Legendary high school football coach has died at the age of 73


Gary Gaines, who coached Odessa Perm, has passed away. He was 73 years old.

According to a statement from Gaines’ family, the former coach died Monday in Lubbock after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Gaines is known for coaching the Texas High School football team, which inspired him to create the book and film Friday Night Lights.

The 1988 team coached by Gaines is described in Buzz Bissinger’s book. Gaines never read the book because he felt betrayed by Bissinger.

Gaines led the Odessa Perm team to the state championship in 1989, and the following year became an assistant coach at the Texas Institute of Technology.

Before he returned to Odessa Perm in 2009, Gaines worked at Abilene High School and at San Angelo Central. He also coached at Abilene Christian.

Ron King, a former assistant at the Odessa Perm Plant, made a sincere statement about Gaines’ death.

“I just can’t find the words to pay tribute,” King told the Odessa American. “This is a big loss for the coaching profession. There are many coaches that he took under his wing and mentored.”

Our thoughts are with Gaines’ family and friends right now.


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