A 34-year veteran of both the collegiate and professional coaching ranks. He returned to the NFL after a stint with Arizona.
Gilbert returned to the collegiate ranks following a six-year professional stint with the Indianapolis Colts in the National Football League. First named an assistant offensive line coach in 2012, he held the title of offensive line coach from 2013-15, and again was the assistant line coach in 2016-17.
Much of Gilbert’s time in Indianapolis tasked him with protecting franchise quarterback Andrew Luck. The combination of a stout line and Luck’s prowess resulted in three-consecutive 11-win seasons and playoff appearances from 2012-14. The 2015-16 seasons saw the Colts finish and even 8-8 each season, before a disappointing 4-12 season in 2017 which came in the absence of Luck, who missed the entire season due to injury. Still, throughout the six seasons, the Colts set numerous franchise records that were no doubt achieved in part because of Gilbert’s diligent work with the offensive line during his tenure.
In 2016, Gilbert helped with the development of one of the youngest position groups on the team. The Colts utilized seven different starting offensive line combinations and led the NFL with 34 rookie starts. Indianapolis was the only team in the league to start four different rookies along the offensive line as center Ryan Kelly (16 starts), tackle Joe Haeg (14 starts), tackle Le’Raven Clark (three starts) and center Austin Blythe (one start) all saw action. Kelly was one of 11 rookies in the NFL to start all 16 games. Haeg became the first rookie in the league to start at three positions along the offensive line (left guard, right guard and right tackle), since Kyle Turley, a first-round draft pick in 1998. Over the final eight games of the season, the Colts tied for the seventh-fewest sacks allowed (13.0) in the NFL. The unit paved the way for running back Frank Gore to rush for 1,025 yards and become the first Colt to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing since Joseph Addai in 2007. The group provided protection for quarterback Andrew Luck to finish in the top 10 in the NFL in passing yards (4,240, eighth), passing touchdowns (31, fifth) and passer rating (96.4, ninth), while wide receiver T.Y. Hilton claimed the NFL receiving title (1,448 yards) and earned his third consecutive Pro Bowl nod.
Gilbert guided an offensive line that used six different starting lineups throughout the season in 2015. Versatile guard Joe Reitz started a career-high 14 games at right tackle (10), left tackle (three) and right guard (one). Gilbert was influential in the continued development of second-year tackle/guard Jack Mewhort, who started all 16 games for the first time in his career. Gilbert also tutored rookie seventh-round pick Denzelle Good, who started the final four games of the season at right tackle. The offensive line blocked for Gore, who totaled 260 carries for 967 yards and six touchdowns. His 967 rushing yards ranked third in the AFC and were the most by a Colts running back since 2007 (Joseph Addai, 1,072).
In 2014, Gilbert worked with an offensive line that saw 11 different starting lineups throughout the year. The line helped pave the way for the team to set franchise single-season records in net yards (6,506) and net passing yards (4,894), while recording its second-highest point total (458) for a season. The Colts allowed only 29.0 sacks in 2014, which ranked eighth in the NFL and was the lowest total for the team since the 2010 campaign.
In 2013, Gilbert coached an offensive line that blocked for Luck to throw for 3,822 yards and 23 touchdowns, while only allowing 32.0 sacks on the year, which ranked sixth in the NFL and fourth in the AFC. Indianapolis rushed for 1,743 yards on the season, which was the highest total for the team since 2006. Gilbert managed an offensive line that saw seven different starting lineups throughout the season. Tackles Anthony Castonzo and Gosder Cherilus were mainstays on the line, as they both started all 16 games.
In 2012, Gilbert assisted with a Colts offensive line that provided time for Luck to set NFL rookie records for passing yards (4,374), attempts (627) and 300-yard passing games (six). The line also opened holes for a Colts rushing attack that generated 27.5 rushing attempts per game and 104.4 rushing yards per game, which is the most for Indianapolis dating back to 2007.
Gilbert joined the Colts following three seasons at the University of Illinois. He was the assistant head coach/offensive line coach from 2010-11 after joining the Illini as the team’s offensive line coach in 2009. Gilbert guided an Illinois offensive line in 2010 that paved the way for school records in total points and points per game, as well as running back Mikel Leshoure's school-record 1,697 rushing yards. The Illini led the Big Ten and ranked 11th in the nation in rushing.
In 2009, Gilbert guided an offensive line that assisted the team in averaging over 200 yards rushing per game, which ranked second in the conference and 17th nationally. He tutored Second Team All-America selection, Jon Asamoah, who was the team MVP, becoming the first offensive lineman to earn the honor since 1976. Asamoah was a third-round draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2010. While at Illinois, Gilbert also tutored Jeff Allen who was selected in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Chiefs and has started 50-of-58 games over the last five seasons (2012-16).
Before coming to Illinois, Gilbert spent one season at the University of Houston (2008), where he led an offensive line that helped the team rank second in the nation in passing and total offense and 10th in scoring offense. The Cougars averaged 562 yards of total offense and 40 points per game as the line blocked for quarterback Case Keenum's 400 yards of total offense per game. Houston also featured 2008 All-Conference USA first-team selection, tackle Sebastian Vollmer, who has started 80-of-88 games for the New England Patriots over the last eight seasons.
Gilbert arrived in Houston after spending the 2007 campaign at the University of Toledo. He coached the tight ends in 2007, his second stint on the Rockets coaching staff. Gilbert worked with the offensive line at Toledo from 2001-03 before leaving to take the offensive line coaching position at the University of Central Florida, where he spent three seasons (2004-06).
In 2006, UCF ranked 30th nationally in passing offense (233.7 ypg.) and 34th in total offense (373.2 ypg.). Golden Knights offensive lineman Kyle Smith earned honorable mention All-Conference USA accolades under Gilbert's tutelage. Gilbert's offensive line was one of Central Florida’s most consistent units in 2005. The group helped pave the way for Conference USA Freshman of the Year Kevin Smith, who totaled 1,178 yards on the ground from his tailback position. Center Cedric Gagne-Marcoux garnered Conference USA All-Conference first-team recognition, while guard L.J. Anderson and tackle Patrick Brown (former Minnesota Viking) earned All-Freshman Team honors. Guard Josh Sitton was also a member of the offensive line in 2006 and is currently playing for the Chicago Bears.
During his first stint at Toledo, Gilbert helped develop one of the nation's top offensive lines and also helped groom future New England Patriots starter Nick Kaczur. In 2001, Gilbert guided the Rocket offensive line to an outstanding season, helping pave the way for Mid-American Conference and Motor City Bowl championships. Toledo ranked 13th in the nation in total offense (444.5 ypg.), 16th in scoring offense (34.9 ppg.) and 17th in rushing offense (213.4 ypg.) that season. Gilbert's offensive line enjoyed a banner year in 2002 as the Rockets ranked fifth in the nation in total offense (472.2 ypg.), 11th in scoring (35.4 ppg.) and 16th in rushing (214.3 ypg.), while earning a second MAC West title and a repeat visit to the Motor City Bowl. Kaczur and center Chris Tuminello earned All-MAC first-team honors. In 2003, the Rockets ranked 11th in the country in total offense (462.7 ypg.) and sixth in passing efficiency (155.5). Kaczur made First Team All-MAC while fellow offensive tackle Erik Faasen earned second-team honors.
Gilbert also worked as a head coach at Mansfield University (Pa.) in 2000, and as an assistant coach at the University of Maine from 1994-99, including four years as offensive coordinator (1996-99). During his tenure with the Black Bears, Gilbert directed an offense that set 11 school and five NCAA I-AA records. Prior to coaching at Maine, Gilbert was the offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at Northeastern University from 1991-93, and assistant line coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania from 1989-1990. He started his career as a graduate assistant at the University of Albany from 1987-88.
Gilbert was a standout at Horseheads (N.Y.) High School where he earned All-Twin-Tier honors before attending Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. A four-year starter on the offensive line at Hamilton, Gilbert was a three-time all-conference selection, and in his senior season, became the first Hamilton player to earn First Team All-America honors.
A 1983 graduate of Horseheads High School, Gilbert earned a bachelor's degree in government at Hamilton in 1987. He and his wife, Cheryl, have one daughter, Madison, and three sons, Nicholas, Joseph and Timothy.