The head coach of the Texas high school football team, Gary Gaines, who was made well-known by the book and movie “Friday Night Lights,” has died. He was 73.
Gaines’ family said in a statement that the former coach died on Monday in Lubbock after a protracted battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Despite having a 30-year coaching career that encompassed several stops in West Texas, Gary Gaines is best known for his four years as the head coach of the wildly successful Odessa Permian squad. Gaines returned to the Permian in a later stage of his career.
The best-selling book by Buzz Bissinger, which followed his 1988 team, created a picture of a programme and organisation that put football above academics and blamed racial remarks on assistant coaches.
After Bissinger spent the entire 1988 season with the team, Gary Gaines asserted he never read the book and felt misled by him. In the 2004 movie, Billy Bob Thornton played Gaines.
The book, which depicts Gary Gaines as a sympathetic coach imprisoned in the win-at-all-costs culture of a high school programme in football-crazy Texas, was also turned into a TV series.
James “Boobie” Miles, a star running back for Permian in the 1988 season when they lost in the state playoffs, injured his knee during a preseason practise. Numerous personalities played by Miles appeared in the film.
The book featured pictures of the front yard of Gaines’ house bearing “for sale” signs. His record from 1986 to 1989 was 47-6-1. Gaines led Permian to the fifth of their six state championships in 1989 before leaving to become an assistant coach at Texas Tech.
Before coaching two of Permian’s rivals, Abilene High and San Angelo Central, he first worked as the head coach at Abilene Christian. In 2009, Gaines started a second, four-year coaching contract with Permian. Previously, he oversaw athletics for the Odessa and Lubbock school systems.
Former Permian assistant coach Ron King, who is now retired, told the Odessa American, “I just can’t find the words to pay respects.” “The coaching industry has suffered a significant loss. He mentored a lot of coaches, taking them under his wing.