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NFF Gridiron Club of Dallas Announces Major Awards Winners
IRVING, April 18, 2011 - The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) Gridiron Club of Dallas Chapter announced today the recipients of the chapter’s seven major awards. The 2011
Published: 4/18/2011 6:28:47 PM

IRVING, April 18, 2011 - The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) Gridiron Club of Dallas Chapter announced today the recipients of the chapter’s seven major awards. The 2011 recipients of the Legends Award, Athletics Director of the Year, Steve Storie Official of the Year and the high school head coaches and assistant coaches of the year will be honored at the April 20 banquet at Cowboys Stadium. The awardees will join TCU head coach Gary Patterson, the recipient of the chapter’s Distinguished Texan Award, along with nine college scholar-athletes and 52 high school scholar-athletes who were previously announced.

“Each of our 2011 honorees has played a major role in helping high school football in North Texas reach the stature it has today,” said Gerald Brence, president of the NFF Gridiron Club of Dallas and athletics director for the Plano Independent School District. “They have all enjoyed considerable success, and it is our pleasure to recognize each of their efforts.”

With doors opening at 6 p.m. and the ceremony starting at 7 p.m., the event will showcase the great stories in North Texas that will inspire future student-athletes to excel in the classroom and become more involved in their communities.

The NFF Gridiron Club of Dallas’ third class of major award winners were selected for the lasting impact each has left on their communities and on the game of football in North Texas.

Legends Award – Tommy Hudspeth
A seasoned veteran of the Texas high school football coaching ranks, Tommy Hudspeth spent 28 years coaching in Weatherford, McKinney, Longview, Sherman and Mesquite. In his 20 years as a head coach, Hudspeth boasted a 131-59-7 and claimed five district titles, four undefeated regular seasons and directed McKinney to the Class 3A state finals in 1966. Hudspeth coached the North squad in the Texas High School Coaches Association All-Star Game in 1977, and represented Texas in the Oil Bowl one year later. A longtime member of the THSCA Board of Directors, he served as the association’s president in 1978. Hudspeth was elected to the THSCA Hall of Honor in 1985. After coaching, Hudspeth spent 15 years in academic administration in Sherman. He currently works with a faith-based group ministering to teenage boys in Grayson County Juvenile Justice Boot Camp. Hudspeth graduated from the University of Texas in 1956 and hails from Weatherford, Tex.

Athletics Director of the Year – Ken Purcell
Ken Purcell has been the athletics director of Denton ISD since 1997. In that span, Denton ISD has sent 12 teams to state championship contests in six different sports. On Dec. 18, 2010, Denton Guyer and Denton Ryan each battled for state championships at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, making Denton ISD the only school district in University Interscholastic League history to have two schools qualify for state championship games in the same year. Under Purcell’s leadership, Denton ISD opened C.H. Collins Athletic Complex in 2004. The complex includes a 12,000-seat football stadium, which hosts all of the school district’s football, soccer, marching band and drill team events. In 2007, Purcell and Denton ISD passed a $282 million bond which upgraded facilities at both Denton and Ryan High. Before beginning a career in athletics administration, Purcell spent several years coaching high school football in North Texas. He earned a 78-54-2 record at Allen and directed the Eagles to the regional finals twice. Purcell holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of North Texas and is a native of Vega, Tex.

Steve Storie Official of the Year – Charles Stephenson
Charles Stephenson is a 42-year officiating veteran with a myriad of experience and accomplishments at the high school and college levels. He was the head referee of the 1995 Class 5A Division I championship game between Converse Judson and Odessa Permian. Stephenson served on the same Gulf Coast Conference crew with award namesake Steve Storie, and the two also officiated the 1983 NCAA Division II playoffs together. Stephenson currently serves as the secretary of the Dallas Football Officials Association, where his duties include arranging crews for regular season and playoff high school football games. He also conducts multiple rules clinics per year to officials’ associations and coaches conventions across the state. After retiring from the field, he has worked as the clock operator for the Big 12 Conference and the Dallas Cowboys. Stephenson is a lifetime member of the Texas Association of Sports Officials and the Dallas Football Officials Association.

Large High School Head Coach of the Year – Randy Jackson
After inheriting a program that finished 1-9 in 2009, Randy Jackson pushed Mesquite Poteet to a 12-3 finish and an appearance in the Class 4A Division II semifinals in 2010. The remarkable turnaround earned Jackson Coach of the Year honors from The Dallas Morning News, the Texas Sports Writers Association and Before arriving at Poteet, Jackson was the head coach at Paducah where he accumulated an 82-37 record. A native of Tenaha, Jackson attended the University of Louisiana at Monroe and was a member of the 1987 Division I-AA national champions. Jackson began his coaching career at Quinlan Ford in 1990.

Small High School Head Coach of the Year – Jim Bob Puckett
A 30-year veteran of the coaching community, Jim Bob Puckett has guided the Lucas Lovejoy Leopards to a 31-12 record in six seasons as the head coach. He directed the Leopards to a 11-2 mark with a District 11-3A championship and an appearance in the Class 3A Division I Region II finals in 2010. In 2009, Lovejoy again posted a 11-2 record and qualified for the Class 3A Division I Region II finals. Puckett was named the Collin County Coach of the Year and the Class 3A Region II Coach of the Year following the season. Puckett arrived in Lucas after serving as the defensive coordinator at McKinney North from 2000 to 2004. He was the defensive coordinator at Allen from 1983 through 2000. Puckett began his coaching career at Van Alstyne, where he coached wide receivers and defensive backs from 1981 to 1983. A native of Plano, Puckett is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University.

Large High School Assistant Coach of the Year – Pete Gee
A 17-year coaching veteran, Pete Gee arrived at Mesquite Poteet with Randy Jackson. Gee was an integral part of the Pirates’ 11-win turnaround in 2010, transforming from a 1-9 squad in 2009 to a 12-3 state semifinalist one year later. Gee has previously coached at Terrell and North Forney. He served as the defensive coordinator on Euless Trinity’s Class 5A Division I state championship squad in 2005. Gee is a native of Elk City, Okla., where he won state championships in football, track and field and martial arts. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree from Texas A&M University.

Small High School Assistant Coach of the Year – Billy Thompson
Billy Thompson has been a member of Jim Bob Puckett’s staff at Lucas Lovejoy since 2006, serving as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator. He was selected as the Billy Whitman Award winner as Collin County’s top assistant coach in 2010. Thompson’s defense limited opponents to just 11.8 points per game and posted six shutouts in 14 contests. The Dunwoody, Ga., native’s career began as an assistant coach at Dallas W.T. White in 2001. A 1996 graduate of Texas Christian University, Thompson won three letters at defensive end and helped the Horned Frogs earn a share of the Southwest Conference championship in 1994.

The 2010 event attracted a sellout crowd of 700 people. For more information on 2011 tickets and/or banquet sponsorship opportunities, please contact club president Gerald Brence at 469-878-5370 or via e-mail at


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