The 2023 Purcell football homecoming parade will have a change of venue due to the downtown construction.
Led by this year’s Grand Marshal Kurt Gray (PHS Class of 1982), the parade will start on Van Buren and proceed west to Third, south to Monroe where the route goes east for a block to Second and then back north to Conger Field.
The parade starts at 1:30 with line up at 1 p.m., according to organizer Krysta Matthews.
A pep rally will be held after the parade at Conger Field.
Gray coached football at Purcell for 21 years. He not only coached high school but also junior high and has served as strength and powerlifting coach for 21 years.
Kurt and his wife of 37 years, Susan, have three boys all graduates of Purcell High School.
The Grays have four grandchildren with their first granddaughter on the way.
Kurt was an All-State lineman for the Dragons and won state powerlifting titles both in high school and in college at Oklahoma Baptist University where he was on the powerlifting team.
He holds a number of National and State records in USPF and a number of State records in the USPA.
Gray was a National Champion for the 50-54 age group in 2016 and a State Champion in the 55-59 age group 2017-2023.
He is in the Purcell Athletic Hall of Fame and was named to the All-Decade football team in the 1980s.
The OBU graduate was named to the All-Century team and has coached a number of state powerlifting qualifiers, three football state powerlifting champions, one AAU State High School Champion, one state record holder and seven national powerlifting champions.
In his coaching career here, Gray coached five All-State linemen.
He was named Purcell District Teacher of the Year in 2007.
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