WESTFIELD, Ind. — Westfield High School coach Jake Gilbert is planning to ditch the cleats for city hall.
The Shamrocks are a major force on fall Friday nights. They know how to win, led by Gilbert, who clearly loves his job.
Coaching and leading are in his blood, with three career moves at the high school level and one at the college level, but he fell in love with Westfield.
“I am ready for the next thing, but at the same time, I don’t want to leave Westfield,” said Gilbert. “We love it here. It’s been special for my family.”
So, Gilbert signed the papers to make a run for Westfield Mayor in 2023.
“I want to serve right here where I am at and give back. This is the natural thing I would want to do, take the leadership we have done in our program and at school and not for profits and now do that on a bigger stage.”
Gilbert said he decided to run because he wants to give back to the town that has given him so much.
“We are not working real well together right now out here. We can do better, in terms of, from the leadership standpoint, just someone who can unite, inspire the team and get people to work together. We lack the synergy we had. I think I can be the person to bring us back together.”
In between working at the high school and coaching, Gilbert is also on the city council, learning a new game.
“I really enjoyed serving in a different way. It’s been different for me. I am not as out front and a lot more behind the scenes, but that’s been good. The victories have been different. It takes longer and more persistence, but I think I have grown.
If he wins, Gilbert’s term as mayor would begin in 2024, so for now he plans to coach the next two years and then decide what’s best for the program and the city he calls home.
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