We spotlight our 13th player to be inducted into the Nebraska Eight Man Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Coach Gordon Pilmore, Dodge High School. More on Coach Pilmore below his bio.
COACH GORDON PILMORE – DODGE HIGH SCHOOL
For more than 35 years, Coach Pilmore walked the Friday Night sidelines while compiling a career record of 193 wins and 91 losses. After graduating from Peru State College, he moved to Dodge in 1966 where he coached several successful teams over the years. However, it was from 1994 to 1997 when his Pirates won 4 consecutive State Championships that an Eight Man Football Dynasty was born. It was during this span that Dodge High School cemented Highway 91 as one of the premier hubs of Nebraska Eight Man Football. Throughout his years in coaching, Gordon coached many all-time great players, but he sites the learning of life lessons such as hard work, never giving up, and trying to make each season a “great experience” for his players, as his greatest achievements in coaching. His many career highlights include sending 10 of his players to, and coaching in the Eight Man All-Star Game as well as being named the Nebraska Coaches Association “Coach of the Year” for 1997. Coach Pilmore retired after the 1997 football season, but history will always remember his powerhouse Pirate teams of the 1990’s. The NEMFCA is honored to welcome him into the Eight Man Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019.
Sometimes high school coaches just never receive their just reward for the things they accomplished over a long career. Men like Falls City Sacred Heart’s Doug Goltz, or Howells Mike Spiers are exceptions to the rule. They both enjoyed quick success, almost immediate fame, but for most it takes years of building and perseverance and the right group of athletes to come along. And w all know it’s more difficult at smaller schools because of the numbers game.
So goes the story of our Gordon Pilmore, a pillar of success at Dodge High School. It took awhile for Coach Pilmore to build a dynasty…...or did it?
I, for one, did not realize what a sparkling career record this amazing man compiled over 35 seasons. It is simple in my mind. Anybody that wins 100 more games than they lose is one of the best in the business. Coach Pilmore’s 193 wins an 91 losses are mighty impressive and the the powerhouse teams he had at Dodge will never be forgotten. But like Rome, they weren’t built in a day.
Not many football teams win 4 state championships in succession like Dodge did in that 1994-1997 run. It takes a run of great talent to pull it off, but also take some coaching genius, often times accomplished without much assistant coaching help. In the old days, often times no help.
It is so refreshing to read what great coaches like Gordon Pilmore say after it’s all in the books. They all relay the same story, about how satisfying it was to know that the players they guided along the way learned not only how to win, but how to accept and handle losses. It’s called lessons of life and all the Greats will always tell you that this was the most rewarding part of their coaching career, not the glory, not the wins.
Coach Pilmore, you are one good man!