Thumb through the scrapbook of old newspaper clippings, and it’s easy to see why Dave Gill is held in such high regard in the mid-Missouri community of Ashland.

“1981 State Champions” screams one headline below a worn photo of a softball team. Stretched across the top of another sports page, a headline reads “Gill retires with 456 victories, plenty of memories” with a photo of Gill coaching a boys basketball game. And then there’s this: “Practicing in the lunchroom” – a Columbia Daily Tribune feature story months after a fire gutted the high school. Yes, Gill had no choice but to get creative.

What a 27-year run it was at Southern Boone High School for Gill, who did just about everything and did it well. Which is why the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame is proud to induct Gill with the Class of 2019.

Between 1977 and 2003, Gill juggled coaching duties of  basketball, softball, golf as well as track and field. Anything else? Oh, he also served as athletic director every year. 

Gill led the boys basketball team for 25 seasons (1978-2003) and holds school records for wins (445), games coached (679), conference titles (12), district titles (5), sectional titles (3) and 20-win seasons (9). His 1985, 1987 and 1993 teams all reached the state quarterfinals in Class 3, arguably the most challenging level in the state because of the largest number of public and private schools vying for state titles. 

In 2012, the school named the basketball court “Dave Gill Court.”

Over 12 seasons coaching the softball program, his teams were 203-46 and reached five Final Fours, with the 1981 and 1986 teams winning state championships.

~ Read the full feature story in today’s Journal ~

By Frank Finley

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