TYLER - From 2012 to 2016, Coby Gipson led the Bishop Gorman football team to some of their best seasons in school history.

Then, in January, he decided it was time for a new challenge and he left Tyler to become the offensive coordinator at Howard Payne University.

Gipson was back in East Texas on Wednesday as the Yellow Jackets had a satellite camp at Rose Stadium in Tyler. Several of his former players were at the camp and it meant a lot to Gipson to see everyone support him and his new school.

He said, "I'm appreciative of all the high school coaches and all these awesome student athletes out here ready to go after it on this field and there's a lot of things they could do on a 100 degree day and they chose to be out here and it means a lot to us."

Howard Payne has a few East Texans on their roster this year, with several more expected to join next year. And the coaching staff says East Texas is a critical piece of their recruiting efforts.

Howard Payne head coach Braxton Harris says, "They play pretty good football over here...and man we're excited to be able to continue to keep them coming over here and we think that this is a place that we will invest in for the future of Howard Payne football."

But on Wednesday, it was about more than recruiting. For Gipson, it was a chance to reconnect with his kids.

He says, "It's a really special day, it makes me emotional just thinking about it."