Bishop Gorman has a new head football coach and a new direction, and it might look a bit like the school’s cross-town rival.
When the opening came up, athletic director Jeff Smith knew just the man he wanted to hire, choosing a coach he worked with for six years at Grace Community.
Tuesday night, the Crusaders announced former Cougars offensive coordinator Coby Gipson as their new head coach.
“When the opportunity came up he was the first and only call I made,” said Smith, the former Grace AD. “It was really an easy call when this revealed itself. I’ve been thinking about coach Gipson being a head coach for years.”
Gipson met with the Crusaders players on Tuesday evening and said he was impressed with the talent he’ll have to work with. Rick Palmer, who coached Gorman the last two years, will now take charge of the junior high program.
“Coach Palmer leaves the program better than he found it and that’s all you ask of a head coach and I appreciate the opportunity for the torch to be passed to me,” Gipson said.
With Grace head coach Mike Maddox, Gipson helped the Cougars become an offensive juggernaut in recent years, with 500-yard games the norm. A Pine Tree High School graduate who played four years of baseball at LeTourneau, Gipson said he plans to implement many of the same offensive philosophies that made Grace so successful.
In addition to offensive production, Smith said Gipson’s leadership off the field made him an easy choice.
“One of the things that’s most exciting about coach Gipson coming over is as a dad he coached two of my sons over the last six years at Grace,” Smith said. “And while they learned a lot about football, what he taught them about life they still know and talk about. That’s what’s really the most exciting thing about him coming over here and being able to do that with our kids.”
As for Gipson, he said it’s a blessing and an honor to receive his first head coaching job. He spent the last six years at Grace.
“If you ask me if our season’s going to be successful, if our team’s going to be good,” Gipson said, “I’ll tell you to check back with me in 20 years to see what kind of husbands they are and professionals they are and friends they are because we’re here to develop young men and that will be our goal first and foremost.”