Excerpt from The Soviet Union and Lincoln County USA

Lincoln Raiders coaches Kim Matthews and Richard McCallister are among the wisest and most compassionate coaches I have ever witnessed. They rank with the legendary Sammy LeRose, my football coach at St. Albans. Like my late Coach LeRose, they are positive, never blame, humiliate, curse or scream at anyone. When a kid made a mistake it was, “Hey, don’t worry about it and you’ll do better next time” or “Good try, way to hustle.” On the rare occasions when their teams lost they didn’t whine and blame the referees. Both coaches are Christian ministers. Kim in the Church of Christ and Richard in the Church of God. As coaches their only sermon was love and compassion for players and parents. I am so grateful that they were my son Luke’s first coaches in football and baseball. Early influences are so very important.

About Sam's Branch

I joined the Peace Corps in 1961 as West Virginia’s first volunteer. Go to to order my book Imagonna: Peace Corps Memories. I am the eighth generation of my family born in the Big Coal River Valley of West Virginia. My father and grandfather were underground coal miners. I have a chemical engineering degree from West Virginia University (WVU). After training to make sidewinder missiles, I joined the Peace Corps and taught chemistry and coached the track team at a secondary school in Nigeria. Since that time, I was WVU’s first full time foreign student advisor and worked in urban outreach, organic farming, construction labor, and high school teaching. I recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy (, and recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Kanawha State Forest Foundation ( I am still on the board of the Labor History Association and the West Virginia Environmental Education Association and recently joined the board of the West Virginia Civil Liberties Union. I am active in the campaign to stop the destructive practice of mountain top removal strip mining in the Appalachian Mountains. You may contact me at or my blog samsbranch.wordpress.
This entry was posted in Sports and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Coaches

  1. Rusty Wade says:

    I agree. Richard McCallister was very instrumental in shaping the man I am today. I grew up in the Sumerco Church of Christ when Richard was the youth minister there at that time. He drove the church bus, picking up anyone young or old who wanted to come to church. I attended every Wednesday night, Sunday morning and Sunday night. There were times when I would not have a ride to church. I made a call to Richard. He picked me up. Our bus rides were great. He was very easy to talk to and offered great advice. I have much respect for him today!

  2. Wendy says:

    Richard is Sumerco Churc of God

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s