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TMCNet:  FOOTBALL: Feldt tells Hays County paper he's new Permian coach

[January 11, 2013]

FOOTBALL: Feldt tells Hays County paper he's new Permian coach

Jan 11, 2013 (Odessa American - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Permian High School's next head football coach will be Blake Feldt, who told the Hays Free Press that he accepted the job Thursday and agreed to a two-year contract worth $118,000 annually.

The 51-year-old Feldt, a Midland High graduate who spent the last two seasons as the head coach at Class 4A Buda Hays, is expected to be officially hired at an ECISD Board of Trustees meeting scheduled for noon Friday.

"It feels like I'm home again," Feldt told the Free Press. "This is the district I played my high school football in, and these are the games my dad took me to since before I could walk. It's such an exciting time for myself, my wife Kathy and our entire family. It's a dream come true to be the head football coach at Permian -- everyone knows the Permian Panthers." Feldt, a former Texas Tech offensive lineman who was a graduate assistant coach at Tech and Texas and an assistant coach at Appalachian State and SMU, has an overall record of 91-57 in 13 seasons as a high school head coach. He won the 2009 Class 2A Division II state championship at Pilot Point and during his two seasons at Hays guided the Rebels to an 18-6 record with a pair of appearances in Class 4A Division I playoffs.

At Permian Feldt will succeed Gary Gaines, who resigned after his second four-year tenure at the school. The Panthers went 23-21 the last four seasons under Gaines, winning only one playoff game and no district championships.

"The community and the city are hungry for the Panthers to be back on top," Feldt told the Free Press. "It's going to take a tremendous amount of hard work from the kids and the coaching staff, but we're going to roll up our sleeves and go to work. We're going to be 100 percent dedicated to that goal." Feldt was one of three finalists for the job along with former Permian assistant coaches Matt Anastasio and Ted Willmann. All three men interviewed Wednesday in Odessa.

ECISD athletics director Todd Vesely said Thursday that Anastasio removed his name from consideration because he wanted to remain the head coach at Gregory-Portland, his alma mater. Austin Westlake head coach Darren Allman said Willmann, his associate head coach and offensive line coach with the Chaparrals and with the Panthers from 2005-08, was back on the Westlake campus Thursday.

Vesely on Thursday would not confirm or deny whether Feldt had been tabbed as Permian's new coach, saying, "No one is hired until the superintendent (Hector Mendez) will make a recommendation and it's approved by the board." Feldt told the Free Press he was "ecstatic when Coach Vesely offered me the job." He also told the paper he expected to resign from Hays by Monday and begin serving as the Panthers' head coach on Jan. 22.

Feldt will be replacing a coaching legend for the third time in as many stops. At Pilot Point he succeeded G.A. Moore, the winningest high school coach in Texas history. At Hays he followed Bob Shelton, who is tied for eighth on Texas' all-time wins list and was the Rebels' head coach from when the school opened in 1968 until retiring in 2010.

Gaines, a 63-year-old Crane native, posted a 69-28-1 record in eight overall seasons with the Panthers and guided them to one of their six state championships in 1989. Gaines also was a central figure in H.G. Bissinger's "Friday Night Lights," the bestselling book that chronicled Permian's 1988 season.

"I wouldn't have accepted the job if I didn't think we couldn't get Permian back to its rightful place as the king of Texas football," Feldt told the Free Press. "The great thing about the job is they are going to give us everything we need to succeed." Contact Adam Zuvanich on twitter @OAzuvanich, on Facebook at OA Adam Zuvanich or call 432-333-7649.

___ (c)2013 the Odessa American (Odessa, Texas) Visit the Odessa American (Odessa, Texas) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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