Open Door Policy
LOOK INSIDE COACHES OFFICE: ALLAN TRIMBLE, JENKS HIGH SCHOOL (OK)
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A perennial pre-season top ten team among high schools, Jenks (Oklahoma) is the model of consistency. Under head coach Allan Trimble, the Trojans have won seven state championships in nine years. His record at the school is 112-11 with a number of players receiving scholarships to I-A college programs yearly. Jenks plays in Oklahoma’s largest classification, 6A.
Between 1996 and 200l, Trimble’s record was 79-4 and he was named the 2002 Schutt Sports 2002 Regional High School Coach of the Year. Their rivalry with Union High School, both in the Tulsa school district, is one of the most legendary match-ups in the nation. It is played annually in a college stadium, draws 35,000 fans, and a documentary – King of the Mountain – profiled the rivalry in 2003. Jenks lost the state title to Union this past year, 27-17, matching the two top teams in the state.
Coach Trimble was also honored by USA Weekend magazine for his charitable work. Selected one of the nation’s Most Caring Coaches, Trimble has encouraged his team to host a dinner honoring students participating in the Special Olympics. Trimble’s players have raised over $1,000 for the Special Olympics and $1,650 for an opposing team’s cancer-stricken quarterback.
We spoke to Coach Trimble about his years at Jenks but more specifically about his office. What has it been like and what goes on behind the scenes. What is the inner-workings of a day like for Coach Trimble? Included is an intimate look inside a coach’s den...
AFM: What was it like the first time you stepped into the office knowing you’re now in charge of the Jenks football program?
AT: I was ready for it having been an assistant here for five years and now having completed my ninth season as head coach. I was actually ready to leave coaching and was about to take a job in Wichita when I was called to interview for the head-coaching job. My wife was about nine months pregnant at the time. After the third round of interviews they offered me the job. It was a huge challenge but I was ready for it. Incidentally, my daughter was born in a snowstorm in Wichita that winter (February of 1996).
AFM: Tell me how the office is used? Do you have staff meetings, recruiting visits, phone and computer time and/or watch tape?
AT: It’s kind of like an inner sanctum – all major activities for the program go on there. We’re located in the stadium which was built in 1952... it may be the only secure room in the building... We also keep head-sets, computers, VCRs, our compilation of championship trophies, film archives, etc. It’s really a control center but I do a lot of one-on-one with our players in the office.
AFM: Any interesting anecdotes from visiting coaches, recruiters, parents or unusual visitors? Any interesting phone calls?
AT: A few of the legendary Oklahoma high school coaches have come by on a regular basis – coaches Red Rogers and Perry Beaver, who is in the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and coach of a state champion, along with Ron Lancaster-visit in the office. I’ve also had K State Coach Bill Snyder and Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops come by....probably my greatest player – Rocky Calmus – visits when he can. Now in the NFL, he had a great career at Jenks and playing at Oklahoma.
I remember Rocky playing in a 6th or 7th grade game and he was getting on the officials – even then. His mom, though, wouldn’t stand for it and actually took him by the ear off the field.
AFM: With a national program year-in, year-out, what is it like dealing with the media?
AT: The media coverage has grown through the years and we’re used to it... it really has grown since 1996 and we want to do our best in showcasing the school and what Jenks represents.
AFM: What coaches have influenced you over the years?
AT: Coach Beaver and Lancaster have come by and shown great support for the program. I started out in 1986 as a girls track and field coach in Owasso (OK) through their coach Larry Cariker. I was fresh out of college. It opened me up to the coaching profession and I learned how to deal with different types and manage people. He was a great influence on my life... he believed if you work hard enough, good things will follow.
AFM: Do you have any personal memorabilia or treasured items in your office?
AT: I have photos of my wife and two daughters and many photos of the teams, coaches and players I’ve either worked with or coached with... I also have an oil painting my mother did of a ship with a number of sails...each sail has a word to represent self-motivation: character, leadership, integrity, and so forth and it’s titled ‘Championship’; that is, what ingredients are necessary to win... I’ve got some fly-fishing posters as well.
AFM: If you could take just one item from your office, what would it be?
AT: I have a photo of my family taken at the Rocky Mountain National Park that I treasure.
AFM: If you could invite three coaches into your office for a meeting – living or dead – who would they be?
AT: Bill Belichick of the Patriots, John Wooden, and OSU basketball Coach Eddie Sutton. I’ve admired Wooden for his level-headedness and read all of his books. Sutton has done it at all levels no matter what the personnel. He still has the fire – whether it be Central High School nearby or now at Oklahoma State.
AFM: If you could be a GA and learn from one coach, who would it be?
AT: Bob Stoops...he’s done a remarkable job at OU...he’s taken a program that was down, brought them back, and kept them on top.
AFM: What thoughts or advice would you give to the person that will eventually replace you?
AT: You’ve got to be yourself...people can read a phony pretty quickly... I’d like to see someone with passion and the attitude to make this the best place it can be. Even though we’ve won 7 championships in nine years, you’re always looking for progress... but you should also give yourself credit and enjoy the success... take the time to look at what you’ve done.