No Oklahoma high school football coach has ever matched the championship record of Allan Trimble.
In 22 years at Jenks High School, Trimble’s teams amassed 13 championships in the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association’s top division.
As important as the trophy case full of gold balls is, we’re more impressed by Trimble’s record for lives touched. He taught a generation of local young men how to work toward a goal, how to behave as individuals, how to behave as a team and how to win right.
After a public battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Trimble died Sunday. He was 56.
A celebration of his life is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Oral Roberts University’s Mabee Center.
The roster of Trimble’s Trojans were impressive. He sent stars to top-flight college teams and even the pros.
We were touched to read about Darwin Thompson’s first NFL touchdown, which the former Jenks running back scored Sunday for the Kansas City Chiefs.
After the game, Thompson learned of Trimble’s death.
“He taught me how to win,” Thompson said, according to the Kansas City Star. “That’s really where my foundation started — how to win, how to grind, how to work hard. Ultimately, it helped build to where I am today.”
As Trimble’s life wasn’t defined by the trophies, his reach wasn’t limited to the stars. Football, in the end, is a team sport and it relies of the commitment of every player. Trimble is unmatched in his ability to marshal all those forces toward one worthy end, victory with grace.
Even after Lou Gehrig’s Disease forced him from the sidelines, Trimble continued his lessons in life. His courage and faith in the face of insurmountable challenges were a model for us all.
On Saturday, the Jenks Trojans will once again take the field in a state football championship game, this time pitted against the Owasso Rams. We wish both teams good luck, and know that they will play hard and take lessons away from the game that transcend football — the Trimble way.