Legendary Texas High School football coach Gary Gaines dead at 73 | Coach Portrayed in Friday Night Lights
Friday Night Lights book and film focused on legendary high school football coach Gary Gaines. The iconic movie portrayed Gaines whose four decade coaching career helped him stand out as one of the most legendary coaches in high school history. Actor Billy Bob Thornton portrayed Gaines in the film.
Unfortunately, Coach Gary Gaines passed away after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.
“Following a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, it is with great sadness that the family of Coach Gary Gaines announces his peaceful passing this afternoon. Memorial plans will be announced in the coming days. Thank you for remembering our family in your thoughts and prayers,” his family said in a statement.
Gaines led Permian to a perfect season in 1989 and then left to be an assistant at Texas Tech. He later coached Abilene High and San Angelo Central before making his return to college with Abilene Christian. He would also serve a second stint at Permian in 2009.
Gaines is survived by his wife Sharon and children Bradley and Nicole.
The book on which it is based, Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream (1990) by H. G. Bissinger, followed the story of the 1988 Permian High School Panthers football team as they made a run towards the state championship. A television series of the same name premiered on October 3, 2006 on NBC. The film won the Best Sports Movie ESPY Award and was ranked number 37 on Entertainment Weekly‘s list of the Best High School Movies.
If you have never watched Friday Night Lights, you may want to turn it on this weekend. It was a legendary movie to portray a legendary man!