'This is the place I want to be': Former Houston Oiler takes over Prairie View A&M football

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas (KTRK) -- A former Houston Oiler all-pro was named Prairie View A&M University's new football head coach after acting as the Panthers' assistant coach for 11 years.

Bubba McDowell told ABC13 he's very excited about the position and said it's been a long time coming.

"The foundation here is to build good character young men," McDowell said. "Just to have these young men continue to do well in the classroom, and to get them to understand if they get it done in the classroom, it'll happen on the field."

McDowell said he plans to build the program through recruiting, calling Prairie View a hidden gem with the goal of keeping local talent home.

"We got some dudes here in town that can play football. Like I tell everyone and my coaching staff, the UH's, Texas', and A&M's they can't get them all. What a lot of kids don't know about Prairie View, when we get them on campus, they are like, 'Ahh,'" he said.

With the ever-changing landscape for college coaches, McDowell's time invested in the university shows his commitment to the Panthers program.

"It's not a stepping stone for me because I could have easily gone somewhere else, but this is the place I want to be," he said. "I want this school to get back to the top of where this school can be."

McDowell, who played football at the University of Miami, also won himself a national champion. He said he appreciates all the support dating back to his days with the Oilers, hoping to recruit more fans to spend Saturdays on The Hill.

"Let's root Prairie View on. I know you have more schools in town. If you have a chance, just come out and support Prairie View, the team, myself. We're going to go out and try to win some championships," he said.
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