jerry gayden

Jerry Gayden
Director of Athletics


A native of Abilene, Jerry Gayden is a product of the Abilene Independent School District. He attended Fannin Elementary School, Mann Middle School, and graduated from Abilene High School in 1968. Jerry received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science from McMurry College in 1972. He continued Graduate Studies in Education at East Texas State University. Jerry started his teaching and coaching career in the Richardson Independent School District in 1972. He coached freshman football at Lake Highlands Junior High School, and then varsity football and track at Lake Highlands High School. He was the Offensive Line Coach on the 1981, undefeated, (15-0), 5-A State Championship Football Team.

In 1995 he was named Head Football Coach and Athletic Director at Lake Highlands High School. While serving as Head Football Coach his teams made it to the State Championship playoff Semi-finals three times, the Quarter-finals four times, and were District Champions two times. Jerry was named as District Coach of the Year on four occasions, and the NFL-Dallas Cowboy Coach of the Week five times. Jerry has coached 1 Parade All-American, 1 Army All-American, 5 All-State Football Players, and just as importantly to him, 24 Academic All-State Football Players. Eight of his former football players have played, or are currently playing in the NFL, and two of his former athletes have competed in the Olympics in Track and Field..

The Dallas Morning News named Lake Highlands High School as one of the top All Sports Programs in the Dallas-Ft.Worth Metroplex for two consecutive years, once in 2005 and again in 2006.

Jerry is married to Betty Gayden, also a 1968 graduate of Abilene High School. They have two children, Chris and Pam. Their daughter, Pam, teaches History and Spanish at Lake Highlands High School. Their son, Chris, is an orthopedic surgeon who lives in Dallas with his wife Cindy, a teacher and track coach. Chris and Cindy have a two year old daughter, Ellie.