At 56 years old, Bruce Gibson is sprightly embracing his new duties in Fairview athletics.
The school named Gibson its varsity softball coach on Friday, a month following the resignation of Jamie Reihs.
Gibson, a 1981 Ashland graduate, is “at home” at Fairview, he said. He’s entering his 16th season as an assistant football coach with the Eagles.
Gibson has been in charge of Fairview’s middle school softball program since its 2017 inception. The idea of more days on the diamond enlivens Gibson.
“I’m excited for this new adventure in my life,” said Gibson, a truck driver who makes primarily local deliveries. “I’m just proud to be part of the Fairview family.”
Cindy Gibson, Bruce’s wife, is a Fairview English teacher at the middle-school level. She coached Lady Eagles volleyball in 2014.
Bruce Gibson is already familiar with most of his squad. Six players listed on last year’s roster graduated. Fairview won four games in Reihs’s fourth and final year at the helm.
“My goal is get the girls to a competitive level and get them to play for each other,” Gibson said. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, we’re going to walk on the field as a team and play our hearts out.”
Fairview last experienced a winning softball season in 2013.
“Just like I tell the kids, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it was built,” Gibson said. “We’re going to start from the ground up.”
Gibson has four children and seven grandchildren. One of his grandchildren is freshman-to-be Shelby Gibson. She was on the Ashland American 10-12 state softball championship team in 2018.
Overall, Fairview will be a young team. But, he said, success is possible as it typically occurs in cycles at small schools.
“One year up, one year down,” he said. “It’s like a roller-coaster ride with a small school, but the thing I try to teach is keep working and stay positive. ... I feel blessed that I’ve been able to stay at Fairview as long as I have and that the school thinks enough of me to keep me there. I take it as an honor for (athletic director) Rex Cooksey and Mrs. Smith (superintendent Jackie Risden-Smith) to think enough of me to coach the team.”
Gibson leads the wide receivers and safeties on the football field.
Gibson extended gratitude toward Reihs for his contributions as a softball skipper. He said it helped pave the way for him to seamlessly step in.
“I just want all of Eagle Nation to be patient, but we will build this team and get it to where we’re competing against bigger teams,” Gibson said. “I know we’ll have good support.”
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