23rd Annual Saving Smiles Bicknell Cup

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23rd Annual Savings Smiles Bicknell Cup Honoring Coach Gary Bartel

About Coach Gary Bartel

Was born and raised in Grand Prairie, Texas graduating from Grand Prairie High School Class of 1971. As a Gopher, he was a three-sport letterman, team captain, and All-District in football, baseball as well as Track & Field. Upon graduation, Gary earned a full scholarship in Football at Texas Tech University, playing in three bowl games (1972 Sun Bowl, 1973 Gator Bowl, and 1974 Peach Bowl).
After graduating, Gary Bartel began his football coaching career at his college Alma Mater, Texas Tech on the defensive side of the ball under Defensive Coordinator, Bill Parcells.
Coach Bartel has a storied coaching career that includes:

• Coaching at seven Division I universities over a 28-year period (Texas Tech, West Texas State, UT-El Paso, UT-Arlington, Louisiana Tech, University of Houston, and The University of Louisiana Lafayette).
• During that time, he coached 19 players that were drafted by NFL teams. Including three Super Bowl Champions (Tim McKyer (UTA) – San Francisco 49ers, Doug Evans (Louisiana Tech) – Green Bay Packers, Ike Taylor (Louisiana – Lafayette) – Pittsburg Steelers)
• Charles Tillman (Louisiana – Lafayette) -Chicago Bears, played in the 2007 Super Bowl and was the 2013 Walton Payton NFL Man of the Year.
• In 2004, became the first and only Grand Prairie High School alumnus to return as the Head Football Coach and Athletic Coordinator.
• In 2017, led the Grand Prairie Gophers to their first state playoff appearance in 28 years.
• In 2017 Coach Bartel was inducted into the Grand Prairie Parks & Recreation Hall of Fame.

In 2018, Gary Bartel became the Executive Director of Athletics for Grand Prairie ISD.

In July 2021, after a 45-year career in coaching and athletic administration, Coach Bartel retired.

Coach Bartel still lives in Grand Prairie with his wife, Pat. He is actively involved in his church (Westridge Fellowship Church), Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Texas High School Coaches Association, and the Rotary Club of Grand Prairie. He enjoys golf, traveling, and spending time with his family – especially the grandkids!