Tiger softball coach Jamie Gilbert was named the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Softball Coach of the Year in the state.
It’s an incredible honor for Gilbert after he led his team to a state semi-finals appearance in 2019. But, it’s one he said he’d trade away in a second.
“When I was notified of winning the coach of the year award, my first thought was wishing I could trade it to a state championship for my team and the softball program,” he said.
Gilbert’s team lost a hard-fought contest in the semi-finals to eventual state champion Louisville Male 2-1.
Gilbert, with 409 career softball wins, says success is not about the individual, but about the team and the contributors.
“When taking into account all the past and present players that have been part of our program you have to look at the whole picture,” he said. “Thru the years it’s been more about the journey of my teams and the softball program, not the destination of me as a coach, but always let the journey last as long as possible by advancing as far as you can each season.”
None of the team’s success would have been possible without those working behind the scenes he says.
“Without the support of my family, team, my two assistant coaches, Clay County High School principal Mike Gregory, athletic director Tommy Nicholson and all the true fans of Tiger softball, this prestigious award would not be possible. In addition, my wife Melanie runs the best concession stand in the state of Kentucky.”
Coach Gilbert, known for his fire and enthusiasm, says individual awards aren’t what motivates him.
“Any coach who only thinks of their self and not their players and support, are only being selfish and thus a detriment to their team and program in the long run. We set goals as a team at the beginning of each season and try our best to achieve those goals,” he said. “I am now and have always been very proud and honored to represent Clay Co., and softball in the state of Ky. Keeping in mind that in sports as well as life there are always peaks and valleys. Always try and keep both in perspective. The challenge of competition has always been a big part of me and my family’s life, and it always will be.”