Inducted February 12, 1987
Claude Gilbert has established himself as among the most successful in one of the most extremely demanding - and often tenuous - occupations in the U.S.: that of being a major-college head football coach. In his third season at San Jose State in 1986, he guided the Spartans to the PCAA championship and a victory over Miami of Ohio in the California Bowl. The 10-2 season was added to his personal lofty achievements at San Diego State and, before that, in the community college and high school ranks. An Oklahoma native, Gilbert was raised in Bakersfield and attended Bakersfield High School and Bakersfield College before spending two years at San Jose State. Tonight, he joins an elite list of coaches who have preceded him into the Bob Elias Hall of Fame.