Cape Central’s Kent Gibbs awarded Gerald Linneman Lifetime Achievement Award

Cape Central coach Kent Gibbs talks to his team after a November 25, 2023 Class 5 semifinal between the Cardinal Ritter College Prep Lions and the Cape Central Tigers at Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School in St. Louis.
Cole Lee ~

Cape Central football coach and Missouri Football Coaches Association Hall of Famer Kent Gibbs added another honor to his resume.

Gibbs was awarded the Gerald Linneman Lifetime Achievement Award at the Missouri Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA) Conference last weekend.

According to the association’s website, the award was established in 1998 as a way to honor athletic administrators who have at least 25 years of service with exemplary dedication.

For the first three recipients, the award was named the MIAAA Lifetime Achievement Award, but in 2000 it was renamed to honor Gerald Linneman.

“I was very active in the MIAAA organization for 20 years or so,” Gibbs said. “A lot of the people that are on the board and make those kinds of decisions are all newer so I guess a few people must have thought I’ve done things right for the organization.”

Perhaps the most special part of the achievement for Gibbs was the fact the award was presented to him by Gerald Linneman’s son, Mark.

“Gerald was such a class gentleman,” Gibbs said. “It’s quite an honor for me and I’m thrilled I was lucky enough to get it.”

Cape Central’s district athletic director, Tyson Moyers, emphasized the impact Gibbs has had on everyone in the school.

“He’s a great coach and a great mentor,” Moyers said. “He’s been a great help to me and a benefit to all of our coaches who have taken the opportunity to reach out to him. He’s a fantastic example of someone who’s given back to the world of sports.”

Cape Central football player Deklin Pittman said Gibbs always knows what his players need.

“I can be at practice and not having a good day and he’ll just come and talk me through it,” Pittman said. “He’s like a friend and he always makes sure I’m doing good.”

That couldn’t have rang more true for Pittman in 2023 as he suffered an injury in week one, his first game as the starting quarterback.

“He’s gone through it too,” Pittman said. “He helped me a good amount just by talking to me about it.”

Pittman said seeing Gibbs get awarded like this only motivates the players more.

“We have a standard we hold ourselves to,” Pittman said. “We want to make him look good like he makes us look good.”

Gibbs got his first coaching job in 1980, and 44 years later, it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long according to Gibbs.

“Time flies that’s for sure,” Gibbs said. “I think that it’s gone by so quick because it’s been such a pleasurable ride for me and an uplifting ride for me. I’ve been able to meet and be around a lot of good people and develop a lot of good relationships.”

Those aforementioned relationships go deeper than just ones formed on the field or in the weight room.

“He impacts people,” Moyers said. “He’s good with kids and he’s good with adults. He’s just a very impactful human being to be around and learn from. He’s absolutely a huge impact to our school.”

Moyers feels having Gibbs affiliated with the school helps give them credibility as well.

“We take great pride that he’s a part of our staff,” Moyers said. “I think he’s one of those guys in the state that shines a great light on our community.”

When Gibbs took the head coaching job at Cape Central after his time at Sikeston, Moyers knew what kind of person he was getting.

“Coach (Andy) McGill from Sikeston told me that the great thing about (Gibbs) is he’s not only going to make your kids better, but he’s going to make your coaches better;” Moyers said. “His staff is fantastic. He makes those guys better which in turn makes our kids better.”

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