A two-time track All-American, Samara was honored for the decathlon in 1971 and in 1972 for the long jump. Samara won the Penn Relays decathlon title five times, four times after graduation, and once in 1973, when he captained the University of Pennsylvania men’s track team. Also that year, he won the IC4A outdoor long jump title.
Samara competed in the 1976 Olympics in Munich, where he was the second United States finished in the decathlon. In 1974, Samara set the indoor pentathlon record, and the following year, he set the world record in the decathlon. In the 1973, U.S. World University games, he won the decathlon competition. Overall, he was an All-Ivy League performer in eight indoor and outdoor events over a three-year span.
Samara is an accomplished coach outside of Franklin Field. He was an assistant coach for the 1987 U.S. World championship team and the 1992 U.S. Olympic team. He acted as head coach for the 1995 U.S. team in the Pan-American games and the 1996 decathlon coach for eth USA/Visa decathlon team. He is currently in his 21st season coaching the Princeton track team.