Gilgo was a true Bulldog
Published 8:53 pm Sunday, August 26, 2007
By PETER WILLIAMS, Staff Writer
You don’t get named to The Citadel sports Hall of Fame for your failures.
But Bill Gilgo admits he has had some. He just tries to make a habit of not repeating them.
Gilgo earned honorable mention All-America honors, as well as first-team All-Southern Conference and first-team All-State honors his senior year. On the down side there was that game in the 1950s against New Bern when he played for the Washington High School Pam Pack.
The New Bern game ended in a scoreless tie.
His entire Washington team was inducted to the Walk of Fame in 2000 and still holds the best record of any Pam Pack team given the number of games played, he said. In October he will be one of six people honored by The Citadel.
Gilgo’s road to Charleston was a rocky one.
Gilgo was scouted by Eddie Teague, then an assistant coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. When Teague took the head coaching job at The Citadel, he wrote Gilgo a letter asking if he was interested.
So Gilgo and his friend Skybo Langley took the drive to South Carolina.
It was at The Citadel where Gilgo got introduced to the kicking team.
Kicking wasn’t something stressed at Washington High School.
Gilgo’s foot won him fame. In his view, the highlight was the William and Mary game.
After that his nickname became “Golden Toe.”
He set a school record with a 43-yard field goal in 1961. A year before he tied the league record by nailing 17 or 18 PAT kicks in Southern Conference games. He was 20-of-21 overall, including three in the Tangerine Bowl, where he scored nine of the Bulldogs’ 27 points. He was second in scoring on the 1960 team with 35 points, 23 of which came from kicks.
Gilgo had his chance to go pro. The first time he let it pass was just before the Tangerine Bowl.
Gilgo still has a letter from Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi expressing interest in hiring him.
When it came to the end of his college career, Gilgo said his body wasn’t ready for the NFL.
After graduation he spent two years coaching high school football at South Boston, Va. After that he coached in Jacksonville for two or three years.
He landed a job with the N.C. Probation and Parole Department doing correctional work, and retired after 32 years in 1996.
His brother, James, still lives in Washington as do his two daughters, Sharon and Cindy.
Gilgo relishes his time at The Citadel.
The slot Gilgo played was a big one. Paul McGuire, an All-American player, was in front of Gilgo until he was injured. Charlie Brendle, who is also being inducted into The Citadel Hall of Fame this year played behind Gilgo.
Vossburg said for years he thought that Gilgo had already been indicted into the Hall of Fame.
It only took two years of work to get the honor for Gilgo.
Gilgo was an offensive and defensive end on The Citadel’s best back-to-back teams ever - the 1960 Tangerine Bowl team and the 1961 Southern Conference championship team.