach at St. Joe's since 2010, is stepping down due to health reasons.
He is having back surgery later this month.
The complete press release from the school, issued this morning:
This morning, St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute Head Varsity Football Coach Dennis R. Gilbert ’84 met personally with his players to announce that he is stepping down after 31 years of coaching.
Gilbert, an officer for the Buffalo Police Department, will undergo back surgery later this month to treat an injury sustained in the line of duty. With the outcome of his recovery uncertain, Gilbert made the difficult decision to resign rather than hold back the program and his players’ preparation for the fall season.
“Coaching St. Joe’s has always been an honor. It was a difficult decision, but – especially with the talented and dedicated players we will have next season – the team needs certainty to prepare for what will be a great season,” said Gilbert. “At St. Joe’s, we commit to placing the needs of our young men before anything else.”
Gilbert has been a part of the St. Joe’s football program since the 1980’s, when he suited up as a Marauder. Serving as the varsity coach since 2010, he led the team to one Monsignor Martin League Playoff Championship and one regular season championship.
“Coach Gilbert’s preparation and dedication goes well beyond game day,” said Pete Schneider, St. Joe’s Athletic Director. “The countless hours he spends working with players and their families has helped our young men be successful on the field, in the classroom, and – most importantly – in their personal growth and maturity.”
Upon hearing the announcement this morning from their coach, the players approached him one by one to express their sincere gratitude for all that he has done.
“Dennis Gilbert has unselfishly given so much of his time and talent to our student athletes,” stated St. Joe’s President Robert T. Scott, AFSC. “He has always cared deeply about his players and St. Joe’s – as this difficult decision shows once again. Our entire St. Joe’s community will be praying for his full recovery.”
The school will begin the search for the next varsity football coach immediately.