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Permian Panthers
Odessa, Texas USA

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About Coach Gary Gaines    

Gary 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.

Gaines, 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 Parker.

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