Bob Gillespie to be inducted into Lewis University’s Academy of Coaches

Ripon Hall of Fame Coach Bob Gillespie will be inducted into Lewis University’s Academy of Coaches. He will be honored with three others during halftime of the Lewis University men’s basketball game Saturday, Jan. 15.

Gillespie is the winningest coach in Ripon College history in both baseball and men’s basketball, with a combined record of 869-536-3. He took the Red Hawks to new heights in men’s basketball winning six Midwest Conference championships and took the team to 10 NCAA Tournaments while averaging 16 wins per season. In his 32 years as head coach, Gillespie saw just four losing seasons, while recording a school-record 22 consecutive winning campaigns from 1983-2004. Gillespie’s winning percentage of .673 in basketball is amongst the top 40 in Division III history. As basketball coach, he coached four All-Americans, three Academic All-America selections, 14 All-Region selections, 76 All-Conference performers and five MWC Players of the Year.

On the baseball diamond, Gillespie led Ripon to six conference championships and three NCAA Division-III playoff appearances, while compiling a 359-288-3 record. One highlight of his baseball coaching career came in 2006 when the Red Hawks became the first MWC team to go undefeated in a 16-game conference season. Gillespie led Ripon to seven conference titles on the diamond and was a part of seven more as an assistant coach under his father Gordie from 1995-2005.

A 1971 graduate of Lewis University, Gillespie began his coaching career at Wausau Newman High School before joining Ripon during the 1979-80 school year, where he served one year as an assistant basketball coach under Kermit “Doc” Weiske ’50.

He has been inducted into the Ripon College Athletic Hall of Fame, the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. The basketball court in Ripon’s Wyman Gymnasium at Storzer Center was renamed Bob Gillespie Court in 2010, before also adding former women’s basketball coach Julie Johnson’s name to the court in 2019.

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