Blog: 2022 Nebraska Eight-Man Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame Tribute – Jim Gilbert-Table Rock High School (6/16/22)


Former Table Rock Star Jim Gilbert, the 1985 state running champion, will become a member of the NEMFCA Hall of Fame after the induction ceremony at Adams Central during the Sertoma 8-Man All-Star Football Game halftime . UNSTOPPABLE roughly describes Jim Gilbert’s 1985 senior campaign.

We continue with our NEMFCA Class of 2022 Hall of Fame, and I am honored to introduce our eighth of 14 members of the NEMFCA Class of 2022 Hall of Fame.

Our 8th salute goes to the sensational Jim Gilbert of Table Rock High School, who was literally unstoppable during his 1985 senior season. Even during a season ending in a 56-12 semi-final loss to Coleridge (whom Table Rock led 12-10 at halftime), the remarkable Gilbert still ran for 177 yards on 43 carries and Table Rock’s two touchdowns.

Averaging 236 yards rushing and nearly FIVE touchdowns per game, it’s no wonder Jim Gilbert was my state rushing champion in 1985 and then helped Peru State win a national championship NAIA Football Championship in 1990.


From 1982 to 1985, Jim rewrote the record books while playing for the Tigers and Hall of Fame coach Terry Borcher. During his spectacular senior season, he set the state single-season rushing record (at the time) with an incredible 2,828 yards while scoring 56 touchdowns and averaging over 9 yards per carry.

Jim finished his career with 5,046 total yards and 90 touchdowns and was ranked in the Top 3 nationally in those two categories during the 1985 season. During his historic run, he also led the Tigers to 11 straight wins and a trip to the state playoff semifinals.

Jim has been honored for his play numerous times, including: 1st Team Conference All-Homesteader, 1st Team All-State, Class D-2 Offensive Player of the Year, and selected to the All-Class/All-Team Nebraska. In the summer of 1986, he was also selected to play in both the All-Eight All-Star Game and the Nebraska Shrine Bowl game.

Jim then finished his highly decorated playing career at Peru State College and played a major role on the Bobcats 1990 NAIA National Championship team. He was honored multiple times as an All-NAIA player, an All-America selection, and he was also named the team’s Most Valuable Offensive Player.

Currently, Jim is still ranked in the school’s all-time Top 10 for yards and touchdowns in a season. The NEMFCA is honored to welcome him to the 2022 Class of Eight Man Hall of Fame.


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