By Doug Gorman
Former Clayton State basketball player Jay Gibbons is going into the family business full-time.
Gibbons, who is the son of CCSU head basketball coach Gordon Gibbons, has just been hired as an assistant coach at Georgia Southwestern in Americus.
It will be the younger Gibbons' first full-time job as an assistant coach, but it's a career path he has been preparing for since he was in elementary school.
"My after-school program was going to practice and watching my dad coach," said Jay Gibbons. "I used to sit in with him and watch him break down film."
Jay started his college career under his father guidance at Florida Southern. He then came to Clayton State for his final season of eligibility when Gordon was hired on as the Lakers' new men's basketball coach for the 2001-2002 season.
Last year, Jay served as a student assistant while finishing up his undergraduate degree. In addition to serving as an assistant coach at Georgia Southwestern, he will study for his Masters Degree in physical education.
Gordon Gibbons isn't surprised his son is following in his footsteps.
"This is something he has always wanted to do," Gordon Gibbons said. "He has always been around it. He has always worked at our camps and last year he experienced things from the coaching side when he served as a student assistant."
The CCSU coach still remembers when Jay worked at a basketball camp in Martinque.
"He was about 12 and he was actually running one of the stations at our camp. He was instructing 16 and 17 year olds."
Jay agrees serving as an assistant at CCSU last season gave him a different perspective of the game.
"Coaching and playing are a lot different," he said. "There were so many times last year when I wanted to lace up the sneakers and get out there. Now, I know why my dad yells in practice and in games."
Georgia Southwestern's new assistant coach looks forward to getting his career started.
"It will be good to get out there and spread my wings a little bit," he said. "I have learned a lot from my dad, but now it's time to get out on my own."
Georgia Southwestern is a NAIA powerhouse coached by veteran basketball coach Randolph Barksdale.