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Trinity football legend Dennis Lampley has passed away

Trinity High School’s American football team lost one of its giants on Tuesday night.

Dennis Lampley, the former head coach of the American football team and athletic director of the Shamrocks, has died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, his son Brad announced on social media Wednesday morning.

“Dad influenced generations of young men at Trinity with an impact that far eclipses his Hall of Fame career,” Brad posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “I pray I can be half the man and father he was.”

Robert Sampson, who graduated from Trinity in 2005, also expressed his feelings about X.

“No words can do justice to the impact Dennis Lampley has had on me since our paths first crossed 24 years ago,” Sampson wrote. “Priceless memories, countless hours of knowledge passed on, unwavering support, and a model of excellence that will have a lasting impact for years to come.”

Trinity Athletics Director Rob Mullen called Lampley one of the most beloved teachers and coaches to ever work at the school.

Dennis Lampley’s first stint as Trinity’s football coach was brief, from 1978-79. He remained at the school, coaching the track and field and golf teams, and returned to football in 1985. He won a Class 4A state title that year. He won four more titles in the next nine seasons (1988-90, 1994). Lampley’s three consecutive titles came via a state-record 50 wins between 1988 and 1991.

Louisville coach Jeff Brohm was involved in Trinity’s 1988 state title.

“While our sport was football, the game he coached was life,” Brohm posted. “We had a special bond and I often leaned on him for wisdom and advice. He was a great leader and motivator and could inspire anyone to be the best they could be in whatever endeavor they pursued. He was my friend and so important to our family. … I hope I can be half the man and half the coach that he was. Rest in peace, Coach Lampley.”

During his time leading the Shamrocks, Lampley compiled a 138-21 record. After his coaching tenure, Lampley served as Trinity’s athletics director and hired Bob Beatty, who won 15 state titles as the Shamrocks’ head football coach, and Mike Szabo, who won two boys basketball state titles before stepping down last season due to health issues.

Lampley retired as Trinity’s AD in 2014, having spent nearly five decades with the Shamrocks in various capacities. He was a two-time Hall of Famer, being inducted into the KHSAA Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. Outside of sports, Lampley served on the board of directors of the Kentucky Fish & Wildlife Foundation.

He is survived by his immediate family and Trinity.

“Beyond the victories and state titles, his greatest gift to us was his loving heart,” Mullen wrote in a statement to The Courier Journal. “I am just one of thousands who can attest to the profoundly positive impact he had on our lives.”This story is being updated.

Contact Louisville football, women’s basketball and baseball reporter Alexis Cubit at [email protected] and follow her on X at @Alexis_Cubit.

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