Historic High School Coach Gets Court Dedicated in His Honor

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MEXICO - Some could say the role of a coach is to teach and to win games, but one coach achieved much more than a winning record.

The first thing Glenda Filbert will tell you about her husband is "Mexico is in love with Gary and they always have been."

In love with a man who left his footprint on their hearts and will leave his signature on their basketball court.

"It's amazing how many lives he's touched," Glenda stated. "Gary's one of those people that makes everyone around him better."

During his time at Mexico High School, Filbert won 260 games, 24 tournament titles, 6 conference titles, and made 7 trips to the state tournament. He also played, coached, and was the Athletic Director at Mizzou.

For filbert, it wasn't about the titles.

"I learned that they are much better than what people thought they were," said Gary. "They were pleased with what I did and I think that was most rewarding thing."

His players were grateful for who he was.

"When you're around coach Filbert, you learn to love basketball and it's still why I love the game," explained Lew Melahn, a former player at Mexico High School.

A love that will be etched in wood forever. Mexico High School dedicated and named its basketball court, Gary Filbert Court.

Filbert's the first to tell you, "I didn't expect it. I kind of felt like they were being kind to me and then after thinking about it for a while, they were kind to me."

Surprises are nothing new to Filbert, eventually he comes to terms with them

"Gary is aware he has terminal brain cancer but he is a positive person," said Glenda. "He'll go down fighting it, and we're all here to fight with him."

No matter what the future holds, Filbert's signature on the hearts and hardwood floor of Mexico will always remain.

Filbert has recieved numerous awards. He was inducted into the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1988, inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2005 and named the 20th "Legend of Missouri Sports" where he joined the likes of Don Faurot, Norm Stewart, Payne Stewart, and Jack Buck.