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Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Big 12 has rich history at Odessa Permian

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

It's a name that resonates across America as one of strongest high-school football programs in the nation.

Odessa Permian has been a steady provider of top talent to Big 12 schools, among others, over the years.

That's why Jeff Miller's story about Odessa Permian now on ESPN Rise was so interesting to me. Former coach Gary Gaines, the coach of the Permian program during the tumultuous 1988 season that was chronicled in Buzz Bissinger's masterpiece "Friday Night Lights," is back coaching his school again after 11 years away from high school coaching.

Among the Big 12 products who played at Permian over the years have included former Texas standouts Britt Hager and Roy Williams, former Texas Tech wide receiver Lloyd Hill and former New Mexico quarterback Stoney Case. Other products of the school include actor Jim J. Bullock, noted model and actress Kim Smith and Olympic silver-medal winning pole vaulter Toby Williams.

The Permian program resonates across Texas like the New York Yankees or Los Angeles Lakers of high school programs. And the Big 12 has received a big boost from some of its more notable products over the years.