Gary Gaines, legendary Texas HS coach, dies at 73

Gary Gaines, who was the legendary Texas high school football coach portrayed in the book and movie "Friday Night Lights," has died at the age of 73. According to a statement from Gaines' family, he died on Monday following a length battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Gaines is best known for his stint at Odessa Permian in the late 1980s despite coaching for over 30 years at other schools. Gaines' 1988 team was profiled in Buzz Bissinger's book, which showcased how important high school football was in West Texas.

Gaines, who was played by actor Billy Bob Thornton in the 2004 film, stated that he never read Bissinger's book after being betrayed by the author for the way his 1988 team was portrayed.

In 1988, Odessa Permian lost in the state semifinals in a season where the team's star running back, James "Boobie" Miles, got hurt during a preseason scrimmage. In the movie, Miles was shown getting hurt during the season.

The legendary coach also had stints at Abilene High and San Angelo Central following Permian. In 2000, Gaines moved onto the college ranks as he served as the head coach at Abilene Christian for five seasons. Following a 21-30 record over that in stretch, Gaines resigned as the Abilene Christian head coach at the conclusion of the 2004 season.

In 2009, Gaines returned to become the head coach at Permian once again. Gaines remained in that post until the conclusion of the 2012 season when he announced his retirement from coaching.

Gaines put together a 127-93-5 record in his 20 seasons as a head coach, including going 69-28-1 at Permian. He led the Panthers to six state championships during his time at the school, including a perfect 1989 season. After the 1989 season, Gaines took an assistant coaching job at Texas Tech.

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