BASKETBALL: Samples to coach at John Marshall

GLEN?DALE, W.Va. – There is something about the “Glen” for Luke Samples.

A graduate of Oak Glen High School and Glenville State College, Samples is the new boys basketball coach at John Marshall in Glen Dale, W.Va. He was approved Tuesday by the Marshall County Board of Education.

Samples is leaving Hampshire after three years as the boys basketball coach of the Trojans. At Hampshire, he also coached girls soccer for the first time last fall and has guided the girls track and field team for several seasons.

“It’s going to be hard to leave the kids,” Samples said. “I’ve wanted to build my career through basketball and teaching. I saw it as an opportunity not to turn down. I’m basketball guy. I’ve wanted to coach since I was a kid.”

Now he gets to do it fairly close to home on the Northern Panhandle.

“I was playing around and applied,” Samples said, “and it ended up just working out.

“I’m back in the (Ohio Valley Athletic Conference) where I played. I know a lot of people around here. It just worked out.

“I had no plans at all to come back; it just kind of jumped on me all at once.”

The 27-year-old Samples was to meet holdover members of the John Marshall basketball program earlier this week.

Samples posted a 35-31 record on the basketball court in three seasons guiding the Trojans, including back-to-back winning seasons the past two campaigns.

“I credit Hampshire wholeheartedly for helping my career,” Samples said. “We were playing (Single-A) East Hardy the first year. We built the program to where we can play with people.

“We beat Jefferson the year before, and we’ve been tight with Hedgesville. I think we put it where we needed to be.

“The kids are great. I love them. That’s what makes it so hard.”

He said he’ll meet with the players from Hampshire later this week.

“I love those kids at Hampshire,” Samples said. “It’s going to be real hard. It’s all about the kids for me. When I walked in there, we weren’t very good. We had four basketballs and no offseason program. I asked the kids to give me everything they had; I think they did.”

John Marshall finished with a 5-18 record a season ago, with two of the wins coming over Samples’ alma mater Oak Glen.