Gary Gaines Has Died At Age 73

‘Friday Night Lights Coach Gary Gaines Has Died At Age 73

The legendary high school coach Gary Gaines — who was portrayed in the iconic “Friday Night Lights” book and film — has passed away after a long battle with Alzheimer’s, his family announced on Monday.

He was 73.

“It is with great sadness that the family of Coach Gary Gaines announces the peaceful passing of his father, who was battling Alzheimer’s Disease for a long time, this afternoon after a long and dedicated battle,” his family said in a statement.

“Plans for the memorial service will be announced in the upcoming days. Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

‘Friday Night Lights Coach Gary Gaines Has Died At Age 73

Gaines, whose coaching career over the past four decades has spanned more than four decades, got his start at Petersburg High School in Texas in 1977, but he is best known for his work at Permian High School in Texas.

Under the leadership of head coach John Wilkins at Permian High School in 1980, Gaines assisted in leading the team to the state championship in the Texas 5A classification as an assistant coach.

'Friday Night Lights Coach Gary Gaines Has Died At The Age Of 73
‘Friday Night Lights Coach Gary Gaines Has Died At The Age Of 73

There is no doubt, however, that Gaines is most remembered for what he was portrayed as in the book/movie “Friday Night Lights” which describes the journey of the 1988 Permian High School football team that marched towards a championship title.

It was during Gaines’ tenure at Permian that he enjoyed tremendous success, including guiding the team to a perfect 16-0 season and winning the 1989 5A state championship.

The movie ‘Friday Night Lights won an ESPY award for ‘Best Sports Movie’ in 2005, and it was also nominated for ‘Movie of the Year that same year. There is no doubt that Billy Bob Thornton is famous for playing Gaines in the movie.

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