Longtime Track and Field Coach Xavier Samuels Died in Hurricane Irma

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2017

Winds brought by Hurricane Irma blow palm trees in Samana, Dominican Republic, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017. Irma cut a path of devastation across the northern Caribbean, leaving thousands homeless after destroying buildings and uprooting trees. Irma is flooding parts of the Dominican Republic as it roars by just off the northern coast of the island it shares with Haiti. (AP Photo/Tatiana Fernandez)
Tatiana Fernandez/Associated Press

Xavier "Dag" Samuels, a veteran track coach in the British Virgin Islands who most recently worked with Kyron McMaster, reportedly died as Hurricane Irma moved through the territory. 

Sports Max reported the news Thursday and passed along confirmation from former British Virgin Islands Athletics Association president Dean Greenaway.

"Several people in my community today were expressing condolences, so yes, I can confirm," he said, before noting additional details were unavailable due to destruction from the storm. "In my area cell towers have fallen down so you can't get communication."

Saint Kitts and Nevis track and field also released a statement Thursday on social media expressing “deep regret and profound sadness” about the coach's death.

"Dag was an IAAF Level 5 Chief Coach and a close friend of track and field in St.Kitts-Nevis. He was also the coach of international hurdling sensation Kyron McMaster of the BVI," the statement read. "We will forever miss him. His work is an inspiration and will continue through those he has touched. Our love and sympathies are with the family and friends of veteran coach Xavier 'Dag' Samuels."

McMaster, a 20-year-old rising star in the 400-meter hurdles, used Samuels' guidance to qualify for the 2017 World Championships at Olympic Stadium in London last month. He was disqualified during the preliminary heats due to lane infringement, however.

Further information about Samuels' death wasn't immediately released.

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