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Duncanville head football coach Reginald Samples suspended one game for UIL violation

Samples and the Duncanville football program were also placed on one-year probation.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated since it was originally published.

Duncanville football coach Reginald Samples, the 2019 National Coach of the Year by USA Today, was suspended Wednesday by the University Interscholastic League for the first game of the 2020 season after the UIL’s state executive committee found the football program violated the UIL rule regarding employment of coaches.

Samples and Duncanville were placed on a one-year probation by the UIL. Probation means that a program is still eligible for the postseason, but could face harsher penalties if another violation is found by the UIL during a probation period. The Duncanville football program also was publicly reprimanded.

“I’ve been coaching a long time,” Samples told The Dallas Morning News Wednesday, “and this is the first violation I’ve had in [30] years and I can’t make an excuse.

“I made a mistake, I owned up to it and I have to move forward."

All rulings are final and can’t be appealed, according to the UIL.

The violation, according to the UIL Constitution, is for using a coach on staff that wasn’t a full-time employee of the district.

“He’s just a volunteer and he ended up giving instructions," Samples said, “and that you can’t do.”

Duncanville ISD said it didn’t have a comment on the UIL’s ruling.

Duncanville’s 2020 football schedule hasn’t been finalized, Samples said, and the Panthers’ Week 1 opponent is still unknown. Duncanville is scheduled to play South Oak Cliff in Week 2.

The violation was first brought forward during a District 8-6A executive committee meeting near the end of the 2019 season. No decision was made during the district’s meeting, but the case was referred to the UIL.

Duncanville is coming off its second-consecutive Class 6A Division I state-championship appearance. The Panthers have lost two games the last two seasons, both of which in the state title to Galena Park North Shore.

The ruling comes while the Duncanville girls basketball program — separate and unaffected by Wednesday’s ruling against the football program — is under a two-year probation by the UIL.

Samples has had a decorated career over his 30 years as a head coach. He’s been to three state championships and has compiled a 286-83 record at Lincoln, Skyline and now Duncanville. He went 3-7 in his first season with the Panthers but has since turned them into one of the most dominant teams in Texas, accumulating a 51-6 record over the last four years.

This is Samples’ first suspension or reprimand by the UIL, according to a search through The News’ archives.

“I’ve got to bite the bullet,” he said.

Flashback story
Reginald Samples, head coach of Duncanville, High School, poses for a portrait at the school in Duncanville, Texas on Dec 18, 2018.  (Nathan Hunsinger/The Dallas Morning News)
High School Sports

If you really want to know ‘The Godfather’ Reginald Samples, you need to go behind the scenes as he tries to win that elusive state title

If you really want to know 'The Godfather' Reginald Samples, you need to go behind the scenes as he tries to win that elusive state title
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Joseph Hoyt, Staff Writer. Joseph has covered high school sports for The Dallas Morning News since November, 2018. After graduating from the University of Oregon in 2016, Joseph interned at The News before working for The Ames Tribune and KOIN-TV in Portland.

joseph.hoyt@dallasnews.com /JosephHoytDMN @joejhoyt

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