Bert Gilling is in his 11th season as assistant coach at Bemidji State and his 13th year overall as a member of the program’s coaching staff.
Gilling holds responsibilities overseeing the defensive corps and serves as the program’s academic advisor and strength and conditioning coach.
As academic advisor, Gilling has helped raise BSU’s team overall GPA to 3.5. Under his guidance, BSU has placed an average of 17 student-athletes on the Academic All-WCHA Team, while a total of 38 players have been selected for the prestigious WCHA Scholar Athlete Award since 2010-11. Prior to moving to the WCHA in 2010, the Beavers annually led College Hockey America in Academic All-CHA selections, including a league-record 18 picks in 2008. Additionally, BSU has had 14 Academic All-District honorees and in 2005 Peter Jonsson was named First-Team Academic All-America.
Under his guidance, 17 BSU defensemen have earned all-conference accolades, including Matt Prapavessis and Ruslan Pedan, who earned Third Team All-WCHA and WCHA All-Rookie Team honors to cap the 2013-14 season.
Gilling joined Serratore’s staff after having served as a graduate assistant under R.H. “Bob” Peters from 1999 until Peters’ retirement in 2001. Under Peters, Gilling held responsibilities for game-plan preparation, practice sessions, video breakdown and also served as the team’s bench and defensive coach. He held numerous other responsibilities within the program ranging from recruiting to academic advising to strength and conditioning.
During the summer of 2010, Gilling was invited to assist the Romanian Hockey Federation grown the game of hockey world-wide as an instructor for its International Coaching Seminar and Developmental Camp.
As a player, Gilling was a four-year letterwinner, senior captain and member of the 1998-99 Captain’s Committee at Minnesota Duluth. There, he built a reputation as one of the finest defensemen in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. He was nominated for WCHA Defensive Player of the Year in 1997-98 and was a member of the 1998 WCHA All-Star Team which played in Zug, Switzerland. He won awards as Duluth’s top freshman and won the team’s Bob Junkert Plus/Minus Award in 1995-96.
A native of Alexander, Manitoba, Gilling played with the Estevan Bruins of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey league from 1992-95. During his career, he won two team MVP (1994, 1995) and two team Most Valuable Defenseman (1994, 1995) awards, was the Most Valuable Rookie during 1992-93 and won the inaugural Bill Shinske Ethics Award in 1995.
Gilling has also compiled an impressive academic resume. In 1999, Gilling was a nominee for the College Hockey Humanitarian Award and WCHA Student Athlete of the Year, and was named Rasmussen Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year at Duluth. Gilling was a three-time Academic All-WCHA honoree, a member of the Dean’s List and received the Top Scholastic Player award from his junior club in 1993. He began graduate work at BSU in 1999 and in 2000 won a Beck Scholarship.
The Gilling File
Birthdate: Dec. 31, 1974
Home town: Killarney, Manitoba, Canada
Alma mater: Minnesota Duluth 1999 (BA, applied arts)
Post-graduate: Bemidji State 2001 (MS - sports studies)
Family: wife, Sheila; daughters Kyra and Amelie; son Gavin