By ERIC X. VICCARO
During the Ste. Genevieve R-II School District board of education meeting on Dec. 15, Corey Samples was approved as the new high school head boys’ track and field coach.
“I’m excited, and I can’t wait to start my high school coaching career,” Samples said in a telephone interview with the Ste. Genevieve Herald Wednesday, Dec. 23.
Samples said he’s looking forward to watching the Dragons compete, and he hopes to help them excel.
Samples replaces Jay Pope, who last summer left Ste. Genevieve for Jackson.
This will mark Samples third year coaching in the district, having served first as an assistant and then head coach at the middle school level.
What makes the move special is that Samples is a 2009 graduate of SGHS.
“It means more,” he said.
Samples was a distance runner under former coaches Brian Jett and Ken Weik.
He ran primarily the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, and he was a relay specialist — advancing to the Missouri State High School Activities Association state meet as a junior on a relay team with Eric Diesel, Will Everett and Zack Fallert.
After SGHS, Samples attended William Woods University in Fulton, Mo., where he was a member of the cross country and track and field teams. He earned a degree in physical education from William Woods.
Before returning home to Ste. Genevieve, Samples served as a paraprofessional in the Fulton school district for one year.
In addition to track and field, Samples is the seventh-grade boys’ basketball coach and serves as a special education teacher at the middle school level.
Because of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Samples said the Dragons will be starting from scratch during the 2021 season.
Tentatively, practice for the upcoming campaign will begin in early March.
Valle Catholic head cross country coach Samer Zoughaib is set to be recognized as a Missouri State High School Activities Association coach of the year.