Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Herd's Gibson, Wetzel into Single Wing Hall

Herd's Gibson, Wetzel into Single Wing hall
June 23, 2009 @ 12:00 AM

The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON -- Marshall Athletic Hall of Fame members Don Gibson and Marvin Wetzel are being inducted into the National Single Wing Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Gibson and Wetzel, who is deceased, both coached the single-wing style of football at New Mexico Highlands in Las Vegas, N.M., during the 1950s.

Single-wing football used a formation devised by legendary coach Pop Warner early in the 1900s. The single wing featured a set of four backs (tailback, fullback, quarterback, wingback) and an unbalanced line. A direct snap similar to what is used today in shotgun formations usually went to the tailback or fullback. The quarterback was used mostly as a lead blocker.

The "Wildcat" offense gaining popularity today also uses single-win principles.

Hall of Fame inductions are June 27 during the National Single Wing Symposium in Edwardsville, Ill.

Gibson, captain of the 1946 Marshall team, went to Highlands in 1953 as its head football coach, but he also served as the head basketball coach and athletic director.

He was named as the Frontier Conference football coach of the year in 1960 when his team shared the league title with a 6-2-1 record. He was also the conference basketball coach of the year in 1960 when his team advanced to the NAIA quarterfinals.

Gibson is retired and living in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Wetzel, nicknamed "Bear," played all 11 offensive positions at Marshall. In 1947 he was the nation's third-leading scorer with 108 points. He was offered an NFL contract by the Philadelphia Eagles, but a knee injury ended his playing career.

Gibson hired Wetzel in 1958 as his assistant coach for football and basketball and head track coach.

Wetzel later became head football coach at Trinidad State (Colo.) Junior College.

He retired in Denver where he passed away.

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