Sean Gilbert, Head Coach: Livingstone College
Much of former defensive lineman Sean Gilbert’s legacy in the NFL is what could have been. Gilbert was not a bust, but injuries limited what could have been an outstanding career. Gilbert was an All-American in 1991 on the way to being the third overall pick by the Los Angeles Rams in 1992.
It did not take Gilbert long to acclimate himself to the professional game. The former Pitt standout made his first Pro Bowl in his second season in Los Angeles. Gilbert would make two more Pro Bowls in 1995 and 1996.
His last two Pro Bowls were as a defensive end after switching from defensive tackle, a move uncommon in those days. Gilbert was traded to the Washington Commanders in 1996 after the Rams signed Leslie O’Neal.
Gilbert won an arbitration case deeming it unfair the Commanders franchise tagged him two straight seasons. After winning the case, Gilbert signed with the Carolina Panthers for $46.5 million, an unheard-of amount for an interior lineman at the time.
A broken hip in 2002 would derail what was a productive career, and Gilbert was never the same. By 2003 Gilbert was out of football. Gilbert was named head coach of Livingstone College in 2020. It is his first time being a head coach. After not playing in 2020, the Blue Bears went 1-8 in Gilbert’s first season.