Allen Athletic Director, Steve Williams, didn’t take a gamble when he made the decision to bring back a familiar face to take the helm of the Allen Eagle football program. Williams and the district tabbed Terry Gambill, Waco Midway, from a formidable collection of well-known applicants to replace Tom Westerberg as the head football coach.
Gambill is well known by Williams and the community as he came to Allen with Joe Martin in 2001 and remained as an assistant for nine seasons. Gambill was the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach under Westerberg when the Eagles won the Class 5A Division I championship in 2008, the school’s first.
Gambill left Allen in 2010 to become the head coach at Waco Midway having immediate success that included advancing to the 4A Division I state final in 2011 and a berth in the Class 5A Division II state quarterfinals in 2012. Gambill leaves Midway with a 68-13 record with the Panthers going 9-4 this past season and he was the district Coach of the Year for six straight seasons.
Williams indicated that Gambill’s achievements at Midway were a factor but more importantly it was his ties to Allen. During Gambill’s time at Allen, the Eagles made the playoffs every year and won seven district championships.
"We didn't want someone who would come in and clean house and want to bring all his own people," Williams said. "We wanted somebody to come in and help us build on the things that we think are important."
Gambill graduated from Garland High School then lettered four years at Tarleton State where he was All-Conference and honorable mention All-American in 1983. Gambill returned home to begin his coaching career at Garland High School in 1985.
Gambill’s 31 years of coaching experience includes coaching stints at Garland, Duncanville, and Southlake Carroll where he was the secondary coach on the 1993 3A state championship squad. He was also the offensive coordinator at Forney High School when they were the 2000 State Finalist before he went to Allen. Gambill has worked under some legendary coaches including Bob Ledbetter, Joe Martin, Tom Westerberg, Scott Smith, and Mel Maxfield.
Gambill gave David Smoak of ESPN a few quotes to tweet after his hire was confirmed by the Allen ISD Board of Trustees.
“The transition will be much easier because I know the Allen program, tradition, what they stand for and it won’t take me long to learn what’s taken place since I left 6-years ago,” said Gambill. “Allen is best program in state of Texas and no one plays high school football like this state, I wouldn’t have left Midway if it wasn’t best.”
Cody Gambill, who is an Allen graduate and was a star football and baseball player, is expected to join his dad’s coaching staff. The younger Gambill is currently in his second coaching season and is the cornerback coach at Midway.
Gambill returns to a the community with lofty expectations and high school that won three consecutive state titles from 2012 to 2014, ten consecutive straight district titles, and advanced to the 6A Division I semifinals before their 57-game winning streak was snapped by Austin Westlake.
"I'm not worried about the expectations," Gambill said. "To me, it's more exciting to go where there are those expectations."