June 10, 2013

Gilbert ready to start a new chapter in his life

By Denis House
Sports Editor

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — After 27 years, the last five as athletics director at South Laurel, Keith Gilbert has decided it’s time to start a new chapter in his life.

“I resigned last Monday,” Gilbert said. “I’ve been in the school system for 27 years, 22 of them as a coach in one form or another, and I feel like it’s time to move on and do something else.”

Gilbert took over the AD job in July of 2008 after the late G. J. Smith retired. At the time he was teaching at East Bernstadt and was also the assistant baseball coach at South Laurel. Prior to that, he was head baseball coach at North Laurel for eight years.

Gilbert came to Laurel County when he was in the fifth grade from Clay County, attending Bush Elementary and Junior High, then finished up at Laurel County High School in 1979, where he starred on the baseball and basketball teams. After college he became employed in the Laurel County school system and coached at every level at some point or another.

“I was blessed to have the opportunity to be employed in the county where I grew up,” Gilbert said. “I have seen the people I started out with, like G. J. Smith, Raymond Reed, Holbert Hodges and all the way back to C. Frank Bentley leave, and since I started school that covers a lot of people that I have worked with or  been influenced by. A lot of people have influenced me. It’s been a tremendous blessing overall to be a part of it.”

Gilbert said he will always remember the people at North Laurel while he coached there, and the people at South Laurel for accepting him when he became athletics director. “They treated me wonderful,” Gilbert said. He was also thankful for everyone he worked with at East Bernstadt.

“This job was a challenge for me,” Gilbert said. “It was a tough job but I received a lot of help. I am most grateful for all the people that influenced me in a positive way. I hope to leave some of that behind.”