Rumors circulated throughout Texarkana last December after Pleasant Grove won the UIL’s 4A Division II state championship in football. Hawk fans feared they’d be losing their athletic director and head football coach Josh Gibson.
There was reason to fear that possibility. Gibson admits he had nine opportunities to leave, and the phone has been ringing this week as Pleasant Grove prepares to defend its crown against the Cuero Gobblers Friday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“People have been saying I was going back to the Metroplex, or Frisco where my dad just retired, since I arrived in Texarkana,” said Gibson. “I don’t want my dad’s old job. Pleasant Grove is where my family wants to be. This is where we’re happy.
“My parents went through a divorce when I was young, because my father worked college football hours. He was married to his job. That’s what college will do to you. I want to be around my son, and be a role model for him. Also, my wife loves her job with PGISD. If we’d go to a big city we wouldn’t be able to have the impact that we do in Pleasant Grove. This is a dream job for us.”
Gibson enjoyed success first year at PG
The Gibson family moved to Pleasant Grove in 2014, and his staff knew they were inheriting a program that needed updating. When all was said and done that year the Hawks had enjoyed a winning season, and qualified for the playoffs despite being picked to finish last in their district.
Everyone in Texarkana knows what happened two years later. A special group of seniors led the Hawks to the school’s first state title, making believers of high school football fans throughout the Lone Star State.
Some might have expected the Dallas Cowboys to offer Gibson a position on their coaching staff.
“If somebody told me I could be on the Cowboys’ staff I’d pull my hair out,” said Gibson. “I think I’d almost do anything to be a perfectionist at that level. But I’d be sacrificing my family to do it, and here in Texarkana I can have a little of everything. We get to coach the best kids in the world. My family believes I have the best job in the state of Texas at any level.
“I have the balance in my life to be a great family man, be great at football, a great athletic director, and keep my faith as a priority, too. Keeping those things in balance is all you can ask for. You’re going to see the Gibsons through the time my son is here, and hopefully a long time after that. We’ve got our roots in.”