Permian High School

Permian High School
1800 E. 42nd Street
Odessa, TX, 79762
United States
Type Public
Established 1959
School district Ector County Independent School District
Principal Roy Garcia
Grades 10 - 12
Enrollment 2177 (2008)
Color(s)           Black and White
Athletics conference District 3-5A
Mascot Panther
Information +1 (432) 366-3652
Nickname Mojo

Permian High School is a public high school located in Odessa, Texas and is part of 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 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.


Satin Strings

Founded by Charles Nail, currently directed by Todd Berridge, Satin Strings is an elite strolling strings ensemble of the Permian High School Orchestra. The members of the group "stroll" (carry their instruments while performing), including the cellists, but excluding 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 President Bill Clinton.[citation needed] The ensemble played for the Inauguration of the Governor of Chihuahua, Mexico in 1998.[citation needed] The group also performed at the 2001 and 2005 inaugurations of President George W. Bush.[citation needed]

Permian High School Orchestra

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 nearly half a century. The Symphony Orchestra has received consecutive sweepstakes at UIL Concert and Sightreading Contest for over thirty years. The Chamber String Orchestra (Satin Strings) has received sweepstakes every year since it was founded in 1988. 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).


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 airs a TV series loosely based on the school and book. Roy Williams, formerly of the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys, and a current wide receiver for the Chicago Bears, went to school at Permian and portrayed an assistant coach for Midland Lee, Permian's arch rival, 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 is also considered the unofficial national champions for 1972 and 1989.[citation needed]

The term "Mojo" is supposed to have originated in 1967. When a group of Permian alumni met the team in Abilene Cooper for the game between the Panthers and Cougars, they started chanting "Go Joe" for one of the Permian players. Other fans misheard this as "Mojo". The term has come to symbolize "pride", "spirit", "winning" and all the other intangibles that go into a championship program.[1]

Permian plays its home football games at Ratliff Stadium.

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

Coaching history

Years Coach Record Percentage Notes
1959–1961 Ted Dawson 21-10-0 .645 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 2x
1971–1972 Gil Bartosh 23-1-0 .958 State Champions and National Champions
1973–1985 John Wilkins 148-16-7 .888 State Champions 2x and State Finalist 4x
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 2x and Regional Finalists 3x
2009- Gary Gaines 18-15 .545 Area finalists, Bi-District finalists



  • 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. ^ McMurray, Bill. "Mojo spirit a winner at Odessa Permian." Houston Chronicle. Saturday January 9, 1988. Section 1, Page 27. Retrieved on April 5, 2010.
  2. ^ "The Official Raymond Benson Website - Biography". Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "Congressman Mike Conaway". 2010-04-28. Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  6. ^ "Britt Hager". 1966-02-20. Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  7. ^ [2]

External links

Portal icon Texas portal
Portal icon Schools portal

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

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