Long-time GP Football Coach dies - KRISTV.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

Long-time GP Football Coach dies

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Coach Ray Akins and grandson Drew Brees Coach Ray Akins and grandson Drew Brees

Long-time Gregory Portland ISD football coach Ray Akins has passed away at the age of 92.

According to GPISD, Akins passed away at 7:25 a.m.

In a statement today, GPISD Superintendent  Dr. Paul Clore said:

We were deeply saddened to hear that the Gregory-Portland community lost a legend this morning when former G-PISD Athletic Director and Football Coach Ray Akins passed away. We extend our sincerest condolences to his family, and to thousands of G-P alumni. While he will be greatly missed, we remember Coach Akins as the influential leader he was and will carry on with the standard of excellence that lives on in every G-P Wildcat. The mention of his name is like a banner of pride for so many former students, and will continue to grace our football stadium for years to come. Tonight, we will leave the lights on at Ray Akins Wildcat Stadium from dusk until dawn to honor his lasting legacy.

Akins coached football for 38 years, and coached the GP Wildacts from 1965 to 1988. In a 2012 article from TheEagle.com, Akins first year at GP he started with 56 players, by the end of the season he was down to 13. However, the year that followed, the Wildcats won 13 straight games before losing in the playoffs. Akins led the Wildcats to a state-record 12 consecutive district titles and a trip to the state finals in 1971. According to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, Akins finished 208-51-7, making him one of the winningest coaches in Texas High School Football.

Before Ray Akins became Coach Akins, served in the Marine Corps from 1943-1946. It is said that Akins was a devoted Marine and his life during the second World War shaped who he was. He was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, where the last and bloodiest battle of WWII took place. It is said that Akins was one of three Marines from the 153 original members of the Special Weapons Company that was not wounded or killed in Okinawa. 

Ray Akins was even honored at the screening of the movie, "Hacksaw Ridge" at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Ray Akins is also the grandfather of New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees. Brees has said that some of his favorite memories as a kid were with his grandfather. Brees often was the water boy for the Wildcats during their strenuous practices and two-a-days. Akins always knew that Brees would be a quarterback and went to one game a year to support his grandson. 

On Tuesday December 26, Ray Akins Wildcat Stadium was lit up from dusk to dawn in memory of the legendary Texas High School Football coach. 

Services for Ray Akins:

Visitation service will be held Monday January 1 from 4-7 p.m.

Franklin United Methodist Church, Franklin, TX

Funeral Service will be Tuesday January 2 at 11 a.m.

Franklin United Methodist Church, Franklin, TX

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