History Of MojoLand

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 22nd season at the completion of the 2017 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.

Past Permian Football Coaches

1959-61 TED DAWSON (21-10-0)
Bi-District Finalist
1962-64 JIM CASHION (15-15-0)
No Playoffs
1965-70 GENE MAYFIELD (62-10-2)
State Champions
State Finalist 2x
1971-72 GIL BARTOSH (23-1-0)
State Champions
National Champions
1973-85 JOHN WILKINS (148-16-6)
State Champions 2x
State Finalist 4x
1986-89 GARY GAINES (47-6-1)
State Champions
National Champions
1990-93 TAM HOLLINGSHEAD (43-4-2)
State Champions
1994-99 RANDY MAYES (45-25-1)
State Finalist
2000-02 T.J. MILLS (15-15)
No Playoffs
2003-04 SCOTT SMITH (10-10)
No Playoffs
2005-08 DARREN ALLMAN (38-11)
Region Finalists 3x
2009-12 GARY GAINES (23-21)
Region Finalists
2013-17 BLAKE FELDT (38-18)
Region Finalists 3x
2018 JEFF ELLISON (x-x)

 

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.

 

Gaines Gary Gaines

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.

 

Hollingshead

 

Tam Hollingshead

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.

 

Gene Mayfield

 

Gene Mayfield

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.

 

Wilkins John Wilkins

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.

School History

Permian came into existence over 50 years ago, as the third high school to Odessa. Located in the northern part of town, it was only a matter of time for the 250,000 square foot school to root into fertile soil. The beginning year saw Permian win three games, and in the second season of existence the Panther football program set the standard for winning with a record of 8-3-0. In just five years later, the Panthers won their first state championship in 1965. In 1966, the school district allowed the annexation of the Permian Field House, and the following year, the swimming pool was added. As the building was growing, the legend was taking root and spreading faster than the construction. It was also during this time, the infamous “MoJo” chant began.


Permian’s first undefeated regular season was in 1970, when they lost in the state finals to Austin Reagan for the second time in three years. The Class of 1971 will be remembered as the first class to successfully go through the full 12-year cycle since Permian’s beginning in the fall of 1959. It was in 1972 that Gil Bartosh was named Football Coach of the Year. He guided the Boys of Mojo to an undefeated district season. The year 1976… ‘MOJO’ had become so widespread that the Permian Seniors were to let it be known MOJO and Odessa Permian High School were one in the same. Their statement speaks loud to this day in the form of the big, bold Three-Foot Letters tacked across the front of the building, spelling the chant word… MOJO.