The Texas high school football community is mourning the loss of Bob Purl, who served as an assistant coach at Alvin High School during the early 1990’s.
Purl passed away July 3 due to complications from a heart attack. Services for Purl will be held July 23 at Memorial Oaks Chapel in Brenham at 11 a.m. with a gathering to follow.
Purl served in assistant and athletic director /head football coaching capacities at Bellville, guiding the Brahma to an undisputed district championship in 1987.
He later came to Alvin in 1991 as the offensive line and linebackers’ coach on Stan Mauldin’s staff for the next three years.
Along with writing a weekly column in the Alvin Sun titled “Purls of Wisdom” during the 1993 high school football season, Purl was also best remembered here for announcing games for the Yellowjacket Baseball team at Nolan Ryan Field and the Astrodome when Alvin upset No. 1 nationally ranked Bellaire in the regional semifinals.
After his Alvin stint (1991-93), Puarl coached his remaining years on the sideline as an assistant at Brenham High School.
AISD Transportation Director Jeff Dungen played for Purl during his senior year at Bellville and also coached alongside him in Alvin.
“He coached me my senior year at Bellaire and also (Alvin assistant) Danny Rodriguez at Elgin,” Dungen said. “He was genuinely kind man, who was like a father figure to many kids. He would joke with you one moment, but would also discipline you if you needed it.
“I was talking to (Alvin graduate) Johnny Golden about Bob’s passing and he was heartbroken. But he also said he was real thankful that he saw him here (in 2018) at the reunion of the 1993 Alvin state semifinal squad.”
Former Alvin High School athletic great Scott Keithley called Purl a “great high school coach, mentor and friend.”
“I believe he came to AHS my sophomore year and at first sight he was one of the biggest, strongest, most intimating looking coaches I had ever met,” Keithley recalled. “He stood about 6’5” or so and could bench press over 400 pounds. If you saw him back in those days, you know what I’m talking about.
“It just so happened that he turned out to be more of a gentle giant. He was extremely friendly, funny and genuinely interested in helping his players/students be successful. He was the type of guy that would do anything for you. Coach had a big impact on my life and will be missed.”