Oregon State football director of Support Service Jim Gilstrap, the team’s
former offensive line coach, died Thursday in Corvallis. Gilstrap had been hospitalized since undergoing surgery in May for intestinal cancer. He was 65 years old.
A native of South Bend, Ind., and graduate of Washington Clay High School in South Bend, Gilstrap began his 42-year coaching career in 1964 after graduating from Western Michigan. He accompanied head coach Mike Riley to Oregon State in 1997 and was an assistant coach from 1997-98 until Riley left for the San Diego Chargers.
He then worked at Linfield College (Ore.), Tulsa University and Southwest Mississippi Community College before rejoining the Beavers when Riley returned as head coach in 2003. He also worked extensively in the Canadian
Football League at Hamilton, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Toronto and Saskatchewan,
and was head coach at Ottawa in 1995-96. He also worked with Riley at San
Antonio in the World League of American Football.
Gilstrap was the head coach at Fort Hays State from 1981 to 1983. He
compiled a record of 20-11-1 with the Tigers in his three seasons. He
ranks eighth on the wins list at FHSU among the 21 head coaches in the
history of the school. His winning percentage is third-best in the
school’s history among coaches to coach more than one season. The 1983
team he coached went 8-3, which ties for the most wins in a single-season
at FHSU. Only five other teams in the history of FHSU football have won
Gilstrap also had coaching stints at Western Michigan, Kansas State,
Edinboro State, Illinois State, Case Western and Southern Illinois.
Gilstrap is survived by his wife, Barbara, and daughters Bethany, Brianna,
Brittany and Brandy.