Flash Staff Report
(December 21, 2017) — One-eighth of the head coaches at this week’s state championship football contersts are alumni of Tarleton State University.
The No. 1 producer of junior high and high school coaches in the state, Tarleton published a story citing Aledo head coach Steve Wood and Allen head coach Terry Gambhill for reaching the state finals in Conference 5A Division II and Conference 6A Division I, respectively. Both of them played Texan football during their time at Tarleton, Wood on historic teams in 1977 and ’78. Gambhill was good enough to be inducted into the Tarleton Athletics Hall of Fame.
But there is another Tarleton grad. He did not play football for the Texans, but late `1970s Tarleton athlete Rodney Payne and Tarleton alumnus, current professor and lifelong Stephenville resident Dr. Chet Martin both recall Kennedale head coach Richard Barrett attending college courses in Stephenville. Sure enough, Barrett says on his LinkedIn social media profile that he attended Tarleton from 1976-78 and holds a BS in health and physical education from the university.
Barrett and the Kennedale Wildcats face Carthage in the 4A Division I championship at 11 a.m. Friday. The Wildcats rushed for 523 of their 574 total yards in a 54-28 semifinal victory over Stephenville last Friday. AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, was the site of their semifinal and is hosting all the championships.
There are 24 teams competing for 12 state championships – three of them decided on Wednesday – in six conferences each broken into two divisions.