ODESSA, TX – The Ector County ISD wasted no time in promoting Jeff Ellison to interim head football coach for the 2018 season. Ellison has been the assistant head coach and offensive line coach the past season. He, along with offensive coordinator Thad Fortune and defensive coordinator Vance Washington, was one of three candidates interviewed for the spot. Continue reading “Ellison Promoted To Lead Panthers”
BACKGROUND & HISTORY
The MojoLand website came into existence in 1996, as a response to Buzz Bissinger’s ‘Friday Night Lights’ book. I felt there were several bent truths and sensationalized information in the book. Being a graduate of Permian, I found portions of the book to be of no merit. Hence the creation of MojoLand.
The site began as a personal web page. It consisted of a news page, roster, schedule, coaching staff, and playoff history of the football team. In 1998, the Ector County Independent School District was in its Phase Two of becoming internet friendly and having a site originating from its campuses. Along the way, more and more features to the MojoLand site would evolve. The ECISD finally got on track and launched their own site, which included the district’s full athletic department. In 2000, MojoLand would yield to the school district site and re-focus on the football athletes and their achievements during and after dawning the Panthers uniform.
The production of ‘Friday Night Lights – the Movie’ began in March of 2004 and I had an inside track. MojoLand was the only website on the internet with daily updates and photos, as I was directly involved cast as a Permian assistant coach. The inside scoop afforded MojoLand to top One Million internet visitors a month for several months in 2005. For 2006, the site featured the first internet-based virtual museum dedicated to a high school football program and its history.
MojoLand entered its 23rd season at the completion of the 2018 go-round. Through the many highs and lows, I have enjoyed corresponding with several of you over the years. Thank you all for the ride and hopefully there’s still more to come.
|1959-61 TED DAWSON (21-10-0)
|1962-64 JIM CASHION (15-15-0)
| 1965-70 GENE MAYFIELD (62-10-2)
State Finalist 2x
|1971-72 GIL BARTOSH (23-1-0)
|1973-85 JOHN WILKINS (148-16-6)
State Champions 2x
State Finalist 4x
|1986-89 GARY GAINES (47-6-1)
| 1990-93 TAM HOLLINGSHEAD (43-4-2)
|1994-99 RANDY MAYES (45-25-1)
|2000-02 T.J. MILLS (15-15)
|2003-04 SCOTT SMITH (10-10)
|2005-08 DARREN ALLMAN (38-11)
Region Finalists 3x
|2009-12 GARY GAINES (23-21)
|2013-17 BLAKE FELDT (38-18)
Region Finalists 3x
|2018-xx JEFF ELLISON (15-9)
|PERMIAN’S STATE CHAMPION COACHES|
Gilbert ‘Gil’ Bartosh
Bartosh became head coach at Permian in 1971. He guided the Panthers to a perfect 14-0 season in 1972, winning the Texas 5A state title as well as the mythical high school football national championship. He then left Permian for an assistant job at Texas A&M. In 1974, he took over as head coach of UTEP. Bartosh was inducted into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame in 1989.
Head coach at Permian in 1988 and the 1989 state champion season. Coach Gaines accepted an assistant coaching position at Texas Tech the following year. He returned to the area high school ranks as head coach at Abilene High (1994-96) and San Angelo Central (1996-99). He was head coach at Abilene Christian (2000-04). He served as A.D. for the ECISD until 2007. Gaines returned in 2009 as Mojo’s Head Coach until 2012.
From 1981-83 was an assistant coach at PHS. After two years as a graduate assistant at Texas Tech, Hollingshead returned to Permian as defensive coordinator (1986-89). As the head coach (1990-93), he led the Panthers to an impressive 43–4–2 record in four seasons. He departed in 1994 and spent eight years at Texas A&M. He took over as head coach in Temple, TX in 2003-04 and Rockwall Heath in 2005-08. He was a defensive assistant at SMU until taking the Director of External Operations position in 2015.
Coach Mayfield is accredited for bringing the ‘Mojo’ to Permian, winning a state title his first season. The Panthers claimed the 1965 title by beating San Antonio Lee, 13-6. He led Permian to the state finals two more times in his five years, compiling a 62-10-2 record. Mayfield would depart Permian to take a head coaching position at West Texas State from 1971-76.
Panther mentor from 1973-85, Wilkins mounted a record of 146-16-6 as head coach. Under his leadership, Mojo won two state titles and made four state championship appearances. He then served as Athletic Director for Ector County ISD. He was athletic director and head football coach of the Midland Trinity Chargers, and retired Spring 2002. He was inducted into the THSCA Hall of Honor July 2003.
A 1987 graduate and former player, Darren Allman was a sophomore when the Panthers won the 1984 Class 5A State Championship. Allman was a junior when the team reached the state finals in 1985. He shares the school record for interceptions in a single game with four in 1986. A decade later, Allman would spend eight seasons coaching at Brownwood, one year at Temple, and one year at Highland Park. In February 2005, he was named as Permian’s 11th football coach. After reaching the third round of the playoffs in ’06, ’07, and ’08, Allman left Permian for Austin Westlake and then Colleyville Heritage. In 2015, he took the Athletic Director position at Southlake Carroll.
After graduating Permian in 1997, Mike received a scholarship to play football at Mid-America Nazarene University in Kansas City. He played linebacker during his freshman and sophomore years. Mike finished his collegiate playing career at Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma City as a team captain linebacker and graduated in May, 2001. He was at Argyle High School as an assistant football coach and science teacher in 2002. He left Argyle and coached in the Temple ISD system for Tam Hollingshead before returning to Permian as an instructor and assistant coach through 2011.
After graduating from Permian, Billingsley stopped playing football in the fall of 1989 after arthroscopic surgery to his knee. He remained at East Central University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in public relations in 1993. He then received his master’s from the university in 1995 and did counseling work in Oklahoma City and Norman. Billingsley married and moved to Dallas.
A starter and All-State member of the 1995 State Finalist team, Bobo went on to TCU. As a four-year letterman from 1996-2000, David was a second team All-American in 2000 and Consensus All-WAC in 1999 and 2000 at right offensive tackle. He was also Horned Frog team captain in 2000. Bobo was Outland Trophy semifinalist and played on WAC championship teams in his final two seasons. Bobo was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2001 and the Barcelona Dragons in 2002, before he headed to Alabama to begin his coaching career. He is currently at Texas A&M as the offensive graduate assistant for the Aggies. He is married and has one son.
Quarterback on the 1965 State Champion team. Campbell went on to the University of Arkansas, and on to Pan American U., where he played baseball. Campbell is currently the Oak Ridge Boys production manager and living in Tennessee.
After leading the 1972 State Champion team to victory as quarterback and cornerback, Campbell went on to play for the UT Longhorns. He also earned his Bachelors-Finance and MBA from UT-Austin. He is now owner of Campbell Testing in Odessa.
After having success as a running back and linebacker in 1981-82, Carr has taken that knowledge to the coaching level. He was head coach from 1996 to 2004 at Tyler Junior College, posting a 66-31 record and took the Apaches to five bowl game appearances. Dale is currently the head coach at Angelo State.
Quarterbacked 1989 ESPN’s National Champion team. After a stellar collegiate career at New Mexico, Case was a four-year starter for the Lobos. He is the only player in NCAA Division I-A history to post 8,000 career passing yards and 1,000 career rushing yards (1,191 yards). Case was an All-WAC first team selection and conference offensive player-of-the-year. He was drafted in the third round and played quarterback for Arizona Cardinals from 1995 to 1998. Signed as free-agent with both the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens in ’99, and in Detroit with the Lions as a unrestricted free-agent in 2000.
After graduating from Permian, Chavez went to Harvard University (1990-’93), where he graduated Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in government. After graduation from Harvard, Chavez accepted a full scholarship to the Texas Tech Law School. He passed the bar exam and returned to Odessa to practice law with his father, Tony, and brother, Adrian.
Outstanding running back on the 1989 state and national team. Comer attended Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas. He is presently living and working in Houston, Texas.
Congressman Conaway was a tackle on the 1965 state champion team. He graduated from Texas A & M University-Commerce in 1970 with a BBA degree in Accounting. After serving in the Army, Conaway has spent 30 years as a CPA. He is an ordained deacon in Midland, and is married to his wife Suzanne. They have four grown children and six grandchildren.
After his success as a running back in 1986-87, Crow headed to TCU for only one season before injuring his knee. The following year he joined the United States Marine Corp. After that he attended ACU for one year, and then moved to Dallas and finished at North Texas.
Starting split guard on the 1989 State and National Champion team, Crump is now a physician / pharmacist in Austin, Texas. He is completing his last year of a residency in Family Practice and plans to practice in the Hill Country.
Member of the 1965 state champion team, Dale was on the All-State lists in ’65 and ’66. After Permian he continued his football career at the University of Texas, scoring the winning TD in the Cotton Bowl against Notre Dame in ’69. He is currently an Austin resident.
Member of the 1971 team, Davis was ranching in Sterling City, Texas until 2002. He continued his football career at Angelo State University, where he was two year all-conference Offensive Guard and team captain. Taught and coached for 12 years, then entered school administration in Rockwall. Davis was a principal at Brady High School and is now residing in New Braunfels, where he is principal at New Braunfels Christian Academy.
Started at quarterback for the Panthers in 2000-01. Is pursuing his football career at Tarleton as quarterback.
Graduated in 1991, Mike played on the 1989 state championship team. He graduated from Tarleton State University in 1995. After marrying his high school sweetheart Becca, he began coaching in Marlin. He then returned home and coached at Nimitz Junior High for 4 years. He is presently the defensive line coach at La Porte High School.
Linesman for the 1981-82 teams, Dalton left Odessa and got into communications in Dallas after graduating. He later moved to Nashville as a construction superintendent, and is currently Production Manager for a global print company in Arizona. Gladden is married and has three children.
Played linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1992-96. Moved to St. Louis Rams in 1996. Last report – had pinched nerve in Week Three of ’97 season.
Played linebacker for the Washington Redskins from 1997-99. After a lower back injury (and surgery), Hamilton didn’t sign back with the ‘skins. Hamilton played linebacker for the Birmingham Thunderbolts of the XFL from 2002-04. He is currently a linebacker coach for the South Metro Dragons in Minnesota.
A member of Permian’s first state title team, Halsell continued showcasing his talent at UT after ’65. His linebacking earned him All American recognition, and assisted in the Longhorns’ National Championship title in 1969. Halsell is currently practicing law in Odessa.
Played receiver at Texas Tech from 1990-’93, and went on to play Arena ball for the Texas Terror (later renamed the Houston ThunderBears) in 1997-’98.
“Moose” was a member of the 1972 State Champion team. Hunt played tight end, but was better known for his linebacking abilities. After graduating in 1975, he moved on to the University of Oklahoma. Daryl was a three-time all-Big Eight linebacker. He also played linebacker for the Houston Oilers from 1979-’84. Hunt passed away in 2010 after suffering a massive heart attack in Houston.
After playing on the 1987-89 teams as a tackle, Hurst went on and worked in the oilfield and in refineries as an industrial electrician through the mid-90s. He obtained an A.A.S. degree in Electrical Engineering at TSTC in Waco, and while there met and married Diana Marie. They now have a son, Hunter. Hurst is working in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area for Siemens Logistics designing large airport baggage conveyor systems.
Since his days as a Panther running back of 1970-71, Justice finds himself getting in people’s faces in a different light. He retired from dentistry practice in Odessa in 2008.
As a 1983 Mojo graduate, Lamberti continued his football career at Abilene Christian. His sophomore season, he became the first QB in LoneStar Conference history to throw for mmore than 3,000 yards in a single regular season. He was inducted into the ACU Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. He is currently living in the Woodlands, married with one daughter and two sons, and works for Bayes Achievement Center, a treatment center for Autistic children.
After graduating from Permian, McDougal started working for his father’s oilfield company. He enrolled at Midland College, where he graduated with a degree in environmental science with a focus on hydrology. McDougal has continued to work for his father ever since high school graduation, concentrating on locating drilling sites, environmental safety and cleanup and working with aquifers.
James ‘Boobie” Miles
Played on the 1987-88 teams. After a stellar junior year, Miles injured is leg early in his ’88 senior season. Miles is currently trying to put together a hip-hop group. Miles has two children.
Played on the 1964 team. Moravcik is an attorney in neighboring Midland.
Quarterbacked and played defensive back on the 1995 state semifinalist team. Four year All-American 400-meter hurdler at Abilene Christian University. Received a B.S. degree from Abilene Christian in 2001. Presently working at Compressor Systems Inc. as an applications engineer.
Played offensive tackle and defensive end for the Panthers in 1983-84. Ragland graduated university in 1992 with a degree in Political Science and high hopes of coaching. Accepted an assistant coaching position at Nimitz Jr High before becoming an assistant in Pecos. Ragland spent four years at Hawley and three years at Crosbyton as a defensive coordinator for both. He currently teaches government and history at Perryton, where he is defensive coordinator. He’s been married for 12 years and has two children, 11 and 6.
Played defensive back and receiver on the 1995 state semifinalist team. Played football one year at Abilene Christian University. Received a B.B.A. degree from the University of North Texas in 2001. Rogers coached at Bonham Junior High School in Odessa and in Rockwall as an assistant. In 2009, Rogers has returned to the Land of the Legend. He is a defensive assistant for ol’ Mojo!
Graduated in 1968 from PHS. Stewart went on to play football at Baylor 1969-71. Employed at Centriflo in Odessa, William is the proud dad of recent Mojo graduate, Senior wide receiver Matt Stewart.
Went to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he become a starter during his final two years for Army. While there, Tucker won the East Coast Defensive player of the week versus The Citadel and Notre Dame. Off the football field, he married his high school girlfriend and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. He has spent three years in Germany, as well as time in Bosnia and Crotia. He was a Captain and has left the Army.
Quarterbacked the Panthers in the late 70s. Went on to play at Baylor, and then for the Washington Redskins, as a red-shirt. Vines was last in Dallas reorganizing his efforts as a pro football agent.
Graduated from Permian in 1988. He continued his football for two years at Abilene Christian University until injuries ended his career. He made his way to Arizona in the Fall of 1990. Wagner received his Bachelor’s Degree from Ottawa University in 1998. He continued his education at Northern Arizona University to complete a Master’s in Special Education in 2002 and a Master’s in Educational Leadership in 2004. He is serving as Athletic Director at McClintock High School in Tempe, AZ.
Spent his college career at Hardin-Simmons in Abilene from ’92-’96, in which they went to the playoffs every year he was there. Wagner is the record holder of career interceptions (23), season record holder in interceptions (8), and consecutive games played record holder at 47. Will is currently at two-time National champion Northwest Missouri State University as a defensive back coach. He has been there the past three years, with the first two years being a graduate assistant. In 1998 and 1999 they won the NCAA Division II National Championship, finishing 11-1 this season.
Powerful running back for PHS in 1995-97. He’s in the records book for scoring 30 points in a single game. Wilburn racked up 1,670 yards in the 1996 season, and over 4,000 yards in his Panther career. He was also a member of the track team. He attended University of North Texas from 1997-2000, where he graduated as the school’s all-time leading rusher with over 3,100 yards. Wilburn played arena football for the Austin Rockers and Odessa Roughnecks.
Captain and member of the 1972 undefeated State Champion team. After graduation, Wilkerson received a scholarship and was a four year letterman at Texas A&M University from 1973-1976. Grady is married to Michele, and has three children – Ryan (23), Kyle (20), and Kelly (20). They currently live in Sugar Land, and is Western Division Sales Manager for Victaulic Company of America.
A 1981 graduate, Mike Williams was named All-District & All-State linebacker. Williams was a starter and played on the undefeated 1980 State Championship team. Mr. Versatile filled the duties of punter, offensive player, and linebacker on defense. After graduation, he earned a football scholarship to the University of Colorado where he continued his football career. Williams tried out for the Cleveland Browns. During the final week of tryouts, a back injury ended his playing the game. He is married and they have two daughters, Jennifer (PHS 2000) and Christel (PHS 2006). Presently, he works for Huntsman Corporation.
During the 1998-99 seasons, Williams claimed All-State honors in both football and track as a junior and senior. He posted 100 receptions for 2,364 yards and 30 touchdowns in three varsity seasons. Roy went on to play for the Longhorns, where he shattered school career-records with 241 receptions for 3,866 yards and 36 touchdowns. Williams also holds the University of Texas career-record with 17 games gaining over 100 yards receiving and scored 238 points during his career, the seventh-best total in school history. Williams caught at least one pass in a school-record 47 consecutive games and had at least four catches in 39 contests. He was the Detroit Lions’ first round draft pick in 2004. Williams returned to Texas from 2008-10 as a Dallas Cowboy receiver, before playing ine season for the Chicago Bears in 2011.
Starting quarterback in 1988, Winchell threw for 1,938 yards and 24 touchdowns in the state semifinal season. After graduating from Permian, Winchell went to Baylor for a year before transferring to Tarleton State University in Stephenville, where he majored in marketing and minored in accounting. He graduated in the spring of 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He currently works for an independent surveyor in Decatur, surveying houses and building sites.
After playing in the back-to-back state championship games of 1984 and 1985, Roy Wooten graduated and walked on at Abilene Christian University where he played along side quarterback Rex Lamberti’s return to college football. He graduated from ACU in 1990 and 1993 with bachelors and masters degrees in psychology. Since then, he’s been married with two children in leadership positions with nonprofit organizations. He is currently the Executive Director of Shield-Bearer Counseling Centers in Houston, Texas.
A member of the 1989 ESPN National Champion team. Wyles is currently living in Sugar Land, Texas. He is married with three girls.
“Mojo” is magic, magical ability, and the power to get things done. “Mojo” first appeared in the 1920s in the southern United States from the Gullah word “moco” (magic), Gullah being Creole spoken by some groups of African-Americans. The ultimate root of “mojo” was the word “moco’o,” which means “shaman or medicine man” in the African language Fulani. “Mojo” spread first into mainstream Black English and then general usage primarily through the popularity of jazz and blues music. Muddy Waters got his ‘Mojo working’ and Jim Morrison of The Doors called for the Mojo Risin’. Continue reading “Origin of Mojo”