Sam is a 1946 graduate of Delano High School. He started and lettered all four years at the varsity level in both football and baseball. He was elected to the Delano Football Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2000, Sam was inducted into the Bob Elias Sports Hall of Fame for his achievements as a baseball coach in Kern County.
In 1949 Sam signed a professional baseball contract with the Pittsburg Pirates Organization. After one season, Sam was released and began playing semi-pro ball in the Bakersfield area. In 1950, the team won the California State Tournament where he set a record for back to back home runs and was selected to the All State Team as an outfielder.
Sam began his coaching career at Bakersfield High School in 1950 as “B” reserve football coach, and, a Frosh/Soph baseball coach. His tenure at BHS didn’t last long as he was drafted into the armed forces and proudly served his country during the Korean War. After the war, Sam returned to the Kern County area and later attended San Jose State University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Physical Education with a minor in Health Education in 1955.
In 1957, Sam began his teaching career at North High School where he coached the varsity line in football. This team won its first South Yosemite League title. Also that year, he coached the “D” Class basketball team. Sam started coaching baseball at North in 1958 at the Junior Varsity level. In 1959, his J.V. team won the SYL title, and, he coached at that level for seven years. From 1961 to 1967, Sam coached the “C” Class football team. In 1968 he took over the “B” Class team and won the league championship.
Sam became the Varsity Baseball coach in 1965 and retired from that position in 1978. During his career, Sam’s teams won over 300 games and won or shared SYL championships seven times. From 1972 to 1977, his baseball teams won six straight league titles, and, in 1976, he won his first Valley Championship.
Sam was the Department Chairman of the Physical Education Department from 1965 to 1971. He is also the former President of the Kern Chapter of the California Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation.