University of Tulsa Head Football Coach Philip Montgomery announced today the appointment of Stephenville (Texas) High School Head Coach Joseph Gillespie as an assistant football coach. Gillespie will coach the Golden Hurricane linebackers.
Gillespie, 43, has spent the past seven years as the athletic director and head football coach at Stephenville High School. His teams compiled a .758 winning percentage with an overall 72-23 record, while winning the district championship three times, sharing the district crown once, advancing to the state playoffs six times and winning one state championship.
“We're excited to have Joseph join our coaching staff. He had a very successful career as an assistant coach and head coach on the prep level in Texas and was an integral part in coaching three state championship teams. I know that he's extremely ready and driven to coach on the collegiate level,” said Montgomery. “Joseeph is an excellent defensive coach and will be great with coaching our linebackers, not to mention his knowledge of Texas and relationships with the high school coaches will further entrench our recruiting efforts in that state.”
Gillespie led his 2012 team to a 13-1 overall record and the Class 3A state title, while a year later his team compiled a 12-2 record and advanced to the state Class 4A semifinals. Gillespie's 2014 team finished the season with a 9-4 record and advanced to the state quarterfinals.
In his first season, Gillespie led Stephenville to a 10-4 record and a quarterfinal appearance in the 2008 Class 4A state playoffs. His 2009 team recorded a 9-3 mark and were undefeated in the District 7-4A, while in 2010 posted an 8-6 record and advanced to the Class 4A state quarterfinals. The 2011 team registered an overall 11-3 mark and again advanced to the Class4A state quarterfinals.
Gillespie earned District Coach of the Year honors four times (2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013) and was the Big Country Coach of the Year for three seasons (2008, 2011 and 2012).
“I'm extremely excited to join Coach Montgomery and the Tulsa family. It's exciting for our family,” said Gillespie. “Coach Montgomery has blessed me with the opportunity of coaching on the college level and the chance to work with him again.”
“It's been a dream of mine to coach on the collegiate level. I've been fortunate enough to be involved in a lot of success at Stephenville, and have had the opportunity to coach under Coach Briles and Coach Morris, and work alongside Coach Montgomery during his stint as an assistant coach at Stephenville,” added Gillespie.
“I also look forward to working with both Coach (Bill) Young and Coach (Brian) Norwood with the defense. They both are great coaches and have been very successful on the collegiate level. What a great opportunity it is for me to be able to learn from and coach side-by-side with both of them,” said Gillespie.
Before becoming the Stephenville head coach in February 2008, Gillespie served 14 years as an assistant coach at the Texas high school. He coached under Art Briles, now the head coach at Baylor University, for six years, Texas High School Hall of Honor inductee Mike Copeland for three seasons, and Chad Morris, recently named the head coach at SMU, for five years.
As an assistant coach, Gillespie helped lead Stephenville to two additional state titles, coming in 1998 and 1999. Gillespie coached linebackers and safeties under Morris and was the co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach before that under Copeland.
A Stephenville native, Gillespie earned his bachelor's degree in Kinesiology from Angelo State University in 1994. He and his wife, Jodi, have three children, including sons Josh (18) and Jake (9) and daughter Chelsea (17).