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East Texans remember John Outlaw

LUFKIN, TX (KLTV/KTRE) - The news came without warning.

The death of Lufkin head football coach John Outlaw has stunned East Texas.

Outlaw was found in the early morning on Friday, collapsed in his kitchen, the apparent victim of a heart attack.

He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

For 17 seasons, Outlaw was a constant for East Texas, guiding the Lufkin Panthers to more than 160 wins.

His death has created a void, not seen in Lufkin, since the mid 90's.

"I am so used to looking across the field and seeing, as I called him 'skinny' with that baseball cap on and that tie on," said Longview athletic director Pat Collins, "I am going to miss him tremendously."

But for all he did on the field for Lufkin, it was off the field, and around the area, that he will be remembered for.

During his time in Lufkin, 174 football players would earn scholarships under his watch and countless others he would help guide into the future.

"Even the kids that are gone now, when they get up in the morning and make decisions, part of that decision that they make is based on what he as taught them," said Todd Quick, the defensive coordinator at Lufkin, "Not only as a coach but as a teacher. That legacy will live for generations."

"Such a great motivator, he just challenged his kids to be the absolute best that you could, and then you meet him as a coach," said Tyler Lee's Randy Huffstickler, who played under Outlaw at Central Arkansas, "He is going to be missed, it is just a real shock to our whole coaching community."

On the field, his teams played in some of the biggest rivalry games in the state, helping to mold his legacy.

On that expanded far beyond the city limits in Lufkin.

"He is going to be missed not just in Lufkin, but by alot of people," said Collins, "I have the greatest respect for John and what he has accomplished and what he has done."

"His influence on that community, his influence on East Texas and that coaching staff is unbelievable," added Huffstickler, "He is going to be missed, I cant tell you how much."

Funeral services for Outlaw are pending, but LISD officials say it could happed during the middle of next week.

A location in Lufkin for the funeral has not been set.

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