NIC-10’s 100 Greatest Football Players: No. 65 – Greg Gilbaugh, East/Harlem

The 65th player on our list was one of the more prominent athletes to have to find a new school when Rockford Public Schools eliminated sports in 1976-1977.

Greg Gilbaugh was a first-team All-Big Nine defensive lineman for an E-Rabs team in 1975 that went 7-2 the season after East won a state football title, finishing second behind Boylan.

Most of the E-Rabs’ top players were going to be back in 1976, but hundreds of athletes were left scrambling to find new schools when the Rockford School Board cut sports because of budget issues.

Gilbaugh ended up at Harlem where he repeated as first team all-conference in the “Big Four” of Boylan, Harlem, Freeport and Belvidere for a Huskies team that went 3-5-1.

Gilbaugh showed enough at the two stops to earn a scholarship to the University of Iowa. The Hawkeyes moved Gilbaugh to offensive line where he was a starter in three of his four seasons. The Hawkeyes were a lower division club during Greg’s time. Iowa would go 15-29 during Gilbaugh’s four seasons. Still, he was a small part of the turnaround.

In 1979, Iowa hired Hayden Fry. He would lead the Hawkeyes to a 9-13 mark Gilbaugh’s final two seasons. In 1981, after Gilbaugh’s eligibility was up, Iowa would go 8-4, the first of 13 winning seasons out of the next 16.

Gilbaugh would earn his degree from Iowa in 1981 and then enter Iowa’s dental school. He’s been a dentist since 1986. In 2019, he also launched the Kalos Business Group, which has a mission of helping business owners and entrepreneurs connect their religious faith better with their business interests.

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