Jenks legends Rocky Calmus, Sean Mahan remember Allan Trimble
By Kyle Salomon
Allan Trimble had one head football coaching job throughout his entire career, and he accepted that job in 1996 and turned a successful high school football program into a national powerhouse.
Trimble officially joined the Trojan football staff in 1990 and became the offensive coordinator in 1993 under Ron Lancaster. Trimble coached the Jenks offense to a state championship in his first year as the offensive coordinator.
The young coach would stay in that role through the 1994 and 1995 seasons, but Jenks had disappointing ends to both those years with early playoff exits.
It wasn’t long following the completion of the 1995 season that Trimble decided to step away from the coaching world and take a job in the oil field.
Several months later, Lancaster was removed from the head coaching position and the search was on to find a long-term replacement.
“We had a lot of good candidates for the (head coaching) job,” said Tommy Burns, former Jenks Public Schools Director of Athletics. “There were a lot of good candidates that were already head coaches. Allan (Trimble) hadn’t been a head coach. However, we wanted Allan to apply because I thought he would be a good fit.”
Trimble applied for the job and went through the interview process with Burns and Mike Means, Jenks High School Site Principal at that time.
Burns and Means had numerous discussions about the direction they wanted to go, and they eventually decided on Trimble.
“He was a good, Christian man, he worked hard and had a good offensive mind,” Burns said. “He had won a state championship as a head coach of the girls track team in 1995 and he was a tremendous math teacher. I just felt like he knew what he was doing and knew how to get the most out of people. Principal Means agreed with me and we recommended Allan to the administration.”
Dr. Kirby Lehman, who was the Jenks Public Schools Superintendent at the time, asked Burns and Means if they were sure this was the man they wanted for the long term. Both Burns and Means said yes and Trimble was approved and hired by the Jenks Public Schools School Board in 1996.
Trimble had that position for 22 years and won 13 state championships in Class 6A and 6A-1. He had an overall record of 252-43 and won 17 district titles.
Upon his retirement following the 2017 season, Trimble would go down as the most decorated high school football coach in Oklahoma history.
This past Sunday, Trimble passed away at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa following a three-year battle with ALS.
“His priorities were faith, family and football,” said Eric Fox, Assistant Principal at Jenks High School and former assistant football coach on Trimble’s staff. “His humility, ability to keep things in perspective and lack of complacency are what set him apart and made him great. Allan was so relatable to so many people. It didn’t matter what you did or who you were. He was such a people person and committed to everyone else before himself. That is just who he was.”
Sean Mahan, who played under Trimble at Jenks in 1996 and 1997 and played collegiately at the University of Notre Dame and played multiple years in the National Football League, said Trimble gave them what they needed to go win state titles.
“He made us all better men,” Mahan said. “We knew we had something special right out of the gate in his first year. He always had his finger on the pulse of the team. He knew exactly what the team needed, and he was able to adapt to give us what we needed to go and be successful. It was unbelievable winning that first championship with him. We knew we had chance to do something special. Coach Trimble was the missing piece. I played football for a long time, for a lot of great coaches and Coach Trimble is ahead of all of them by a mile.”
Burns said he had the innate ability to recognize talent, both with players and coaches.
“He put together a great staff,” Burns said. “Everyone bought in from the beginning. I feel like we were a step ahead on the other schools with his commitment to weight training and conditioning. He always said his teams may not have been the most talented, but they were never outworked.”
Rocky Calmus, who also played for Trimble in 1996 and 1997 and went on to become an All-American, national champion and Butkus Award winner at the University of Oklahoma and played several years in the NFL, said Trimble was the ideal coach.
“Back then, he was a brand-new head coach,” Calmus said. “He loved us, but he was tough, he got onto us. He was a real football coach, showed us tough love. He was old school. Yeah, he knew X’s and O’s, but he knew how to inspire his players. I remember playing against Midwest City in the state championship game in 1996, they had won it the year before and they were the Jenks back then. They were tough. We were down at halftime and we came out in the second half and just kept pounding away behind (Jason) Lohr and (Sean) Mahan and then we hit a play that we had done since grade school. We hit a half back pass to Brett Butler, it was incredible. He was an amazing coach and an amazing man. He just instilled confidence and an intense work ethic in us.”