We knew this day was coming. It was inevitable.
Still, hearing the news Sunday that former Jenks football coach Allan Trimble had passed away following a three-plus year battle with Lou Gehrig’s Disease still delivered a gut punch to friends and fans across the state.
He was just 56 years old.
Trimble was diagnosed with the crippling disease in 2016 and he handled the life-altering news the same way he coached: with dignity, inspiration and class.
He coached the Trojans for two seasons following his ALS diagnosis, advancing to the 6A semifinals each time.
Trimble’s exploits as a high school football coach are well documented. A record thirteen state titles in Oklahoma’s largest classification, including six straight to begin his career at Jenks. Two hundred and forty one wins. Dozens of his players went on to play college football and several more made it to the NFL.
He’s the first active high school football coach ever to be named to the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.
He coached hundreds of young men during his 22 seasons as the head coach at Jenks. While he undoubtedly provided wisdom and leadership to each of those players during his tenure, he may have had an even bigger impact on people following his ALS diagnosis.
Trimble was outspoken in his faith, before and after ALS. He didn’t shy away from the public eye following his diagnosis, either. He didn’t do it to draw attention to himself, but rather to offer hope and inspiration to others. He was living proof that you shouldn’t take a single day for granted.
Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Allan Trimble embodied that statement. His legacy will live forever, not only on the sidelines, but in the minds and hearts of all of us off the field as well.
Well done, Coach. Well done.