Family, friends and fans of Duncanville High School Head Football Coach Reginald Samples came together last weekend in one of those rare moments when the coach allowed people to celebrate him. As the all-time winningest African American football coach in UIL history, Coach Samples took his moment in the spotlight to credit others.
“I don’t get to thank people enough. It’s about much more than me,” said Coach Samples. “Football is very important, but I tell people all the time that I have a healthy family that supports me. That is more important than anything else. I really feel blessed.”
From the welcome by Duncanville ISD Superintendent Dr. Marc Smith to the closing comments by Rashaad Samples, Coach Samples’s son, the common thread of the evening was that football is the vehicle used by Coach Samples to positively influence young men.
WFAA-TV (Channel 8) sports reporter Joe Trahan served as the event’s emcee and shared his own perception.
“The real impact of Coach Samples is not in the win-loss column, but the impact he has on kids and their lives,” Mr. Trahan said.
Mr. Trahan asked Coach Samples who inspires him.
“Everyone. I really believe that you have to take a little experience from every person you encounter,” he said. “I try to go into every relationship and grow from that relationship. Most of the good things I know and do, I stole from someone else.”
Coach Samples closed the night with advice for other coaches.
“Don’t give up on kids. I think that is the biggest thing. We are in our jobs to direct the lives of young people and help them become better people. As long as you do that, we win.”