Barbara Gill

Barbara GillCoach • Inducted 2004

Barbara Gill’s list of accomplishments over her career is truly remarkable. Since 1958, when she received her master’s degree in physical education at Baylor University, Gill has been teaching physical education and coaching women’s sports. She was instrumental in helping establish a sound tradition in women’s athletics at Johnson County Community College.

She began her career at JCCC in 1977, taking over a young and struggling women’s basketball program. In just four years, she led JCCC to the school’s first conference championship. In 1979, she became JCCC’s first head coach for the women’s softball program. During her seven years at the helm, she compiled a 187-110 record and led her teams to three national tournament appearances. She also coached three All-Americans and 24 All-Region VI performers.

However, those accomplishments serve only to scratch the surface. She is well known nationally, too. Gill chaired the ABA/USA Women’s Basketball Game Committee for the United States Olympic Committee; served as president of the NJCAA Women’s Basketball Coaches Association; and was a member of the board of directors for the U.S. Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. In 1981, she was a member of the National Sports Festival coaching staff for the Midwest Women’s Basketball Team. She was a staff member for the 1982 U.S. Select Women’s Basketball Team, which competed in Taiwan against 10 other countries. In 1983, she served on the staff of the World University Games in Canada, and in 1988 she served on the U.S. National Women’s Basketball Team that captured the gold medal at the Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.

In September 1986, Gill began to research the possibility of adding a fitness and wellness program to the JCCC curriculum. By August 1987, despite a shortage of equipment, the center was ready to open. Gill’s motivation for this endeavor wasn’t to advance or fulfill a career goal, but to teach as many people as possible about the value of exercise and proper nutrition. She said she saw the fitness center as “a way to reach out and coach a team with many members to a better quality of life”.

On February 13, 1997, Gill was one of six women honored at the Gaylan’s Girls and Women in Sports Day Luncheon for her devotion to lifetime fitness and for her outstanding work in women’s athletics. In the spring of 2001, Gill was inducted into the NJCAA Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.