Gillespie community to honor Don Dobrino in 100th
By: JACKSON WILSON
Coal Country Times Reporter
On Monday night, the Gillespie board of education unanimously made a decision that will go down in history. In honor of the Miners’ 100th high school football season, head coach Jake Bilbruck encouraged that the pigskin turf be re-named after coaching icon, Don “Duke” Dobrino.
Dobrino has been associated with coaching for 55 consecutive years. He spent 37 making a difference in the lives of Miner football athletes. His 29-year head coaching tenure is the all-time longest at GHS. Dobrino is the 14th winningist football head coach in state history and holds the Gillespie record in career wins (169) and postseason triumphs (10). Bilbruck took over Dobrino’s head coaching position in 2017.
“Aside from his coaching records, Coach Dobrino has positively influenced the lives of young people, teaching them not only how to win as members of a team but also what it means to be responsible as caring members of community,” praised Bilbruck. “I have been to coaching clinics and games all throughout the state. Anybody I’ve talked to – coaches, sportswriters, state tournament officials – from Chicago to Carbondale, have recognized Dobrino as Gillespie’s football ambassador. So, as we celebrate our 100th football season, I would like to properly recognize someone who has been responsible for over a third of those seasons. Hundreds of lives were influenced and many lessons were taught. We believe that naming our field in his honor would be a fitting tribute.”
Recently, the Gillespie High School cheerleaders recieved a superior rating blue ribbon in stunt sequence, rally routine, most improved stunt and spirit sticks at the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Universal Cheerleaders’ Association stunt camp. They also won a leadership award for inspiring such behavior both on and off the field. Hannah Cooper and Callie Reynolds were both chosen as outstanding individuals. To top it all off, the Gillespie Miners’ cheer team was invited to participate in the Citrus Bowl down in Florida this December.
Amber Allan has been employed as a first-year non-tenure elementary physical education teacher.
High school and middle school counselor Kalli Erwin has officially resigned. Her vacated position has been posted.
Stuart Ringer has been appointed as the Gillespie high school golf coach and will be assisted by volunteers Kevin Gray and Jake Killibrew.
Over the past month, some acts of vandalism were committed on Gillespie school campus property. These included a softball shed break-in and tampering of the greenhouse thermometer. Three juveniles were responsible and taken into custody that same night. The sign outside of the CUSD #7 district office has also been recently damaged. Although Superintendent Joseph Tieman classified this situation as ‘very rare’, he asked for support to ensure these incidents were avoided in the future.
“If you’re driving through town or by any of the schools, take a look. If you see anything that seems suspicious or not normal, notify me or contact the police department and we will take care of it,” said Tieman.
The Hairpin reconstruction project is underway and the board is confident that the entire process will be finished soon. However, specified plans will be made for traffic if the job is not completed by August 14.
“I’ve received the word that this will be close. But, if we get rain for a week, then this will cause a minor setback,” mentioned Tieman. “If we indeed have to re-route traffic, we will mail home to all of our middle and high school parents explaining what that new pattern will be.”
The next CUSD #7 board of education meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 19 at 7 p.m.