Tyler Gibson turns quarterback duties into student assistant coaching role for Badgers

Former PHS quarterback Tyler Gibson is a student assistant on the University of  Wisconsin football staff.

Tyler Gibson was a thinking-man’s quarterback at Princeton High School, directing the offense for the Tigers’ 2019 semifinalist football team.

Tiger coach Ryan Pearson described Gibson, a co-BCR Player of the Year, as an extension of him on the field, calling all the plays and getting every one else to where they needed to be.

Gibson has taken those talents into a new role with the University of Wisconsin football team this fall.

‘”Gibby” started out as a manager for the Badgers his freshmen year in Madison. He’s been promoted to “Defensive Student Assistant,” moving upstairs to the press box during games when the new staff came in with head coach Luke Fickell last November.

“I chart defensive calls and break it down later. Down and distance and the gain and stuff like that. It’s awesome,” he said. “Every day I think about it, it’s been like a dream. I never thought I’d be doing this stuff. Just giving it a shot and it’s working out.

“Not what I thought of when I was in high school and playing, but every day at practice or games, I’m grateful for it and I’m excited.”

Gibson said all the experiences he gained playing high school football at Princeton helped prepared him for his new role.

“Coming from Princeton and coach Pearson, there’s an attitude how you go about your day. I feel that’s helped me a lot,” he said. “Every little thing matters. Playing of course and preparation each week, I have weekly tasks I have to do and it translates even though I’m not playing.”

He works closely with two grad assistant coaches and the quality control coach. At practices, he works with outside linebackers and helps with scout team wide receivers and goes to meetings and “try to learn as much as I can.”

Pearson said he’s not surprised to see what his former QB1 is doing at Wisconsin.

“Tyler was an fantastic player for us,” he said. “Very intelligent, a hard worker, competitive and a very humble young man. He will excel in whatever endeavor he puts his mind to. That’s the kind of young man he is.”

Gibson is studying mechanical engineering, so he’s learning to balance his studies and football.

“It makes it a little tough balancing everything. So when I’m not doing work, I’m studying or doing homework,” he said. “It’s rough, but I enjoy it and it’s fulfilling.”

It has peaked his interest in staying in football after college, coaching at the collegiate level.

“If the opportunity is there, which I’m trying to make it happen, I would love to be a coach some day,” Gibson said.

The Badgers lost 31-22 at Washington State in Week 2, but have since bounced back to win four of their last six games heading into Saturday’s game at Indiana.

“That set the mood down a little bit. l think we took it as a wake-up call,” Gibson said of the Week 2 loss.

He invited his old PHS teammate Grant Foes for the Badgers game in Champaign on Oct. 21 when Foes had a weekend off playing for Indiana Wesleyan University. Now Gibson’s trying to get his old buddy to come to the Badgers’ side of the fence.

“I’m trying to my best to convert him. Me, him and other friends grew up Illinois fans. So, I try to get as much gear as I can,” Gibson said with a laugh, noting Foes was in Badger red in Champaign.

Kevin Hieronymus has been the BCR Sports Editor since 1986. Contact him at khieronymus@bcrnews.com