Samuel F. "Sam" Budnyk
Samuel F. "Sam" Budnyk is a champion both on and off the athletic field. Not only has Budnyk, 70, built a winning athletic program at Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach, he also has championed both minority and women's rights in high school athletics in Palm Beach County.
Budnyk was hired in August 1961 as athletic director, football coach and basketball coach at Cardinal Newman. In his 46 years at the school he also has held positions as the track, softball, basketball and golf coach.
Budnyk's coaching career highlights:
• Football – 278 wins, 170 losses, 4 ties; two 10-0 teams; nine district championships; five regional titles; 12 conference crowns and 12 West Palm Beach city titles.
• Softball – 437 wins, 109 losses; three state championships; one state runner-up; eight regional championships; 14 district titles and 16 conference crowns.
• Track – four conference titles.
• Boys Basketball – 41 wins, 30 losses and two conference championships.
• Boys Golf – 90 wins, 31 losses; three conference championships.
Budnyk, as football coach, has sent more than 150 players to NCAA Division I schools on scholarships and currently has one former player in the NFL.
Under his leadership as athletic director, Cardinal Newman was honored as having the top athletic program in the state in 1984 and 1987 by the Florida Athletic Coaches Association, and has consistently finished in the top 10 each year in those standings.
Budnyk broke ground in Florida in 1965 by hiring the first black assistant football coach to work at a private school in the state. In 1967 he became the first athletic director and football coach in Palm Beach County to break the color barrier and play the all-black John F. Kennedy High School. He was recognized by the National Organization for Women in 1973 for allowing the first girl in Palm Beach County to run varsity track.
Budnyk was born in Hammond, Ind. and graduated from St. Mary's School and Hammond High School. He earned his bachelor's degree cum laude from the University of Notre Dame and his master's degree from Indiana University in Bloomington.
Budnyk is married to the former Maurita Ross. They have five children – Frances Farris, Rita Domenech, Samuel A. Budnyk, Mike Budnyk and Laura Arnold – and 13 grandchildren.