John Outlaw documentary making progress, paying homage to a legend


POSTED: Monday, June 16, 2014 - 10:57pm

UPDATED: Monday, June 16, 2014 - 11:14pm

In 2008, filmmaker Matt Skinner found himself in East Texas working on a project.

During that time he ran into someone most in the area would recognize.

"I met this wiry framed guy who had a gentle heart by the name of John Outlaw.  I had never even heard of him," said Skinner.

But over time, Skinner and the legendary Lufkin coach forged a friendship, and Skinner asked Outlaw if he could document the coach's career.

"He just had a tremendous impact on my life as mentor and as a friend," said Skinner.

But shortly thereafter, on the morning of December 23rd, 2011, coach John Outlaw died.

"Right at that moment he passed I knew I had to finish what I told him I would do, and it's been my life's work for the past almost two years," said Skinner.

During that time, Skinner has been driving across Texas and surrounding areas, speaking to those whose lives were touched in some way by coach.

"You could always tell a man by the people around him and he was one fine gentlemen."

People such as new University of Texas coach Charlie Strong.

Outlaw was Strong's first position coach when he was a freshman at the University of Central Arkansas.

"They all talked about how much he believed in them and made them believe in themselves," said Skinner.

So the film's completion is drawing near, but Skinner still has more interviews to conduct, and more video to gather, to make sure this man, he was only able to call a friend for a short time, will justly be represented and remembered.

"It's not about wins and losses, it's about the relationships that he had and the people that he influenced.  So I would like to have it out between December and February but I'm not gonna release this until it does justice to the man and the people he served."

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