Gilbert Paul Bradfield

Gilbert Paul Bradfield, 68, called out his final play Sunday, June 4, signing off on a life that was full of love, laughs and plenty of great memories in Laramie, Wyo. God calls on all of His biggest players and, on this day, Gil’s number was pulled.

Born to Gilbert Joseph Bradfield and Rose (Pampolone) Bradfield June 27, 1954, in East Orange, N.J., Gil was always destined to break the mold.

He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Jan Bradfield, his sons Andrew (Kadi) of Cheyenne, Alex (Lauren) of Austin and Danny of Laramie, who loved him dearly. Gil is also survived by his mother Rose, and his brothers Glenn of Newport R.I., and Greg Bradfield of Jamestown R.I.

Gil was an amazing grandfather to Ellis and Olivia Bradfield, known to them as “Papa G.” He was a proud uncle of seven nieces and nephews.

Gil was preceded in death by his father and Marcus and Virginia Schnake, his in-laws.

Born with “Jersey grit” in an area being transformed by many factors, the New York Yankees and Giants became major influences in Gil’s formative years, resulting in a lifetime love for all things sports.

Gil grew up in Short Hills, N.J., and attended Catholic school at St. Rose of Lima Academy. Later on, he graduated from Milburn High School. Shortly after, Gil attended the University of Wyoming on a scholarship where he was an offensive lineman for the Wyoming Cowboys football team from 1972 to 1977.

Football was not the only athletic pursuit that caught Gil’s attention. He was an active member of the WyoRugby club during its early years on campus. During his fifth UW football season, Gil also coached football at Laramie High School. Off the field, Gil studied education and became a special education teacher at Laramie Junior High School and Laramie High School, while also earning his master’s degree.

It was during this time that Gil’s teaching and coaching legacy began. Upon leaving Cowboy football, he befriended a lifetime mentor and friend in Coach John Deti Jr. As Deti took over Laramie Plainsmen football, Deti made a call to a young player that caught his attention, Gil. This connection was the beginning of a life full of coaching. With enough awards to fill an entire wall in the family home, Gil won and coached in many championships across football, wrestling and, most notably, track and field. He refused to leave the field until the job was done, and participated or coached in a state championship every decade. Gil truly was involved in sports — his passion in life.

After retirement, Gil did not leave his passion for coaching behind. Gil shared his coaching wisdom with the City of Laramie Track and Field Youth Program. His skills were put to good use as Gil was a Level 1 USA Track and Field coach and a USA Master Level official.

In 2021, Gil was inducted into the Wyoming Coaches Hall of Fame. His three sons, all great athletes, followed in his coaching footsteps.

His devotion and hard work did not go unnoticed as Gil never met a stranger.

Gil will be remembered for many things, such as his great laugh, clever wit and love of kids but, most especially, his love for his “first wife,” Jan, his kids, his grandchildren and his friends. He was an incredible person who enjoyed spending his summers at the beach in Newport, R.I., and tailgating in the fall at UW football games with many of his former Cowboy teammates. He helped to host reunions each year for his lifetime football “brothers.”

He did not need much to be happy and content: Good wind, big waves, deep snow, great games, any beer, a bold Hawaiian shirt but, most important, the Maroon, White and Gold. Gil will be with us in spirit and high in the bleachers at every Laramie and UW sporting event. He will be sorely missed by all because he touched numerous lives.

In Gil’s honor, the lights at old and new Deti stadium will be lit on Friday night.

A vigil service will be held at St. Paul’s Newman Center at 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 9. The Funeral Liturgy will be at St. Paul’s Newman Center Saturday, June 10, at 2 p.m. Hawaiian shirts are welcomed and encouraged at both events.

Those that cannot attend in person can stream the Funeral Liturgy on Saturday at

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Laramie High School TRACC.

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Condolences (41)

  • Joe Marion

    Just found out that Gil passed on and feel a deep sense of sadness .He was my friend since 1972 when we both were freshman ball players on the Cowboys .We connected easily both growing up in the Garden State.He was always the guy we could all count on to get together with and down a beer at his house after the Wyo Football games.Gil you will be missed but never forgotten.I want to send my deep and sincere condolences to Jan and the rest of the family. JoeMarion

  • Kim Burkhart

    Bradfield Family, Our prayers are with you all. So many fond memories coaching, subbing, teaching, and joking with Gil. Best memory was my conversations with Gil when coaching Andrew in Jr. High High Jump. May the Lord comfort you all. Gil is in good hands! Kim Kopriva Burkhart & Family

  • Jan Paul Bollmann

    Today my college best friend came to mind. Gil and I were attached at the hip during our junior and senior years at UW. Everyday we worked out at the fieldhouse; he was the best basketball teammate. He always had a new roommate each year when a friend named Murph from Rhode Island would ski with Gil every weekend at Steamboat. Gil's Mustang was our "ride." He played the best air guitar, Free Bird; and then sang the best "wham bam thank you mam," Suffragette City. Mary Tyler Moore and Ted Baxter, the Fonz and more kept our senses of humor keen. The McClains, Garibaldi and others were key components to a laugh that knew few boundaries when it came to fun. As a footballer he cracked me up. Every Saturday we drank brandy, sat in the same student section at the 50, and cheered McClain, Aaron Kyle, Steve Burke, and others to play their best. Gil played JV until head coach Fred Akers changed the program and Gil said it was not worth the hard work anymore. He played rugby with a ferocious intensity that only got to be more when the beer came out afterward. Gil's family that I knew, was delightful, his brothers and parents. His best friends Garibaldi, Ochuzzi, and more are in the "team" picture that still hangs on my closet wall. That day at the Meadowlands in freezing rain, we saw Walter Payton break an NFL running record with us in the stands . We lost contact when I moved to NYC. However, a passionate, deep friend never leaves your memory. Gil was that special friend. I missed him for more than forty years. Today I found him by supernatural decision to Google his name. My heart is broken. He always lived in me for all these years. I never had a better friend. I never had better memories. I learned that he married a Jan, obviously a wonderful woman. His family I never knew but have no doubt they would "carry the ball" as well or better than that big man who to my wonderment, always had a soft heart for children with special needs. 68 years young. Our goals in life are to make an impact; he obviously did more than was expected of him. Gil always had a relationship with God. My search for my friend has ended...and we will be reunited someday in glory. How fantastic. The angels are probably playing football with him right now...for eternity. What a marvelous thought. My condolences to the Bradfield brothers, wife Jan, the family and to all I got to know through Gil, and in our short time together. Best regards in this most difficult time...

  • Adam Bradfield

    listening to the beach boys doesnt sound the same, miss you uncle gil

  • Anonymous

    Please accept my heartfelt prayers and sympathy to each of you from my family. I will miss seeing him walk across the football field or his greeting at state track, always smiling. The family of George Douglas-Mickey

  • Janie Moore

    Jan and boys, my heart goes out to you, Gil was one of my favorite people to work with at LHS. He always had a smile when he came into the office. He will be missed, but we all have such great memories of him, he will always be with us. Janie Moore

  • Claudina Bradfield

    Thoughts and prayers to you all. A GREAT man has been called home. Peace and love to one Bradfield family from another Bradfield family ✝️

  • Stephen and Olivia Michel

    We are incredibly saddened to hear of Gil's passing. He always had other's best interests in mind, and touched countless lives. Not to mention exhibiting incredible patience with keeping those "maroons" out of trouble growing up in the neighborhood ("maroons" was his nice term for "morons" when referring to Alex, myself and others). Later as a coach, his passion for coaching track and field helped develop my own passion for the sport, and he also taught me to be level-headed no matter the level of competition. Finally, Gil and Jan were some of Olivia's favorite folks to interact with when she worked the front desk at the Rec Center. Miss ya Coach! Love you all, and thinking of you Bradfield family!

  • Pat & Linda Flynn

    Please know that you have my deepest sympathy on the loss of your husband and father. We know that there is little we can say to console you but please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. Pat & Linda Flynn

  • Michael and Jane Grzybowski

    Our hearts are saddened by this news. We share in your sorrow and please know we are thinking of you all. Our lives were just that much better having known Gil. What a great person!!! Sincerely, Mike & Jane Grzybowski

  • Paul Judge

    Our family grew up in Short Hills NJ and St Rose with the Bradfields. The Bradfield family has the sympathy and condolences at the passing of Gil. He was a big an amazing person. Sincerely, The Judge Family

    • Anonymous

      Gill was my 1st patrol leader in boy scouts, Troop 17 St Ros of Lima. I looked up to him and he made a big impact on me.. I'm sorry we didn't keep in touch. I'm surprised he was only a yeR older than me because he stood out as a leader and a mentor. It's not a surprise you wanted the coaching. He showed leadership from the early age Rest in peace

  • Renee and John Haefner

    Jan and the boys I am so sorry for your loss I have such wonderful and fond memories of the time we spent on the bball circuit our boys grew up together Gil was such a great man he made such a positive contribution to the lives of so many young people he will be greatly missed please accept our deepest sympathy we are thinking about all of you

  • Jeff and Marion Garibaldi

    Everyone today has lost a "wing man" one of the finest, funniest and "take the short off his back" kind of guy. never mad, never sad, always uplifting, cared for everyone else., generous with his time and dedication, always wanting to help. As big and strong as Gil was and I certainly wouldn't want to play against him on the gridiron, you would never meet a kinder softer man. I grew up with Gil, known since 7th grade and to this day and every day going forward, will remain one of my best friends. We have so many memories that we shared together whether it be on the beaches in CapeCod or Jersey shore, DJai's bar in Belmar NJ, skiing at Steamboat, spent couple of weeks visiting him in Buffalo WY on the Camino Family ranch when he was student teaching there. Nobody could sport a Hawaiian shirt better than Gil ...hence one of his nicknames ... Gilbert B from Waikiki. The stories we could tell. My heart pours out for Jan and the boys and the grandchildren. it's a big loss but memories and photos over time will help to bring you all thru this sad time in your lives. People often use the old cliche ... larger than life but with Gil, he epitomized what being a larger than life person is all about. He'd walk into the room and the place would light up with smiles and laughter... always enjoyed every moment we spent together. We lost a dear friend. I will miss you dearly and keep you and your family in my prayers. I love you Bro.....RIP Gil. Jeff and Marion Garibaldi

  • Bruce Dalke

    My condolences to all of Gil's family and friends. I didn't get to know Gil very long, but he was my coaching mentor and colleague on our track and field trips down under to Australia. He was the nicest and funniest man and would actually give me the giggles. It was a pleasure to know him and share a drink or two and talk track and field all night long. And taking a nap on the bus in our Hawaiian shirts. A great man and friend. We'll miss him.

  • Susan Day

    I am so sad about this loss--Michael and I and many of the High Plains Harriers knew him as our running buddy who always had a cooler full or cold beer after our long Sunday runs.

  • Kevin J Mcclain

    Jan, Andrew, Alex, Danny, and all in your families: Prayers and condolences to all. Please know all of you were the most important people in his life. He loved you all so very much. Any time he spoke of you guys it was always with a great sense of pride. I met Gil when I was 17 on a recruiting trip to WYO, he has been my friend ever since, always kind to Dona and our family, the best smile and laugh ever. We will mis him but treasure the memories of time spent together. GOD BLESS! kevin/dona

  • Lindsay Stoffers

    Mr. Bradfield was such a wonderful person. Sending you all so much love. Know that your Dad/husband left a mark on the lives of so many of his students and athletes. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss.

  • Jenna Scozzafava (Roth)

    My prayers are with you and my heart breaks for you. Gil was one of the good ones! Always with a smile, he went above and beyond. Stepping up for me as a pole vault coach, with almost no experience, exemplified the kind of man Coach Bradfield was. His heart for his family, students, and athletes was truly a blessing.

  • Quentin Skinner

    Jan, Andrew, Alex, and Danny, I am so sorry for your loss. The Skinners send our most heartfelt condolences from Georgia. Gil was a wonderful human being, and I was so blessed to receive his coaching, mentorship, and friendship over the years. I first met him as my sophomore football coach. He then was my wrestling coach and talked me into going out for track. In those wrestling years, I always asked to see the Wyoming Football ring he wore. His stories of playing at Wyoming and being an offensive lineman inspired my career at UW. Seeing him on my many trips back to the Gem City was always amazing, and he always had that warm smile and infectious laugh. If you ever need an example of a young Laramie boy impacted by your husband/father, please put my name at the top. You are all in my thoughts and prayers in this very difficult time. Gil was a man of deep faith, and I am quite sure he is running plays in heaven with Coach Deti, Sammy Miller, Joe Benson, and Bob Robertson.

  • Dee Swanson

    Jan and family, my sincere condolences on the loss of Gil. I enjoyed my time with him. A kind, gentle person! My thoughts and prayers are with you all!

  • Tim and Yolanda Daniels

    Bradfield fam we love you guys. We have so much history together with all of you and GIL WILL BE MISSED. He always had a smile and was so easy to be around.

  • Anonymous

    Gil was a great guy. He always remembered everyone with a smile! Rudy and Judi

  • Kevin Williams

    7220 and 307 will miss this man. Though a Hall of Fame Coach, his real hall of fame is as a husband, father, grandfather, and friend. The best description I can give him is, “he was a good man”. Blessings to his family and friends.

  • Jeff Felton

    I would like to express my sincere condolences to the Bradfield family for their loss. Gil was an excellent teacher and coach but an even better human being.

  • John R Cowper

    Mr. Bradfield was a great man, who positively influenced so many of our youth in the community of Laramie. I am proud to say that I knew him as he will be missed by many. I will miss his booming laughter and big smile. He was a great man. Our hearts go out to his family in this very sad time. The Cowpers

  • Walt Cook

    Jan and boys, Joanne and I are so deeply saddened with the loss of Gil. Whenever we would come back for a game or to see my dad, we looked forward to getting together for a meal and tailgate with you. God must have needed a good line coach. Our prays are with you and the rest of the family love you all.

    • Kathie Wagstaff

      I am so sorry for your loss. I met Mr Bradfield in Laramie Senior High. Great man, teacher and coach. I was watching my twin grandsons at 2 years old and my granddaughter at 8 years old . I went to Washington Park last summer with my grandchildren and ran into Mr Bradfield. He gave me great advise! I felt like i was going crazy with 3 grandkids. He told me be kind but firm. I listened. Mr Bradfield was like a counselor and i will alway be thankful for him.

  • Wes Roth

    My heart breaks to hear of Coach Bradfield's passing. He was a wonderful football coach at LHS! A great teacher as well! He taught me a lot about the game and how to work hard in practice to be ready for Friday night lights! Praying for the Bradfield family. God bless. Psalm 147:3. - Wes Roth (class of '99) and family

  • Bob Ely

    Jan and Family. Please accept our condolences at this time of your loss. Gil was a great teacher, coach and a friend. I have fond memories of my time with him. Bob & Verl-Lee Ely

  • Anonymous

    Godspeed to you all. What a wonderful human we have lost too soon. Shelly Miller Aragon

  • Holly Cordary

    I am sorry to hear about your loss of Gil. While we weren't close, I respected Gil as a big hearted man. He will be remembered for years to come since he was one of my son's teachers. Sympathy, prayers and thoughts for his family.

  • Anonymous

    Sending love and hugs. Mary and Rob Garland

  • Kellie and Jim Southards

    Jan, Jim and I are so sorry for your loss. I remember when Gil went to work at the junior high. My mom always thought that he was the nicest young man. You are in our prayers...

  • Megan Elledge

    Jan, Andrew, Alex and Danny and family I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Mr Bradfield. He was a great person!! I had him as a teacher in high school.

  • Ann Benson Palomba

    Jan and family, My heart breaks for you. Gil made an impact on many students and will be missed.

  • Dan Nelson

    My prayers and thoughts are with you Jan and family. I've known you both for so many years. So many fond memories of our neighborhood and seeing you two walk your dog. Gil, I always enjoyed our visits about your hometown of Boston and places we mutually enjoyed. Now, RIP knowing that your earthly work is finished but that your influence on so many will remain.

  • Jim & Ro Peak

    Jan, Alex, Danny, and Andrew this breaks my heart. I’ve known Gil for some 40 years and we managed to solve most of ACSD#1 problems in the locker room of the recreation center early in the morning before going to work. Please know that our love and thoughts are with you all during this difficult time. Find peace in knowing that others are sharing in your loss.

  • Peggy & Keith Ferguson

    Jan and family, Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Gil was an amazing teacher, coach and friend. He will be missed! May wonderful memories help to bring you peace. Peggy & Keith Ferguson

  • John Emmett

    RIP Ol' Friend. Even though we haven't seen each other is many years, you will always be one of "sprint" buddies.

  • Robin Coulthard

    Mr Bradfield made such an impact on so many lives! I know my son Dillon Gilster was one of them!


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