Hall of Fame Inductee - Bill Gross
The story behind Hall of Famer Bill Gross is one of great interest.
An outstanding football player for his home town of Gibson City,
Illinois, Gross earned all-state honors his senior year as a halfback
and place kicker. He was good enough to earn a full athletic scholarship
to the University of Illinois, but turned it down, choosing instead to
stay home and work construction. While the money was good, the desire to
play football was greater. So, Gross headed to Bloomington where he
attended Illinois Wesleyan College. He was a star there starting at
halfback/fullback and place kicker all four years leaving as Wesleyan's
all-time leading kicker. After graduation Gross took a coaching job in
Adrian, Michigan for two seasons before returning to his home town of
Gibson City to assume the duties of head football and track coach. Over a
two year span the Gibson City football team compiled records of 7-2 and
10-0 while recording 13 consecutive shutouts. With coaching success in
his wake, Gross moved to Canada at the conclusion of the 1960 school
year and signed on as the kicker for the London Ontario Lords. He later
returned to the states and tried out with the then Los Angles Rams. At
the ripe old age of 29 Gross and his family moved to Elgin, Illinois
where he coached and taught at both Elgin Sr. High and Elgin Larkin. In
1964 Quincy named Gross as the new head football coach a position he
would hold through 1976. His Blue Devils were a fearsome lot in the
early 1970's, winning conference titles in 1971-73 and again in 1974.
That same '74 team also advanced to the state play-offs. In 1979 Gross
moved into the athletic director's seat where he remained until his
retirement in 1988. Bill Gross was inducted into the Gibson City High
Hall of Fame in 1990 as a charter member. Six months later (April 1991)
Gross became part of the Illinois High School Football Coaches Hall of
Fame. The coaching career of Bill Gross spanned 20 years his career as
an educator an impressive 36 years. Bill Gross typifies what the Quincy
High Sports Hall of Fame is all about.
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