HEAD BASEBALL COACH
SPRING HILL COLLEGE
"It's really both an exciting and humbling thing to have happen to you," said Sims upon hearing of his selection. "When you get into coaching you don't set a goal of being in a Hall of Fame. You just want to work with the players and try to win as many games as you can, so while it's nice to be recognized it's really more about the young men who have played the game. They are ones who have to go out and do the things on and off the field that it takes to win.
"I'm so proud of the accomplishments we've had at Spring Hill and we've come a long way since 1985," said Sims. "I want to thank Spring Hill College and everyone who has been a part of this program."
Sims became the head coach of the Badgers with just three weeks remaining in the 1985 season and has since won 822 games. Over his 35 years as a collegiate head coach, Sims has accumulated 858 total victories. Sims holds the record for most career victories at Spring Hill and his tenure with SHC includes 23 20-win seasons, six 30-win seasons, two 40-win seasons and four conference championships. Spring Hill appeared in the NAIA Regional Tournament four times in his reign and Sims has been honored as a Conference Coach of the Year on five occasions with the latest time being the 2014 Independent Collegiate Athletic Association (ICAA) honor in NCAA Division II. During Spring Hill's 2015 NCAA Division II transition season, the Badgers rang up a perfect 16-0 mark in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) and a 26-14 record overall. In 2016, the Badgers once again topped the SIAC with an 18-3 conference record.
Upon getting the phone call that he was chosen for the Class of 2017, Sims was surprised. "When [former University of Montevallo head coach] Bob Riesener told me that he had nominated me I asked, 'Hall of Fame of what?'" Sims laughed. "I thought he was just kidding at first and had pretty much put it out of my mind when I got a telephone call a few weeks later saying they had named me. My reaction was, 'Are you being serious?'"
Before joining the Badgers in 1985, Sims was the head coach at Milton College (Wis.) where he compiled a 36-10 record and reached the NAIA Regional Tournament during the 1982 season. He began his coaching career as an assistant coach at his alma mater Eastern Illinois University where he received his B.S. in Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) in 1977. After a successful three-year stint as the head coach at Sparta (Ill.) High School from 1976-80, Sims became a graduate assistant coach at Morehead State University (Ky.) in 1980-81 and later completed his M.A. in HPER at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater where he served as a graduate assistant coach from 1982-85.
During his nine seasons in international competition, Sims coached the United States to the 2009 and 2010 championships of Prague Baseball Week while also coaching US teams to Runner-Up finishes in 2008 and third-place finishes in 2005 and 2006.
Born and raised in Charleston, Ill., Sims grew up on a farm with seven brothers and sisters. He graduated high school in 1970 and attended Lake Land Junior College before pitching for the University of Iowa. In 1973, he was a member of the Hawkeye's co-Big Ten championship team. He and his wife, Dana, have four children (Drew and his wife Caitlin; Sarah and her husband Charlie Anderson; Kelsey and her husband Tyler Welch; and their youngest son, Brian) along with two grandchildren.
"What makes this even more fun for me is that [St. Paul's Episcopal School head coach] Andy Robbins will be in the same class and he was my son Drew's high school coach," said Sims. "When you think about all of the great names that are in at ALABCA Hall of Fame, it's really humbling to be included in such good company."
Those who wish to attend the 2017 ALABCA Induction Banquet can purchase tickets on-line at www.alabca.org or with a check payable to ALABCA mailed to 401 South Bolton Ave, Sylacauga, AL 35150. Tickets are $40 per adult and $20 per child and must be purchased by January 13, 2017.
SPRING HILL COLLEGE SPORTS INFORMATION