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Samuel Dawell Bean

April 1, 1946 –
 February 17, 2023


Samuel Dawell Bean passed away on Friday, February 17, 2023, in Irving, Texas. He was 76 years old and revered for his decades of passionate work on behalf of public schools across the State of Texas.

Sam was born on April 1, 1946, to S.H. and Virginia Bean in McCamey, Texas. He grew up in Rankin, Texas where he graduated from high school as the salutatorian of the Class of 1964. He went on to study Social Studies and Education at Angelo State University in San Angelo. He later furthered his education obtaining a Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas.

Starting his education career in the small town of Robert Lee, Texas, Coach Bean assisted with all sports, but had a state-qualifying track team. From there, he would move to Littlefield where he served for eighteen years as a Wildcat Football coach, Lady Wildcat basketball coach, and an administrator for Littlefield High School. Mr. Bean would go on to serve as a principal in San Elizario near El Paso and open a new middle school (T.A. Howard) in Mansfield ISD. The last several years of his educational career were as the Captain (principal) of the Viking Ship at Nimitz High School in Irving and as the lead administrator of the Wheeler Transitional Center in Irving ISD serving students with special needs.

Sam met his match when he met Cindy. He and Cindy married on March 22, 1993. Cindy, also a school administrator, became the principal of MacArthur High School in Irving while Sam was at Nimitz. For several years, the football rivalry between the two schools was knows as the “Bean Bowl.”

Sam is preceded in death by his parents, S.H. Bean, Jr., and Virginia Lovell Bean, and a brother, Kenneth. He is survived by his wife Cindy of Irving, sons Jason of Sherman and Jeremy and his wife Jincy of Granbury, grandsons Brennan (Lily) of Fort Worth, Brett of Stephenville, a sister, Sharon Young (Tom) of Brownfield, and a brother, David Bean (Sanne) of Houston, many nieces and nephews and their children. He is also survived by numerous friends, former co-workers from his many schools, and thousands of former students who knew him as that hardline coach or principal with a well-hidden soft spot for his players and students.

Sam’s family will hold a Celebration of Life reception on March 5 from 2-4 pm., at the Omni Las Colinas.

In lieu of flowers, his family asks that friends and family consider a memorial donation to the Irving Schools Foundation at or via mail to P.O. Box 152637, Irving, TX, 75015-2637, or in person at 2621 W. Airport Freeway, Irv

    Brad Heffington
    25 Feb 2023

    So sorry to hear this. Loved Coach Bean!

    Brad Heffington family

    Jim Burks
    25 Feb 2023

    One of the GREAT ones! Having coached myself for over 30 years, I look back at the coaches we had…..and I realize how well we were coached

    Lance Broadhurst
    25 Feb 2023

    I have fond memories of Coach Bean. Truly one of the good guys. He will certainly be missed. Wildcat Magic!

    Debra “Burks” Ray
    25 Feb 2023

    Many fond memories of Coach Bean, but the best one was the day I “snowplowed” the cinder track at Wildcat Stadium after catching a hurdle with my trailing knee. I had abrasions from my chin down. He was waiting for me at the end of the race and was so kind and gentle. “Burks, let’s work on not doing that again!”

    Michelle & Billy Nix
    25 Feb 2023

    Coach Bean was the best. We will never forget the part he played in all of our lives.

    Adrian Solis
    25 Feb 2023

    Coach was a great coach. You always got the most out of each one of us. RIP

    Jamie Lee McCann
    25 Feb 2023

    Playing for coach Bean was the highlight of my high school days. Loved him. Prayers for the family and friends.

    Cecie Edwards
    25 Feb 2023

    I learned so much from Coach Bean when I was his assistant at Littlefield! Great man who definitely left his mark everywhere he went. Sam will be truly missed. Deepest condolences to all of his friends.

    Janie Rogers
    26 Feb 2023

    Sam and his family were on the Littlefield coaching staff when we moved to Littlefield during August two a days . Coaching staffs are like families and we had some great times with Sam and Kris. Monti and the boys were all about the same age with that being five years old. The kids were instant pals and quite the entrepreneurs and decided to earn Curly Top money with their various businesses. The three had a skating rink, gave piano lessons, had a gymnastic studio, and a lawn business. Those businesses each have their own tale. CL and Sam told the kids it was time they earned their keep. One time I was trying to get my kids to school and I was slowly running out of gasoline very close to the old Alamo building, but the car was stalling in the intersection. The bigger kids all jumped out and ran for their school buildings. Monti refused to be humiliated and embarrassed and would not jump out of the stalling car. She was down in the front seat and foot well and no matter how much I prodded, socked her, and “verbally” encouraged her, she would not exit the vehicle. About that time, someone was knocking on the passenger side window. I hoped it was not CPS. It was Coach Bean and he took the car to the curb. Instructed Monti to be on about her business and she was out of that car like a shot. Lol. Coach Bean was a perfectionist and super intelligent. When the teachers first took the TCAT in the old Junior High Cafeteria,, Sam was the last one to leave the building. Come to find out later, he doubled checked every question until he left with a perfect score. C.L would tell me Sam was the greatest motivational speaker in football meetings. Sam would have the kids so fired up that you’d think the boys were storming the beaches of Normandy instead of heading into Wildcat Stadium. Billy Tom Grant sat in on one of the speeches and was afraid he may have re-enlisted in the Army if hadn’t headed out of there!! Some Littlefield Wildcats are legends. Sam Bean certainly was one.

    Beth Ricles
    19 Mar 2023

    Sam was such a great man, wonderful role model, mentor and friend. He was widely respected by all who knew him. I felt very lucky to have known him and worked for him at TA Howard. He will be greatly missed.

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