Posted: 4:14 pm Thursday, February 19th, 2009
By Jason Lieser
It’s going to be strange for Santaluces coach Willie Gibson to look down the sideline and see his former player, Matt Colin, coaching against him. Colin, in his first year with Wellington, returns to his former school for tonight’s first-round playoff game — which could be the finale of Gibson’s career.
Colin, 34, played under Gibson at Santaluces for two seasons before graduating in 1992. Colin played forward for the Chiefs when they went 27-6 and won the district in the 1991-92 season. He averaged 10 points and 8 rebounds per game.
Both men sounded excited to coach against each other for the first time.
“I’ve always admired him,” Colin said. “I already talked to him this morning and both of us will be happy for the other guy no matter what.”
Gibson, 58, said it makes him feel old. He is in his 27th season coaching Santaluces and has faced former assistant coaches on opposing sidelines, but never a former player.
“It brings back some great memories,” he said.
“It also makes you feel like maybe it is time to give this thing up.”
Gibson said he has not given serious thought to retirement because he is so engrossed in Santaluces’ season. The Chiefs are 22-3 this year and beat out Atlantic for the District 10 crown.
He said he is “50-50″ about returning next season, but there is some appeal to the pursuit of 500 wins. Gibson has 493 career victories in 30 seasons as a head coach (his first three were at Forest Hill) and he would be two shy of the 500 mark even if Santaluces wins a state championship this year.
Gibson also coached Colin’s younger brother Michael, who played small forward and graduated in 1997.