Hall of Fame Induction Highlights Transition to Retirement
Colorado’s Sports Hall of Fame includes boxing champion Jack Dempsey as well as pro football’s Dutch Clark, John Elway, Byron “Whizzer” White ... and Guy Gibbs ’51.
Gibbs? Guy Gibbs who played basketball and baseball at CC? That’s the Guy. The Hall of Fame inducted Gibbs to recognize his long years coaching winning basketball teams at Regis High School in Denver — as well as football, track, and cross country teams.
But Gibbs may have gained more attention for his second job. For 26 years, he worked as an official, mostly as a referee, in Western Athletic Conference football games. Many officials who handled Regis’s Sunday games, Gibbs noticed, also worked college games on Saturdays. “It looked like fun, so after a few years, I took the test and began officiating high school games,” then college freshmen games. Over the years, he moved all the way up to the WAC.
Gibbs was injured on the job just once, he says, during his last game. A field goal attempt was blocked; the ball came back at Gibbs, and 22 players charged at him. “I got knocked down and hit on the head, and actually saw stars,” he says, but he finished the game.
Gibbs says football and basketball officials are better trained and monitored today than earlier in his career. “Most people, including sports writers, don’t recognize a good or bad call. You have to have been there to appreciate the circumstance,” he says. He likes instant replay, because it offers the chance to correct some errors.
Gibbs retired in 1997 after 40 years at Regis. He and his wife Joan, an avid golfer, live in Arvada, Colo., and try to keep track of their five children and 13 grandchildren.