Gaines isn't -- and won't ever be -- accustomed to not doing what he sets
out to do. The coach who has led teams to nine playoff appearances
in 17 years as a high school head coach, including a 1989 Class 5A state
championship and a national championship at Permian, doesn't ever become
accustomed to anything but the best. Gaines had two stints at
Permian, serving as an assistant from 1979 through 1981 and as head coach
from 1986 through 1989. The Panthers won Class 5A state championships in
1980 and 1989.
At the high school level, he inherited
downtrodden programs at Abilene High and San Angelo
Central in his two jobs previous to Abilene Christian
University, and in both of those situations he and his
staff were able to turn both programs toward success.
Gaines built the foundation for an Abilene High program
that has reached the playoffs in three straight seasons,
including a 1999 trip to the Class 5A Division II
quarterfinals and a District 3-5A championship in 2001.
Prior to the 1999 season, the Eagles had not reached the
playoffs since 1959. After leaving AHS before the
1996 season, he moved on to San Angelo where he took the
Central Bobcats to the playoffs in 1998 and 1999, their
first playoff appearances since the 1992 season.
a 1971 graduate of Angelo State, has a career coaching
mark of 121-96-6 in 20 seasons as a head coach,
including 111-75-6 in 17 years on the high school level.
He has won district championships at Petersburg,
Monahans, Permian and San Angelo Central high schools.
His teams made nine playoff appearances, and his 1989
Odessa Permian state championship team is considered one
of the finest teams in the history of the program. After winning that state title, Gaines
moved on to Texas Tech University to serve as
linebackers coach from 1990-94. He recruited and coached
Zach Thomas into an all-America linebacker for the Red
Raiders. Thomas went on to become an NFL all-pro with
the Miami Dolphins. In January 2000, Gaines
became the head coach at Abilene Christian University
for the Wildcats.
Gaines and his wife, Sharon, have been
married 34 years and have two children, Bradley (wife,
Debbie) and Nicole (husband, Glen). The
Gaines' also have three grandchildren: Avery, Bailey and