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James Gibson Holgate

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James Gibson Holgate Obituary
HOLGATE, JAMES GIBSON "GIB" SOUTHBURY - James Gibson "Gib" Holgate, former Yale Associate Athletic Director and coach, passed away on Monday, November 7th at the Watermark in Southbury at the age of 91 with his family by his side. He was born in Gary, Indiana, on August 13, 1920 and spent his youth in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Gib began his college education at the University of Wisconsin where he received football numerals for freshman football. While a student at Wisconsin, he enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1942 and, the following year, the Marines sent him to the University of Michigan to complete V-12 training. At Michigan, he joined the varsity football team and played wingback on the 1943 Big Ten Champion Wolverine team with an 8-1 season and earned an "M" ring. Holgate served as a Marine Corps officer on an assault transport in the Pacific and eventually rose to the level of Lieutenant Colonel. He returned to the University of Michigan in 1946 to complete his B.S. and M.A. degrees. In the fall of 1947, while completing his master's degree, he was a graduate assistant to Wolverine coach, Fritz Crisler, in the year Michigan was voted national champion. Holgate's first job was athletic director and head football coach at Hillsdale College in Michigan where his winning percentage still ranks as #4. He came to Yale University in 1949 as an assistant football coach. In 1951, he became head freshman football coach and led his team to a fourteen-year overall record of 52-26-7, with unbeaten teams in 1953, 1954, and 1959. He was appointed Assistant Athletic Director at Yale in 1961, then associate athletic director in 1967. His career at Yale, where he was a fellow of Morse College, continued until his retirement in 1984. While at Yale, Gib was a voting member of the NCAA and AIAW, a member of the Executive Committee of the New England Athletic Conference, and member of the Executive Council of the Eastern College Athletic Council (ECAC), which honored him with its Distinguished Achievement Award in 1968. He also was the schedule maker for the Ivy League from 1968 to 1973. In 1986, Yale University created The Holgate Award given to the woman whose dedication to the ideals of Yale and success in women's lacrosse measure up to the standards set by him. He was the author of "Fundamental Football" (1959) as well as numerous articles on coaching and football technique. He also worked as an advisor for Ryan Educational Sports Films in the 1960's. He was also an avid painter, specializing in watercolor.Gib is survived by Marjorie Koch Holgate, his wife of 67 years, of Southbury, CT and their three children Randy Lowe Holgate (John Peterson) of Chicago, IL; Chris Ann Pearce (Carl Pearce) of Woodbury, CT, and John Gibson Holgate of Hamden, CT; two grandchildren Taylor Gibson (Gibby) Pearce and Porter Carlisle (Carly) Pearce of Woodbury, CT. He is also survived by four of his five siblings, Thomas Amherst Holgate of Seattle, WA; Mary Holgate Dohmen of Mequon, WI, Jean Holgate Pohle of Minneapolis, MN; and Ruth Holgate O'Brien of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Final services are private, however a memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Yale Football Association, P.O. Box 208216, New Haven, CT 06520. The Southbury Funeral Home of Munson - Lovetere, 235 Main St. North, is in charge of arrangements. To send an online condolence, please visit www.munsonloveterefuneralhome.com

Published in the New Haven Register on Nov. 13, 2011
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