Dorothy Gaters, who has coached and won more high school basketball games than any other coach in Illinois, was inducted into the National Federation of High Schools Hall of Fame on July 2, 2018.
“It is a great honor to be inducted into the NFHS Hall of Fame,” said Gaters. “It is recognizing the accomplishments of so many dedicated young ladies who have made it possible for me to be a recipient. Our families, city, school and community share this award.”
Gaters, who became the head coach at John Marshall Metropolitan High School in Chicago in 1976, just won her ninth
IHSA state title this past spring. She won her first title in 1982. Today, the alumna of Marshall has an impressive overall record game wins of 1,106-198—ranking her program in the top ten girls high school basketball nationally. This makes her program one of the most successful in IHSA history.
IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said, “Dorothy Gaters is high school basketball in Illinois. That is something that I don’t say lightly when you take into consideration the history and tradition of high school basketball in this state, and especially in the city of Chicago. There are plenty of legendary coaches and players, but none has done it as long or as successfully as Dorothy.”
She has made 27 state final appearances, which include three runner-up finishes and eight other state final trophies. Her career coaching spans 43 years and includes not only coaching the Marshall Commandos, it also includes summer camps and clinics. Gaters has worked with Nike for over 20 years having helped launch the MLK Dream Classic, which today has 68 teams. Her latest project is Nike’s Equality Campaign, which features Gaters in a short film. Gaters has received countless awards and recognitions during her coaching career including awards from President Clinton, and two former Chicago mayors.
Gaters has coached in both the WBCA and McDonald’s All-American games. These are just a few of her many accomplishments.
The “winningest basketball coach in Illinois,” still coaches at John Marshall High School with no plans of leaving the game she loves in the near future.