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Sims leaving his mark on the NJCAA

Sims leaving his mark on the NJCAA

By Mike Pilosof

Garden City, KS-Jeff Sims paced the sideline on Saturday with hands on his hips, stoic by nature but seething after his team went three-and-out.

You see, Sims expects perfection because he teaches it in practice. Repetitions aren't just necessary, they're part of his constitution, one that in 100 games as a head coach has produced a Hall-of-Fame resume.

Following Saturday's 16-8 victory over Ellsworth, Sims notched his 69th career victory. In doing so, he jumped to 32nd on the NJCAA's all-time, career-winning percentage list (.690), passing the likes of Lackawanna's Mark Duda and Rion Rhoades at Hutch.

"It's a testament to the hard work and commitment of great players and great assistant coaches," Sims said. "In our society, many people are looking for short cuts and the easy way. Junior College football is not the easy way. It's an opportunity."

When Sims first arrived on campus in 2014, he immediately changed the program's motto to "Opportunity USA." It wasn't that he wanted players to come to Garden City to be a Broncbuster; he wanted them to become much more than that.

"The goal is never to come here because of this school's tradition," Sims said. "It's because this program gives these guys the best opportunity to move on to the next level."

Sims is not one to brag about individual accomplishments. But as he always says: "it's not bragging if it's true."

Sims is the only coach in NJCAA history to lead three different teams to undefeated regular seasons, doing so with Mesabi Range in 2003, Fort Scott in 2009 and the Broncbusters in 2016. He's the winningest active coach in the Jayhawk Conference, and his teams have been ranked No. 1 five different times in his nine years as head coach.

"Through some of the most difficult circumstances, I have witnessed great work ethic, drive, and passion to succeed through the sport of football, while getting a great education," he said. "It's a blessing to have the opportunity to help in any way in the process."

The 2016 National Coach of the Year goes for his 70th career victory Saturday night against Independence.