For his next trick, Chuck Gibbs will try to turn LaGrange High School into a football factory, which it once was in its most distant storied past.
Gibbs is the new head football coach at LaGrange High, which hasn’t won a region title in 12 years and hasn’t won a state title in 14 years on the gridiron. The Grangers have hit the skids with a record of 12-29 in the last four years.
LaGrange High was 0-10 last fall, but the Grangers’ new coach thinks they can and will improve in his first season. Gibbs is optimistic. The ex-Army helicopter pilot and West Point graduate expects to win next fall at LaGrange High.
Gibbs sees a bright future for Granger football, and he expects to succeed. He is coming to LaGrange High to make a positive difference in football and young men’s lives.
“I want something that the kids are going to be proud of. I want to connect the dots. LaGrange was a legendary place for high school football in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. We want to find the missing ingredient. There is plenty of talent on campus (at LHS),” said Gibbs.
The former Army cornerback and punt returner (1988-91) is ready to make some promises to Granger football fans and boosters right now.
“They are going to see a LaGrange team play hard and together. We are going to play fast football and confident football,” said the 48-year old Gibbs. “We are going to bring it.”
For the last four years, Gibbs has compiled a record of 34-14 at Scottsdale Christian Academy in Phoenix, Arizona. The Eagles made it to the state quarterfinals in the last two seasons. Under Gibbs’ leadership, Scottsdale Christian has averaged 37 points per game in the past four years. The Eagle defense has forced 124 turnovers and has scored 23 touchdowns since 2014.
Scottsdale Christian has had All-State players in each of the past four seasons. Gibbs knows how to motivate, coach and win. He expects to have similar success at LaGrange High on the football field and on the scoreboard.
“I want to get LaGrange back to being one of the most respected (football) programs in the state,” said Gibbs. “We will get our fundamentals in. I am high energy.”
Granger athletic director Mike Pauley feels fortunate that LaGrange High was able to land a coach of Gibbs’ caliber. Pauley expects the Granger football program to take off under Gibbs.
“He has character, enthusiasm, and passion. He has lots of energy, and Coach Gibbs is very charismatic. He is going to help, and develop, and bring us back to a level of competitive play,” said Pauley.