Panhandle State welcomes new football coaches

OPSU Sports
Justine Gaskamp, Sports Information Director

GOODWELL — As the Aggies gear up to start spring training at the end of February, Head Coach Russell Gaskamp is pleased to have five new additions to the football coaching staff.

Success often comes at a price, as Gaskamp witnessed after the team’s winning 7-3 season ended and several of his valued coaches were hand-picked to further their careers at other colleges. Gaskamp did not hesitate in his promotion of LeMarcus Gibson into the Defensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach position, stating, “He is a talented young coach that the players really respect for his intensity, work ethic and energy.”

In addition to Gibson returning with a new title, the Aggies welcome back defensive line coach Aaron Jackson and offensive assistant Riley Cole, who each served with the team last year.

Five new faces join the group including defensive assistant Kevin King, who will take over the defensive backs position group. King hails from Jacksonville, Fla. and comes to Panhandle from Southern University. Also on the defensive side of the ball, Kendall Walker will lead the Aggie linebackers; Walker is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and started his coaching career at Indiana State where he also played for the Sycamores.

The offense receives three top-notch newcomers in coaches Kerry Sloan (running backs), Christian Escobar (quarterbacks) and Austin Gillmore (wide receivers). Sloan is a native of Killeen, Texas and was a standout running back at Hardin Simmons. Escobar most recently served as an assistant coach at Sul Ross State and hails from El Paso. Gaskamp is thrilled to add Gillmore to his crew, for his first-hand knowledge of the area, having played his high school career at Bushland High School near Amarillo. A former player at Colorado State, he gained coaching experience in the Lone Star Conference at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Gillmore will also serve as the Special Teams Coordinator for the Aggies.

Ending the 2017 season as the No. 24-ranked team in the nation, serves as motivation to break the barrier and finish 2018 at the top of the Sooner Athletic Conference. This young and eager group of coaches are all up to meet that challenge and exceed expectations.