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Jenks Gazette


Faith Guides Allan Trimble into the Future

By MIKE MOGUIN
Sports Writer

CHAMPIONSHIP COACH: Coach Trimble signals victory after the 2014 Oklahoma State Class 6-AI football championship victory over Union. He has led the Trojans to 13 state championships since taking the reins as head coach in 1996.


Courtesy Jenks Football


Allan Trimble is best known for his football coaching legacy at Jenks, having led the Trojans to 13 state championships since taking over the reins in 1996.

Now, Trimble is fighting a more serious battle in his life. It is against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), known commonly as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a terminal disease.

“When you research it, it is not a very friendly thing,” Trimble says.

But, entering his 22nd year as Jenks coach, he keeps coaching.

People ask, whether they see him on TV or in person, how is he walking happy with his head up? It all boils down to one critical thing, he says.

“I can honestly say it is through my faith, my belief in Jesus Christ, through the prayers of saints of people who are praying for me and lifting me up and I believe that 100 percent,” Trimble says.

“In our faith, we really believe that God is involved in everything, and everything we do is a gift from Him.  James 1 (verses 2-4) says count it all joy that you go through trials, because when you come through them and go out the other side, your faith is stronger. You build perseverance,” he says.

“I have come to believe and see it come to fruition that God is using my journey for me to talk and be with other people who are going through hard times,” Trimble said. “I believe we go through difficult situations, so that through God and His power, we walk out the other side and our faith is stronger. We have a stronger belief in Him and it reciprocates to other people.”

Trimble says that he had walked around with some of the symptoms for a couple of years.

“It took a while to figure out what was going on. It started in my left hand. It finally got to a point to where I was having a difficult time turning a door knob, I couldn’t turn the key on my motorcycle.

“Physically, I struggled so bad. I had no energy and was really tired,” he adds.

Trimble was about to retire in June 2016. At that time, he had yet to be diagnosed with ALS. The symptoms played into his decision. Having 30-plus years in the Oklahoma education system and his daughters being done with high school were among other factors involved.

However, Trimble changed his mind after being retired for two days. He and his family decided to stay at least one more season.

When July came around, the Jenks coach would learn the bad news.

Trimble had played sports his whole life. He had dealt with injuries such as his left shoulder and some elbow issues. He thought maybe it was a nerve. He had surgeries, but nothing was helping.

“One of our local neurologists sent me to Oklahoma City,” he says. “They did some testing on me and came back and told me I had ALS and gave me all the statistics. Most everybody that has it lives three to five years.”
The news was devastating.

“It’s shocking. Just a big whirlwind of emotions from all directions,” Trimble says.
But, when word got out, over 3,000 people – from his church, the school, and the Jenks and Tulsa communities – showed up at the gym for a prayer vigil to show support.

“It’s been very humbling,” he says. “The amount of people who have come out and support us, through the grace of God and lots of support and prayers, it’s been a blessing.”

Trimble is not receiving treatment, but he sees a doctor who has him on supplements and eating a regimented nutrition plan of fruits and vegetables, through a general health and immune quality diet.

A fundraiser took place July 15 at the ORU Mabee Center to raise funds needed for him to get medicine that could help slow down the deterioration process. It featured Alan Robertson of Duck Dynasty as the keynote speaker, coaches from TU, OU and OSU, along with local celebrities.

In the meantime, Trimble intends to keep coaching as long as he can.

“My doctor has told me that ALS wins 100 percent of the time. But he said, ‘Coach, it’s not going to get you tomorrow. So, go live,’” Trimble says. “That’s our approach through the grace of God and a bunch of friends who are praying for us. We are going out and having a good time. I’m enjoying each and every day of working with kids and coaches and enjoying friends. It sounds strange, but it is really a full life for me right now.

“I made it through last season; it went fine. I just felt like if the Lord has given me this fabulous platform,” Trimble said. “There is no reason to walk away from it right now. We’re going to go one more fall; then we’re going to evaluate it and look at it again.”

Updated 08-13-2017

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