Card: Topps XFL 2020
Acquired: TTM 2020, C/o Home. Box Break 2020
Sent: 5/24 Received: 5/30 (6 days)
Kevin has been a career coach, since earning his Master’s in physical education from Idaho State. He joined the staff there at the school in 1974 and then embarked on a whirlwind of collegiate stops at Tufts (1976-77), and American International (1978-79). In 1980, Kevin returned to his Alma Mater Southern Connecticut State where he earned his first head coaching gig. There he posted a 35-14-2 record coaching the Owls through 1984. In 1985, Kevin joined the CFL Ottawa Rough Riders as an assistant coach.
Gilbride returned to the college ranks in 1987 as he continued to hone his skills as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He then joined the Houston Oilers in 1989 as the quarterbacks coach working with Warren Moon, as the Oilers converted over to Run ‘N Shoot full time. In 1990 he became the team’s offensive coordinator- a position he held through 1994.
It’d be in 1993, that Buddy Ryan joined the Oilers staff. A divisive defensive coordinator, Buddy and Kevin did not see eye to eye philosophically, and head coach Jack Pardee was laissez faire managing their relationship. Things came to a boil finally on a Sunday Night contest against the New York Jets during the season finale- and after the defense was forced to come back onto the field late in the first half, Buddy went up and slugged Kevin. A host of players had to separate the two to keep them from going at it on the sidelines.
Kevin Gilbride will be selling insurance in two years.
– Buddy Ryan
Still despite this Kevin has always been a magnanimous professional about the situation. It’s unfortunate that most fans remember Gilbride for this incident, instead of his prolific offenses and quarterback whispering.
After the collapse of the Oilers in 1994, Kevin was not retained. He joined the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars as their offensive coordinator the following year, and was with the team through the 96 season. After the Jaguars had a prolific season that year, Kevin was scooped up by the San Diego Chargers to be their head coach. He was with the team for less than 2 seasons, and after a poor showing to kick off 1998, he was let go. He finished 6-16 during his brief time as head coach. Kevin spent the next two years as the offensive coordinator of the Steelers, and then in 2001 as an analyst for ESPN. 2002 and 2003 saw him step into the OC chair for the Bills, before Kevin went on to coach for the New York Giants in 2004.
Reunited with Tom Coughlin from Jacksonville, Kevin worked with Eli Manning as the quarterbacks coach through 2005, before returning to the offensive coordinator mantle. During this period, the Giants won two Super Bowl titles under his guidance (- the same amount that Buddy Ryan won). In 2014 Kevin retired.
It’d be after a nearly 5 year hiatus, Kevin was hired by the XFL, that was rebooting for 2020. Kevin was named as head coach of the New York Guardians. He’d draft Matt McGloin to be his quarterback, and trade for Luis Perez. Despite suffering through a quarterback meltdown, and the team losing 2 straight contests, the Guardians rebounded to a 3-2 record. It was a shame that the league ended at the time it did as the franchise was on the upswing and was in a dead heat for first place.
Killer response from Kevin, who not only signed his card, but also graciously included a copy of a Run ‘N Shoot play from back in the days of the Houston Oilers! (I’ve asked coaches on occasion for a play, but have never gotten a response up until this point.) I just wish he had identified the play I was looking at. Later an offensive quality control specialist identified it as being called ‘Choice’- but whether or not Kevin calls it this or not is unknown.
When I was a kid, I remembered going to Oilers training camp while Kevin was there. He came over to sign autographs and he overheard me talking about Eric Metcalf and told me he’d be excited to have Eric play for him.
Kevin’s head coaching career has been brief, and by the time he was, the chief maker of coach cards- ProSet was out of business, so nobody up to this point, had ever made a card of him. I was very excited when I saw that he was in the XFL 2020 set, and decided it was a priority to try to get his autograph on this card.