J. Thomas Kibler
Coach Kibler is a member of the Hall of Fame. His citation is below:
J. Thomas Kibler, born in 1886 in Queen Anne’s County, was known statewide for his ability as an athlete before coming to Washington College. When he arrived in 1913 to coach football, baseball and basketball, he began an association with the college that lasted, except for periods of service in World Wars I and II, more than half a century.
In 1926, Kibler relinquished his football coaching chores, but continued coaching basketball and baseball. A heart condition required him to give up the basketball reins in 1939, but not before his teams had won 272 games while losing only 98. In one ten-year period his basketball teams tasted victory 90 percent of the time.
Baseball, which Tom had begun to coach in 1913, prospered under him for 58 years, until he retired from coaching in 1969 at the grand age of 83. His diamond squads logged more than 300 wins. “Coach” helped send such greats as Bill Nicholson, “Jake” Flowers, Jack Enright, Freddie Wallace, Bobby Young and Dave Leonard to the major leagues.
Active in civic and college affairs beyond athletics throughout his career, Thomas J. Kibler received many well deserved distinctions and awards. Perhaps his most memorable were the Silver Star, Purple Heart, Croix de Guerre and Distinguished Service Medal awarded to him for bravery in World War I. Leading his company in the heat of battle, he was gassed and wounded twice. Coach Kibler remains a legend in the history of Washington College athletics.
INDUCTED October 9, 1981.
Recently, Kibler’s daughter gifted back the silver set he was given on the occasion of his 35th anniversary at Washington College in 1947. It was one of his prized possessions. It will be on display in the Alumni House and catalogued in the Archives.