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Texas filmmaker to present documentary on high school coaching great

September 13, 2016
By cnp
Posted in Community Events

Texas filmmaker Matt Skinner will preview and discuss his documentary about high school football coaching legend John Outlaw on Thursday, Sept. 22, at University of the Ozarks.

Texas filmmaker Matt Skinner." src='data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg%20xmlns=%22' data-src=

Texas filmmaker Matt Skinner will present his 2015 documentary, "Outlaw: Life, Death and Texas Football," at 6 p.m., Sept. 22, in the Rogers Conference Center.

The event, which begins at 6 p.m. in the Rogers Conference Center, is part of the University’s 2016-17 Walton Arts & Ideas Series, The Power of Sport. Skinner’s presentation is open to the public and there is no charge for admission.

"Outlaw: Life, Death and Texas Football," is Skinner’s 2015 documentary about Outlaw, a native of Ozark, Ark., who went on to become a high school coaching icon in Arkansas and Texas.  Outlaw, who died in 2011 at the age of 57, rose from humble beginnings to become synonymous with high school football in America.

A graduate of University of Central Arkansas, Outlaw was hired at age 25 to coach Arkadelphia (Ark.) in 1978. He went on to compile a record of 84-20-1 in his nine seasons at Arkadelphia, winning state titles in 1979 and 1987. He then moved to Texas, where he compiled records of 57-21-1 at Sherman and 162-46-1 at Lufkin, giving him an impressive 303-87-3 record as a high school coach. Outlaw achieved his 300th victory on Oct. 6, 2011, against The Woodlands in a game telecast regionally by Fox Sports Southwest.

At Lufkin, Outlaw became the winningest coach in school history and in 2001 led the Panthers to a state championship in 5A, the largest classification in Texas

Skinner initially followed Outlaw around during the 2007-2008 season, intending to make a documentary, but wasn’t able to make it due to financial issues. After Outlaw’s death, Skinner decided to complete the movie chronicling his legendary coaching career. He began the project in 2012 and completed it in 2015.

"Coach Outlaw was much more than a coach. His passion for football was matched by the consideration he showed his players and coaches," Skinner said. "It wasn’t just about winning to ‘Coach.’ People mattered and they knew it."

Outlaw once said, "If I’ve done anything right in my life, I’ve used the gift God gave me, and that is to serve others." He was inducted posthumously into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.

Born and raised in Texas, Skinner spent part of every summer growing up in Arkansas, exploring the river bottoms of the Oklahoma and Arkansas border between Fort Smith and Van Buren. It was that spirit of the South and thirst for adventure that led Skinner to filmmaking.   He has since become an award-winning filmmaker with a passion for documentaries. 

His Austin, Texas, company, Skinner Digital, is an award-winning production company that directs and produces film and video projects all across the U.S.  Clients include Fortune 500 companies as well as the largest privately held organizations in the world.  He is a graduate of the radio television and film program at the University of Texas in Austin.

For more information on the event, please contact the Office of Public Relations at 479-979-1420.