The 2009 season was Robert Gillespie's first at Oklahoma State. He came to Stillwater after serving on Steve Spurrier's staff at South Carolina from 2005 through 2008.
Under Gillespie's tutelage, senior Keith Toston blossomed into an all-Big 12 first team performer who rushed for 1,218 yards, and the Cowboys led the conference in rushing offense at 187.8 yards per game. Fullback Bryant Ward also earned first-team all-conference honors in Gillespie's first season.
With Gillespie on staff, the Gamecocks appeared in the 2005 Independence Bowl, the 2006 Liberty Bowl and the 2009 Outback Bowl.
Gillespie was promoted to the Gamecocks' running backs coach on Dec. 16, 2005, after spending the 2005 campaign as a graduate assistant for video at South Carolina.
Under Gillespie's watch, the South Carolina backs combined to rush for 1,876 yards in 2006, marking a 61 percent increase from the year prior to his appointment as running backs coach. South Carolina averaged 144.31 rushing yards per game in 2006, ranking 49th nationally just one year after ranking 108th among Division I-A teams with a 95.17 yards per game average.
In 2007, Carolina tailback Cory Boyd rushed for 903 yards, the most yards for a Gamecock back since Derek Watson logged 1,066 yards rushing in 2000. Boyd was selected in the NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Bucs.
A former running back and team captain at the University of Florida, Gillespie played for Spurrier from 1998-2001, earning a spot on the SEC All-Freshman Team and SEC Player of the Week recognition during his time with the Gators. Gillespie finished his college career ranking second all-time at Florida in receiving yards by a back. A two-time member of the SEC Fall Sports Academic Honor Roll in 2000 and 2001, Gillespie returned to Gainesville to earn a degree in sports management from Florida in 2005.
Gillespie played for the NFL's Washington Redskins in 2002 and 2003 and played for the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europe in 2003 before taking a teaching job at his alma mater, Hattiesburg High School in Hattiesburg, Miss., in 2004. He stayed on at Hattiesburg for an internship in the athletic department in 2005 before making his way to South Carolina.
Gillespie and his wife, the former Crystal Moore, were married during the summer of 2009.