KYTX — There are few figures more synonymous with East Texas football than Lufkin's John Outlaw (1953-2011).
Born in 1953, he began his coaching career in Arkansas, winning two state championships in the process.
In 1995, after a period of success coaching in Sherman, Texas, Outlaw began his storied career with Lufkin High School. Over the next 17 years as the school's head coach and athletic director, Outlaw led the Panthers to historic success.
In 2001, Outlaw won his only state title with Lufkin over Austin Westlake.
In 2011, Outlaw approached the rare 300-win club. He accomplished that feat on October 7 with a 30-10 home win against The Woodlands.
He would finish his career with a 303-89-3 record, one of the top winning percentages of any coach in high school football history.
But his winning percentage is only part of the story.
During Outlaw's tenure at Lufkin, more than 150 his players went on the play on the college level. Several more of those players went on to play in the NFL including current wide receiver Dez Bryant.
Outlaw passed away in December of that year at the age of 58. More than 1,000 people attended his funeral. According to his obituary, Outlaw requested his honorary pallbearers to be "every boy I ever coached."
The very next season, the Lufkin football field was renamed John Outlaw Memorial Field at Abe Martin Stadium.