NEW Fox News articles can now be heard on audio! The head coach of the Texas high school football team featured in the book and movie “Friday Night Lights,” Gary Gaines, passed away on Monday, according to his family. He was 73.
According to the Gaines family, the longtime football coach passed away in Lubbock after a protracted battle with Alzheimer’s.
Gaines spent three decades coaching in West Texas, but his four years as the head coach of Odessa Permian are the ones for which he is best remembered. The book and movie primarily focused on the 1988 season, during which he guided Permian to the state championship game despite the departure of James “Boobie” Miles but lost.
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Gaines was portrayed by actor Billy Bob Thornton in the movie.
“It is with deep sorrow that the family of Coach Gary Gaines announces his peaceful departure this afternoon after a protracted struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. In the coming days, memorial arrangements will be made public. We appreciate you keeping our family in mind and in your prayers “said in a statement from his family.
Gaines spent a couple seasons as the head coach at Abilene Christian University. On Twitter, the school paid tribute to Gaines.