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10 Questions with Keith Gilbertson

Keith Gilbertson, 59, is in his sixth season as an assistant coach for the Seahawks and the NFL, and third different position.


Keith Gilbertson, 59, is in his sixth season as an assistant coach for the Seahawks and the NFL, and third different position. He coached three years for Dennis Erickson with the Seahawks from 1996-98, first as a defensive assistant, then the final two seasons the tight ends. For Mike Holmgren he has been an assistant on the offensive line the past three seasons. A product of the Snohomish County "Cradle of coaches," and Snohomish High School, has coached on the collegiate level most of his career. He played football at Central Washington, Columbia Basin Junior College and Hawaii, and began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Idaho State from 1971-74, and then at Western Washington in 1975 and the University of Washington in 1976. From 1977-81, he was the offensive coordinator at Utah State, to the same job at the University of Idaho for a year, then joined the staff of the USFL's LA Express from 1983-85 before becoming the head coach at Idaho from 1986-88. He returned to Washington from 1989-91, coaching the offensive line and as offensive coordinator in 1991. From there he became the head coach at Cal from 1992-95 before joining Erickson's Seahawks staff before his final stint at Washington from 1999-2004, first as assistant head coach, then offensive coordinator and tight ends coach for three seasons and finally the Huskies head coach in 2003-04 before coming back to the Seahawks. Gilbertson and his wife Barbara have two daughters – Ann and Kristin – with a son David. a granddaughter, and another grandchild on the way.

Gilby was glib and had no issues with any of the questions, other than a slight problem narrowing down any of his answers …

Do you have a defining moment in football?

I've been really fortunate as a player and a coach being part of four Rose Bowls and a national championship, and had an Idaho team finish the season undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the country (Division I-AA). But most recently it had to be Super Bowl XL.

What was your defining moment out of football?

I have three unbelievable children, a granddaughter and another one on the way, so I would have to say all of them and my wife.

Who was your role model?

My father (Keith Sr.) has been a coach and is still a coach for 57 years at Snohomish High School. That's where I started, there were Dick Armstrong, Pinky Erickson, Norm Lowery and the Ennis family, so I was surrounded by great coaches from very young.

If you weren't a coach in the NFL, what would you be doing?

I can't imagine what I would do, other than coaching college football. I really don't know at this point – maybe high school coaching.

What was the last movie you saw?

The Kingdom – it was one of those movies that was eye-opening about what goes on the in the world.

What was the last non-football sporting event you attended?

My daughter Krissy's graduation from high school last year, and she's now a freshman at Washington State.

What was the last non-sports TV show you watched?

I watched Jay Leno until the writers went on strike.

What is your favorite meal?

Pinky Erickson's salmon is unbelievable. I'd love to tell you the recipe, but then I'd have to kill you.

What's your favorite hobby outside of sports?

I love to play golf. I'm never good enough – a good round could have been better.

Who are the other three people in your dream golf foursome?

My son David, Don James and Dennis Erickson – but I can't leave out my Bear Creek buddies either. So that's that.

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