Permian High School

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Permian High School
1800 E. 42nd Street


TypePublic, Non-sectarian and coeducational secondary education institution
Established1959; 63 years ago (1959)
School districtEctor County Independent School District
PrincipalDr. Delesa Styles
Enrollment3,621 (2018–19)
Campus typePublic School
Color(s) Black  and   White 
Athletics conferenceUIL Class 6A
RivalOdessa High School
WebsitePermian High School

Permian High School is a public high school located in Odessa, Texas and is one of three high schools in the Ector County Independent School District. It was the subject of the book Friday Night Lights which in turn inspired a movie and TV series of the same name.


Opened in 1959, Permian High is named for the Permian Basin, the geological formation which underlies Midland and Odessa. The name stems from the age of the rocks in the basin where the school is located, which are from the geological period that preceded the largest mass extinction in the history of life. The Permian Basin is the source of the large oil and natural gas deposits that drive the region's economy. Permian High began adding freshmen to the campus during the 2015-2016 school year. This began creating more additions to the campus as well as a bigger influx of students.



High school football has long been extremely popular in Texas. The story of Permian High School's 1988 Permian Panthers team and its run towards the state championship was the subject of the best-selling book Friday Night Lights, published in 1990. A movie based on the book was made in 2004 and the NBC television network aired a TV series loosely based on the school and book. Roy Williams, formerly of the Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys, and Chicago Bears, went to school at Permian and portrayed an assistant coach for Midland Lee in the movie.

The team, whose rallying cry is "Mojo", won the Texas state championship in the 4A classification (the state's largest until 1980) in 1965 and 1972 and the 5A classification in 1980, 1984 (a co-championship with French High School, located in Beaumont, Texas the last time that a football co-championship was awarded by the UIL; it would later adopt NCAA overtime rules), 1989 and 1991. Permian was selected by National Sports News Service as the High School Football National co-Champions in 1972 and 1989.

  • State Champs (4A, 1965, 1972) (5A, 1980, (1984 co Champs), 1989) (5A II, 1991)[1]
  • Runner-Up (4A, 1968, 1970, 1975) (5A, 1985) (5A I, 1995)

"Mojo" supposedly originated in 1967 when a group of Permian alumni met the team in Abilene Cooper for the game between the Panthers and Cougars. Legend has it that Permian's fans began chanting "Go Joe" for one of the Permian players. Other fans misheard this as "Mojo".[2]

Permian plays its home football games at Ratliff Stadium.

Permian's arch rivals are the Odessa Bronchos and the Midland Lee Rebels.

Coaching history[edit]

Years Coach Record Percentage Notes
1959–1961 Ted Dawson 20–11–0 .644 Bi–District Finalist
1962–1964 Jim Cashion 15–15–0 .500 No Playoffs
1965–1970 Gene Mayfield 62–10–2 .851 State Champions and State Finalist 2×
1971–1972 Gil Bartosh 23–1–0 .958 State Champions and National Champions
1973–1985 John Wilkins 148–16–6 .888 State Champions 2× and State Finalist 4×
1986–1989 Gary Gaines 46–7–1 .861 State Champions and National Champions
1990–1993 Tam Hollingshead 43–4–2 .898 State Champions
1994–1999 Randy Mayes 45–25–1 .641 State Finalist
2000–2002 T. J. Mills 15–15 .500 No Playoffs
2003–2004 Scott Smith 10–10 .500 No Playoffs
2005–2008 Darren Allman 38–11 .776 District Champions 2× and Regional Finalists 3×
2009–2012 Gary Gaines 23–21 .522 Bi–District finalists 2× and Area Finalists
2013–2017 Blake Feldt 38–18 .678 Area Finalists 2×, Regional Finalists, District Champions
2018– Jeff Ellison 31-16 .659 Area Finalists 4×, District Champions 3×


Satin Strings[edit]

Founded by Charles Nail and currently directed by Todd Berridge, a former pupil under Nail, Satin Strings is a strolling strings ensemble of the Permian High School Orchestra. The members of the group "stroll" (carry their instruments while performing), including the cellists but not the bass players.

Satin Strings is regularly asked to play at major state and national functions. In 1994, Satin Strings played at the D-Day celebrations in Normandy, France and this performance led to an invitation to play at the 1997 inauguration of US President Bill Clinton.[3] The ensemble played for the inauguration of the governor of Chihuahua, Mexico in 1998.[3] The group also performed at the 2001 and 2005 inaugurations of President George W. Bush.[3] Satin Strings and director Berridge are featured on the May 4, 2013 episode of the syndicated television series Texas Country Reporter, starring Bob Phillips.[4]


The Permian Orchestra was founded in 1959 with the opening of Permian High School. Under the baton of J.R. McEntyre, the program quickly gained a reputation for excellence that has endured for half a century. The Symphony Orchestra has received consecutive sweepstakes at UIL Concert and Sightreading Contest for 41 years. The Chamber String Orchestra (Satin Strings) has received sweepstakes at UIL Concert and Sightreading contest for 25 years, every year since the founding of it. The Symphony, Philharmonic and Chamber String Orchestras have each achieved individual success at festivals across the nation. The groups have been named "Best in Class" and "Outstanding Orchestra" at competitions in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The Permian Symphony Orchestra has been selected as the TMEA State Honor Orchestra twice, once in 1980 and again in 1984. The orchestra program has only had five directors in its history: J.R. McEntrye (1959–72), Charles Nail (1972–88), Kathy Fishburn (1988–99), David Golden (1999–2008), and Todd Berridge (2008–present).



  • Bissinger, H.G. (1991). Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream. New York: HarperPerennial. ISBN 0-06-097406-0.
  • McCally, Regina W. (1986). The Secret of Mojo: The Story of the Odessa, Texas, Permian High School Football Team. Fort Worth: McCally.


  1. ^ "UIL State Football Champions".
  2. ^ McMurray, Bill. "Mojo spirit a winner at Odessa Permian." Houston Chronicle. Saturday January 9, 1988. Section 1, Page 27. Retrieved on April 5, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c "Permian Orchestra-About Us". Permian Orchestra. Retrieved April 15, 2018.
  4. ^ "Lindsay Weaver, "'Texas Country Reporter' in awe of Satin Strings"". Odessa American, March 5, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  5. ^ "The Official Raymond Benson Website – Biography". Archived from the original on November 16, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  6. ^ "Jim J. Bullock". IMDb.
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "Congressman Mike Conaway". April 28, 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  9. ^ "Britt Hager". February 20, 1966. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  10. ^ "Toby Stevenson". USA Track & Field. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017. Retrieved May 26, 2015.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°53′12″N 102°21′30″W / 31.886777°N 102.358203°W / 31.886777; -102.358203