Supporting youth & sports since 1942.

Chris Gibson
White River High School
2018
Girl's Basketball

    His own personal mantra, “You are only as good as your 12th player feels about you,” has served Chris Gibson and the many young athletes he has coached well throughout his outstanding multi-decade coaching career in high school athletics. Gibson has compiled a brilliant .714 winning percentage with 537 wins and 215 losses throughout his prep girls basketball coaching career, including a 104-87 record in eight seasons at Franklin Pierce High School and a 433-128 mark in 21 years at White River High School. Along the way were nine West Central District championships spanning 1997 through 2018, 20 state tournament appearances netting seven trophies, and 11 undefeated records among 18 league championships. His personal accolades across those nearly three full decades of coaching is staggering: 16-time league coach of the year, News Tribune Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2011, and WSCA All-State Game coach in 2007 and again in 2017. Gibson lettered in basketball and baseball at Puyallup High School, from where he graduated in 1982, and attended Green River Community College prior to being hired at Boeing in 1984. His coaching career started, humbly enough, helping his father coach his sister’s softball team in 1983, and two years later he started “The Sting” select softball program. In 1990, Gibson led the team to the ASA national championship. Gibson caught the eye of then Franklin Pierce High School athletic director Jim Meyerhoff while Chris and The Sting practiced at the FPHS field. Meyerhoff, called by Gibson an “instrumental mentor and strong influence” on his career as a coach and athletic director, hired the erstwhile young coach to lead the school’s girls’ basketball program prior to the 1989-90 season. Setting aside his select softball coaching career, Gibson turned his focus into building an outstanding girls basketball program at the school. He did just that, leading the Cardinals to two state tournament appearances and a 1997 West Central District title. Gibson also found time to coach the softball team for three seasons, winning a state championship in 1992 and finishing fifth in 1993. Meyerhoff, who had moved on to become athletic director at White River High School, hired Gibson to be the girls’ basketball coach and to work in the White River Community Activities program prior to the 1997-98 academic year. Chris worked at that program until he was hired as the White River Athletic Director in 2009, and he has been in that position ever since then. Chris and his wife, Shelly, are proud parents to Nolan, a journeyman sheet metal welder and himself a former basketball player at White River, and Kailyn, who works in the field of pathology at Tacoma General Hospital. Gibson credits Shelly (“the best scorekeeper in the business”) for being unselfish and allowing him to pursue his passion of coaching. “This outstanding honor is a testament to the many very talented and dedicated young ladies who have come through our program,” Gibson says. “I will be forever grateful to my assistant coaches and the countless parents and community members who have supported our program for so long. I will cherish the lifelong friendships and the many relationships that have been made with so many while involved in the game of basketball.”