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Dr. Kenneth Dorcel Gibson

Dr. Kenneth Dorcel Gibson

Feb 19, 1934

Jul 28, 2022


Dr. Kenneth Dorcel Gibson, 88, of Frankfort, KY died July 28, 2022 at Frankfort Regional Medical Center

Family “The Good Shepherd”

Quote “Don’t worry about the mule going blind, sit in the wagon, and hold the line!”

Dr. Kenneth Dorcel Gibson was an inspiration to everyone who simply met him. His infectious spirit radiated the space around him, he left everyone wanting to be a better person.

He was born on February 19, 1934, in Brooklyn, New York to the loving parents of Delila Mainor Gibson and Luther Henry Gibson. He was preceded in death by his parents, older brother Luther Gibson Jr., younger sister Lila Mae Jacobs and son Kenneth Gibson Jr.

Known as Kenny by family, he was an ardent family man. And, he met the love of his life Betty Mae Greene, a sophomore Music major from New Orleans, Louisiana. Upon learning another suitor was going to give her his fraternity pin, he countered and told her he had no time for games and wanted her to wear his Kappa Alpha Psi pin and go steady. The rest is history. They were united in holy matrimony on August 22, 1960 and have shared 62 years of wedded bliss. Their first son, Kenneth Gibson Jr. passed on to his Lord in infancy. Kenneth and Betty opened their hearts and home to their son Tracy Jerome Gibson in 1964, and then baby daughter Tamara Angelique Gibson in 1966. Today they both honor their parents’ legacies of being life-long educators. Tracy is currently a teacher and track coach, and Tamara is a teacher and currently a professional school counselor.

Kenny was fiercely faithful to family. His career may have taken him around the country or world, but family was first. And, building security, stability, and trust, Kenny believes there was no substitute for family. His family also includes his grandson Joshua Kenneth Gibson Jr., sister-in-law Lyndia Faust, brother-in-law Jerome Greene (Sue) and a host of nieces and nephews;. extended family of countless former athletes, students, professional peers, and close friends.

Education “The Phenomenon”

The quote “Go to school, learn the rules, and don’t act a fool!”

Dr. Gibson is the true representation of a life-long learner. Educated in Brooklyn, New York School District, Kenneth graduated from Boys High School in 1951. His athletic ability and academic achievement garnered him a track and field athletic scholarship to Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana where he obtained his Bachelor’s in 1955.

He then enlisted into the United States Army and served on active duty until 1957. He remained in the US Army Reserve and was honorably discharged in 1962.

Upon leaving active duty in 1957, Kenneth immediately returned to IU and attained his master’s degree in health and Safety in 1958. He then earned his Educational Specialist Degree from Eastern Kentucky University in 1973. Dually, at his time he was commissioned Lieutenant Commander in the United States Naval Reserve as a Campus Liaison until present.

In his true pioneer form, he then attained his Doctoral degree in Physical Education from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah in 1978.

Dr. Gibson has published numerous articles in Scholastic Coach, Track Technique, and Varsity Magazine and he was a contributor to the Athletics Congress Coaches Manual. He has served as a staff member of numerous international teams, including as Head Coach of the 1997 World Indoor Championship Team.

Professional “The Icon”

The quote “Don’t fake a move, make a move!”

Dr. Gibson is the true representation of a trend setter. He began his coaching career in sports in 1958 in New York at his Alma Mater Boys High School as the head track & field and cross-country coach. He led his teams to five (5) New York City Championships and four (4) Brooklyn Borough Track & Field Championships. In 1964, he became the head track and cross-country coach at Florida A&M University. In 1966, he took a similar position at Grambling State University. One year later, Gibson moved again, this time to Kentucky State University, where his tenure included five (5) individual championships. Most notably in 1971, Gibson and five of his stellar track & field athletes dominated and won the National Collegiate Athletic Association Championship. He went on to Old Dominion University in 1979 as the head men and women's track and cross country coach. In 1985, Gibson leaped into American History by becoming the first African American head coach in the SEC conference at University of Mississippi. In addition, Gibson also garnered thirty-three (33) NCAA Division I and II All Americans, three (3) relay teams and one (1) individual ranked in the top ten in the world in 1976 during his collegiate coaching career. Championships were won at Florida, Kentucky, Kansas, Indiana and Pennsylvania Relays. Gibson often served as an official for the “The Athletic Congress” (TAC), including Grand Marshall for the 1992 Olympic Trials in New Orleans, Louisiana. Since 1991, Gibson had been an adjunct professor in Physical Education at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky.

Dr. Gibson’s International coaching tours spanned from 1974-1995. During that time, he was with USA Track & Field and his assignments took him to several countries including Finland, Yugoslavia, England, Italy, Spain, Japan, Korea, People's Republic of China, Barbados, and Africa. Gibson proudly served as the Head Coach of the 1997 USA World Indoor Championship Team.

Gibson's iconic career landed him the USA Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Kentucky State University Athletics Hall of Fame, and Indiana University Athletic Wall of Fame.

Dr. Gibson has published numerous articles in Scholastic Coach, Track Technique, Varsity Magazine, and U.S. Track & Field Quarterly

Organizations “The Distinguished Man.”

The Quote “Take it easy greasy, you have a long way to slide!”

Life member Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated

Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity

Life member Indiana University Alumni Association

United States Track & Field Association

American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance

Kentucky Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance

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