David Ream set the standard of excellence for a high school football coach. Coach Ream was more than just a football coach to our community, he was the example that you wanted leading your athletic program. Ream passed away Friday at his home in the Waxahachie, at the age of 65.
“Coach David Ream will always be remembered for his numerous contributions to our school district,” Superintendent Ronnie Thompson said. “He was the epitome of what you wanted in a coach and a leader of men. Coach Ream exuded the traits of a successful coach and man in life daily. He meant a lot to many different people and he will truly be missed.”
Ream was the head coach and athletic director of the Leopards for 11 years. He’s the longest tenured coach in our school’s history. Ream reached the state quarterfinals in 1998, before winning the city of Texarkana’s first state UIL championship in 1999 over Mathis, 49-6. The Leopards finished 1999 with a 14-1 overall record.
“Coach Ream meant a lot to me and my teammates,” 1999 state champion and current Leopard Coach Brandon Rollins said. “He was a father away from home, a mentor, a taxi driver, a leader and more of an all-purpose coach. He’s really one of the reasons why I got into coaching. He had such a positive impact on my life during my freshman and sophomore year, it’s what made me want to get in this business. I saw how he could turn someone around and affect their life and I wanted to do some of the same stuff he did.
A lot of people remember him for his state title at Liberty-Eylau, but I remember how sincere he was when I was in junior high. He cared more about winning young people over than winning games. The state championship was just a plus. He will truly be missed from Liberty-Eylau to Waxahachie and every other place that has had the pleasure to have him around.”
Ream held an extensive coaching tree during his tenure, with four of his assistants eventually landing the head coaching job at L-E. Ream’s ability to win during crunch time at Liberty-Eylau, inevitably started the Leopards’ reign as one of the most dominant teams in East Texas.
“The passing of Pop Ream affects a lot of people because of who he was and what he exemplified for us in our life,” Liberty-Eylau coach and 1999 state champion Lamarcus Franklin said. “At a time when we were coming up, it was very important for us to see a coach that had a system that he believed in. He stuck with it and that’s one thing he really taught us. He really didn’t get into the popularity of it all and he never cared about who people thought you were on the outside, as far as your ability. He was fair and firm across the board. He always did what was best for the team. At the beginning of my senior year, I went through a position change and that challenged me. I really didn’t like the decision but Coach Ream helped me realize that everything isn’t going to go your way. You always have to do what’s best for everyone involved and not to be selfish. That stuck with us all the way through and helped up to become champions. I thank God he was in my life and helped us to not only be champions on the field, but also champions in life.”
Ream’s thumbprint is still etched throughout Leopard Drive. After leaving Liberty-Eylau, Ream moved to Waxahachie, leading the Indians for 15 seasons. Ream reached the playoffs 12 times and won more than 100 games at Waxahachie.
Ream is survived by his parents, Joe and Oleta Ream; his wife, Janie; their two children Alison Ream; Kelsey Solis and her husband Brian Solis; grandchildren Andrew and Hannah Solis; sisters Laquita Baker, Janita Hopkins, Joleta Boyles, Lorita Bishop; brother Jerry Ream; numerous sisters- and brothers-in-law, aunts, uncles, and cousins; an extended coaching family; and countless friends, former players, and colleagues.
Memorial contributions are welcomed in David’s name to the Liberty-Eylau Education Foundation.