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Vikings’ football coach resigns

Jeremy Evans

Exactly two weeks before the first day of fall football practice, Nick Samaras resigned from his post as South Tahoe High School varsity football coach. He cited personal reasons for stepping down on Thursday after just one season with the Vikings.

“It’s just something that came up and I have to take care of it,” said Samaras, who led South Tahoe to a 1-8 record in 2005. “It was just personal reasons.”

Samaras didn’t go into detail about the nature of his personal matter. However, he did provide encouraging words for his successor despite the Vikings losing 18 seniors off last year’s team. Practice starts on Thursday, Aug. 10.



“I have no idea what they might do,” Samaras said about his possible replacement. “I would hope we laid a good foundation for whoever takes over. I think we have a good group of kids coming back. We went to a camp last weekend and the kids performed very well. I am excited for them.”

Samaras was hired last May after Gary Merrill of North Durham High, N.C., turned down an offer to take over the STHS program. While Samaras may have been the second choice by STHS athletic director Don Borges, he brought solid credentials to the position.



Samaras was an assistant with North Valleys’ varsity team in 2004 and was hired as Whittell’s head coach for the 2003 season before the Warriors had to cancel their season due to lack of players. He also served in various roles with the Dayton and Fallon football programs.

When he was hired in late May, Samaras had just over two months to implement his system in a program that had only four varsity head football coaches in the past two decades. His successor hasn’t been officially named, but whoever it is will have just over a month before the first game of the 2006 season.

“I can only tell you that it’s a personnel issue and I can’t comment on it,” said Borges, who read Samaras’ resignation letter on Thursday evening. “I’m surprised by it. I thought he was going to come back next year. I’m just sorry to receive his letter of resignation.”

One possible candidate could be Mike Gorman, a defensive line coach for Samaras last season. Gorman wasn’t available for comment at press time Thursday night.

The Vikings’ lone victory last season came in September when they defeated Foresthill 52-0 in a nonleague contest. South Tahoe made the Northern 4A playoffs in 2003 and 2004.


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