Don Gilbert 2016


Bennett High School (Buffalo Public)


Gilbert Don Gilbert graduated from Bennett High School in 1960 and the University at Buffalo in 1965.  He obtained both a    bachelor’s and master’s degree in Education.  

While at Bennett, Don played varsity football, baseball, and basketball.  He was captain of all three teams his junior and senior years.  Throughout his high school career, Don achieved a number of athletic accomplishments – Honorable Mention All-High (football, grade 10), All High First Team and Harvard Cup Champions (football, grade 11), All-High First Team, Harvard Cup Champions, All-WNY, and Most Valuable Player of the Ad Club City vs. County All Star Game (football, grade 12), All High Honorable Mention (basketball, grade 10), All-High First Team and Yale Cup Champions (basketball, grade 11), All-High First Team and Yale Cup Champions (basketball, grade 12), All-High First Team (baseball, grade 11), and All-High First Team (baseball, grade 12).  In his senior year, Don received the Junior Chamber of Commerce Junior Sportsman of the Year Award, the Billy Kelly Award for City Outstanding Citizen-Student Athlete, the Thom McAnn Award for Outstanding Harvard Cup Player, and the Fred Braun Award for Bennett Outstanding Student Athlete. 

Don played football, basketball, and baseball for the University at Buffalo.  He received Academic All-American (9th in total touchdowns, 15), set a school record for total offense (pass 800 yards, run 600 yards), was Outstanding Varsity Back, received the Eastern College Athletic Conference medal for combined academic and sports proficiency, the Dom Grossi Award for Athlete of the Year, and was Outstanding Player in the Erie Pennsylvania, Gem Bowl (football, senior year).  

After College, Don played football for the Canadian football team, the Ottawa Roughriders, from 1965 to 1967 (Eastern Division All-Star Grey Cup 1966) and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1968.  He then went on to become an assistant professor for the University of Ottawa and coached their varsity football team, the Ottawa Gee Gees, from 1971-1975.  In 1975, his team was awarded the Vanier Cup and Don received the Canadian Coach of the Year award and the Government of Province of Ontario Distinguished Performance in the Field of Amateur Sports Achievement Award.  In 1973, Don coached the Ottawa Roughriders against the Canadian Football League All Stars. 

Aside from football, Don also coached soccer.  From 1977-1978, he coached  an Amherst Soccer House League and founded the Amherst Memorial Day Boys Soccer (under 12) Tournament.  From 1979-1980, he coached the Amherst Boys Soccer Travel Team (under 12), winning the Upstate NY Championship.  He started the Amherst Girls Soccer League and coached its House League Team (under 12) and travel team (under 14) from 1981 through 1985. 

In recognition of his many accomplishments, Don has received many special honors.  He was inducted into the UB Sports Hall of Fame (1986), the University of Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame (1996), the Amherst, NY Avenue of All Stars (1991), the Bennett High School Sports Hall of Fame, the Harvard Cup League Hall of Fame (2002), the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame (2003), the University of Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame, and City of Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame with the 1975 National Championship Team (2015). 

Currently, Don resides in Buffalo, New York and is a developer and owner of Franklin Street Properties LLC and Strathman Manor LLC.  He is a Buffalo Preservation board member, Allentown Association member, Blue & White Club member, North Pearl Block Club member, and belongs to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.  Don has two children, Eric and Kara.