"Sam" that's what we call him. That's what world champions call him. That's what Olympic medalists, silver glove and golden gloves amateur fighters, and regular gym members call him. He's always introduced himself as such, and for whatever reason, we just don't call him "coach".
It's not because Sam isn't a coach, but for a lot of us... he is more than just that. The quick definition for the word "coach" as a verb is : train - teach - practice - educate - tutor. Yes, that's what Sam does, but for many of his who have known Sam through boxing, we can add words like "friend" or "mentor" even "employer" and "business partner".
For this guy who has know him not long enough, I remember many moments with Sam, but one stands out. It took place after the 1st round of an amatuer fight where I came back to the corner angry at myself and said, "I suck". He looked at me and yelled at me, "Enough of that! I don't wanna hear any more of this negative talk! You don't believe in yourself, Mark! Well, you gotta BELIEVE in yourself and tell yourself you can do it! You gotta BELIEVE you can do what I'm asking you to do! Now get out that and do it!
For others, its part time work (paid in cash!) for those who could use it. Sometimes it is a place to live or stay. Often, he provides a listening ear for those who need it the most. He often looks over forgets gym dues for those who might be financially struggling. He provides free equipment like gloves, handwraps, and even shoes to those who don't have it.
I always respected and admired how he treated all his fighters the same and equally as a coach; ranging from 14 year old kids looking for something to do, all the way to world class boxers and mma champions. He's given this has-benn/never-was the watchful eye, attention and TIME that he would give his next rising start. He would do the same for the female amateur, or an unsure 11 year old.
I, am a better coach through having known Sam. My clients and trainess have told me so. He also helped me meet my wife... With all of that, calling him "coach" just doesn't seem fitting.
So we call him Sam.
- Mark Allen