Home | Sports | Football | Longtime Waxahachie head football coach, David Ream, passes away at 65
Former Waxahachie head football coach David Ream passed away Friday. Memorial services are planned for 10 a.m. this Friday at the Waxahachie Civic Center. (Photo courtesy Waxahachie Daily Light)

Longtime Waxahachie head football coach, David Ream, passes away at 65

By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports

“When it’s too hot for everyone else, it’s just right for the Indians,” is how David Ream would end nearly every two-a-day practice in the sweltering August heat.

That “reminder” was delivered daily on the backfields at Stuart B. Lumpkins Stadium, which is where Ream roamed in a round straw hat with a green-and-white Indians band for 15 years as a head football coach. There is little doubt the same message was echoed with regularity over his storied 37-year coaching career.

The longtime football coach passed away Friday. He was 65.

Photo courtesy Waxahachie Daily Light

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Ream began his school football coaching career at Caprock and Palo Duro High Schools in Armarillo. He then took an assistant coaching gig at Hobbs High School in New Mexico before nabbing his first of two head coaching roles at Liberty-Eylau in Texarkana.

Ream led the Leopards to a 62-55-2 mark over 11 seasons, capping his tenure with a 3A Division I state championship in 1999. He accepted his next and final head coaching job shortly after at Waxahachie High School.

Ream brought more than just a joy of grooming quarterbacks, love for the I-formation or knack for leadership to the Waxahachie program. He also recruited several coaches from that Liberty-Eylau staff — the Pat Brady, Bennie Reese and Brian Browns of the world — who would go on to continue the stellar legacy of the Indian football program. The foundation in Waxahachie had already been laid; Ream and his investment into the development of young coaches ensured it continued.

Ream’s coaching tree has since proven to be more of a sturdy, East Texas pine than a young, Central Texas pecan. To this day, there are several dozen former and current head coaches who all know how to run I-Right-8 22 or can line out on a whiteboard the difference in Rio, Leo and over.

Some might’ve thought Ream’s offense was “simple.” And it was, to an extent. But there’s quite a difference between being simplistic and being versatile — his scheme was very much the latter. Ream-coached teams learned, absorbed and grew daily through a methodical approach to building each player and coach on his sideline.

As the head football coach, Ream led the Indians to a 102-66 overall record during his 15 seasons. He spent 10 of those as a head football coach and athletic director.

Ream eventually retired from Waxahachie in 2014, largely due to his overall health. The toll of his complete investment into the role as the head football coach and athletic director weighed heavy. Despite his ailments, he was not one to ever show up late, miss a day or leave any program feeling slighted. Ream truly bled Waxahachie green and white.

The Indians advanced to the 4A postseason 12 times under his guidance. That feat included 11 consecutive seasons to begin his stint, which ran the program’s consecutive postseason appearance mark to 20 before being snapped in 2011. The Tribe returned to the playoffs in 2012, though did miss out in each of his final two seasons.

Nine of those Ream-led seasons rank in the top-20 all-time in terms of success in Waxahachie’s illustrious football history. He ultimately finished with a 102-66 career record with the Indians, including a 64-30 mark during district play for a 68.1-winning percentage.

The Tribe compiled a 62-18 district mark (77.5-winning %) over his first 13 seasons with 12 playoff berths. The infancy of “District of Doom” then came about in 2013 with the introduction and realignment of the Mansfield ISD programs. The Indians have made the postseason just twice since Ream stepped down seven seasons ago.

Overall, 71 student-athletes signed National Letters of Intent during Ream’s time in Waxahachie. He also remains the second-longest tenured head football coach in program history.

Photo courtesy Waxahachie Daily Light

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Ream was born September 15, 1955, to Joe and Oleta Ream near Enid, Oklahoma. He eventually graduated from Caprock High School and attended Southwestern Oklahoma State University. It was there that he met Janie.

The two married December 21, 1997, and had two daughters, Alison Ream and Kelsey Solis. All three of the Ream women were regular “assistant” coaches, supporters and field house attendants throughout his coaching career. They were as much a part of his successes (and the teams’) as any two-a-day practice or early morning film session.

The memorial service for coach David Ream will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, July 30, at the Waxahachie Civic Center. It is almost poetic that coach Ream will bring us all together for one final Friday celebration. Memorial contributions can be made to the Waxahachie Education Foundation, the Liberty-Eylau Education Foundation or Meals on Wheels of North Central Texas.

*Ready*

*Champs, break*

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This article will be updated with reactions from former assistant coaches and players, as well as an hour-long podcast, as they become available.

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Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith

tsmith@kbec.com 

About Travis M. Smith

Travis M. Smith is the owner and content director of Ellis County Sports and has over a decade of award-winning sports coverage. He most recently served as the digital sports director for KBEC 1390AM/99.1FM. He is the former managing editor of the Waxahachie Daily Light, Midlothian Mirror and Glen Rose Reporter.

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