Owasso coach Bill Blankenship said of Allan Trimble (right) “It was one of those amazing relationships where God put us together as rivals, but it was never like that with Allan.” BILL HAISTEN/Tulsa World file

Owasso head coach Bill Blankenship, who helped create the great Jenks-Union rivalry as the Redskins’ head coach in 1992-05 and who coached against Allan Trimble 20 times:

“Yes, it is a sad day. I have lots of great memories, just being able to share that path with him. I knew this day was coming, but I wasn’t ready for it.

“It was one of those amazing relationships where God put us together as rivals, but it was never like that with Allan. I respected the way he went about things and he made me a better coach. We fought for 2½ hours a couple of times a year and we tried to keep up with each other and all that kind of stuff. It was after I left Union when we started to see more of each other and it got easier to share the stories. I got to be a part of his retirement and celebration, and it was pretty awesome.”

Union coach Kirk Fridrich, who took over the Redskins helm in 2006 and coached against Trimble 22 times:

“This a tough deal. I remember when (Trimble) was diagnosed (with ALS in 2016) and it was like a punch in the gut then. It was tough to see the impact he had had on kids and to have that part taken away where he couldn’t coach anymore.

“It was easy to get to know Allan because of how genuine he was. I was thinking this morning all the way back to 2004 when I was head coach at Stillwater. In the offseason one time, I called him out of the blue to ask him about some of the things that enabled him to do such a great job and he carried on a 30-minute conversation with me. For a young head coach, that was pretty important to me, and some of the things we talked about continue to influence me today.”

Jenks head coach Keith Riggs, Trimble’s former defensive coordinator who was named his successor in 2017:

“Allan had so many wonderful qualities … but I think two things that stand out to me (were) his humility through all the success and his desire to serve others. I think that’s what made him so special.

“Even through his illness, it was always about other people, it was never about him or his disease. The times I was able to visit with him this past week, he wanted to know about the team, how they were doing, how preparations (for the Trojans’ 6A Division I champiopnship game against Owasso in Edmond on Saturday) are going.”

Broken Arrow head coach David Alexander, a former Trojans assistant who coached against Trimble five times:

“I’ve said this before. I think both of my sons (who played for Jenks) would have traded me in for Allan. That’s how much of an influence he had on my family. I’ve always loved him.

“He wasn’t coaching for a pat on the back, he was coaching to influence a generation of young men and women. He was never, ever selfish about anything. He was a humble, humble winner, but he was even more gracious in defeat. I played football for a long time and was around some great coaches. Allan didn’t lose very often, but when he did, it was always praise for the other coach, what a great job he had done in getting his kids ready to play.

“In the last year and a half, once ALS got to be debilitating for him, you’d go to see Allan feeling like you needed to go over there for him, but when you left, you’d realize you had gone for yourself. I’d get a hug or a nugget of wisdom from him and I’d leave there thinking, ‘Gosh, I don’t know if I helped Allan, but I sure know he helped me.”

Bixby head coach Loren Montgomery, a former Trojans assistant who coached against Trimble eight times:

“I feel for coach Trimble’s family, for his wife (Courtney) and the girls. It’s gonna be a rough time for them. They’re so close to everyone involved. If you had anything to do with coach Trimble, you were involved with his family.

“I owe so much gratitude to him. He was the guy who gave me my first job, and I think he set the standard high for me and for so many other coaches who worked for him. I venture to say that the reason football is so good in the Tulsa area and northeastern Oklahoma is because of his legacy and the number of successful coaches who worked directly or indirectly with him.”

Victory Christian head coach Dub Maddox, Trimble’s offensive coordinator for 13 years:

“I’ve been reflecting all day on the things I learned and all the time I spent with him and I was overwhelmed with the flood of memories and the impact he had on my life. I remember just how real he was. A lot of times, you see these larger-than-life people but when you met Allan, he was like he had known you for a long time.”

Mike Brown


Twitter: @mikebrownTW