After 13 seasons leading the Monahans football team, Mickey Owens is retiring.

Owens, who took the helm of the Loboes in 2005, informed his team of his decision to end his coaching career around noon on Thursday.

Owens finishes with an overall coaching record of 173-69 and a 121-41 mark at Monahans. He said he knew around Christmas that it was time to retire from coaching.

Owens added that he’s not retiring in general but doesn’t know where his next step will be. However, he knows it won’t be as a coach.

“It wasn’t just one major thing. It’s time in my career,” Owens said. “I just felt like it was time to make a change.”

Owens said that he wants to be more involved with things his own kids are doing. He spent 34 years as a coach with stops at Odessa High, Rankin, Ballinger and Lampasas.

“He was a legend to us,” said former Monahans running back Seth Hogan. “We wanted to make him proud. That was my football coach, so in any sport, I wanted to represent him and the school with discipline and class because that‘s what he teaches us.”

Owens departs as the winningest head coach in Loboes’ history, surpassing the win totals of former Permian head coach Gary Gaines, Larry Hanna and Bren Holland.

“I never got to be around Coach Gaines or any of the others, but he’s a dang good coach in my book,” Hogan said. “I think he’s a legend now.”

In Owens’ 13 years at Monahans, the Loboes qualified for 11 playoff appearances. Every year since 2008, Monahans has won at least one playoff game.

In 2017, the Loboes finished with a 9-3 record, including a 5-1 mark through the gauntlet of District 2-4A Division II.

“He’s one of the best in the business and he has been for many years,” Fort Stockton head coach Mike Peters said. “We’re missing a good one with Coach Owens retiring.”

Peters added that preparing for a Mickey Owens-coached Monahans team was fairly simple. The Loboes were going to be extremely physical, disciplined and well-coached.

“If you can do match them on those things, you can hang with them, but most people can’t,” Peters said. “Fort Stockton as well as the district congratulates Coach Owens on his retirement and we wish him well.”

Owens said he will still be employed at Monahans through the rest of the school year. Owens’ departure is the end of his second stay with the Loboes as he had a few different coaching roles from 1984 to 1995.

Owens’ two sons, Tanner and Trevor, were both born in Monahans and played for the Loboes once their dad came back to town as the head coach. Owens’ daughter Landry was a volleyball player and golfer at Monahans. Trevor is now the defensive coordinator at Comanche.

“As a coach, it’s home to our family,” Owens said about Monahans. “The kids here are unbelievable. They give you more than you expect.”

Owens, a Big Lake native, added that the Loboes won a lot of games throughout the years where they were outmatched because of the tradition and determination of the kids, parents and Monahans as a whole.

“He sure was a father figure for sure,” Hogan said about Owens. “He was always there for you no matter what.”

Phone calls to Monahans-Wickett-Pyote ISD were not immediately returned as to a timeline for hiring Owens’ replacement.