The Daily Sentinel from Grand Junction, Colorado on May 22, 1992 · 83
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The Daily Sentinel from Grand Junction, Colorado · 83

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Location:
Grand Junction, Colorado
Issue Date:
Friday, May 22, 1992
Page:
83
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Perfect match: Lloyd Simmons and Seminole Bryan Gallegos Daily Sentinel Lloyd Simmons could probably run for public office and win in a landslide in Seminole, Okla. Coach Simmons is awfully popular. I dont know if he would win, but I dont know if I would want to run against him, said Seminole Mayor Charlie Joseph. But Simmons has no desire to go into politics in the small town of 9,000 in central Oklahoma. Simmons is quite happy doing what he has been doing for the last 17 years at Seminole Junior College coaching baseball. And hes quite good at it, too. Simmons is the winningest baseball coach in the history of the National Junior College Athletic Association. Going into the National Junior College Baseball World Series this year, Simmons had a record of 1,181 wins and 214 losses in his illustrious career. I really appreciated that they gave me a chance to coach here, said Simmons. Theres no secret to my success. I just try to do my best by working hard all the time. And I hope the kids will do the same. They have. The Trojans have made it to the JUCO World Series nine times. His teams have won the Oklahoma bi-state title 16 times, the Region II championship 11 times and the Central District crown nine times. Simmons is known as a strict disciplinarian. He accepts nothing less than 100 percent effort from his players all the time. Simmons is often criticized because of his own intensity. Many say hes too strict and doesnt give his team room to breathe and have fun in the game. Thats why Simmons has never won the big one, critics say. However, Simmons is responsible for more than just winning games, said local businessman David Smith. He has brought pride back into the tiny town. Lloyd Simmons has brought baseball back into this area where we needed something to hang our hats on and support something, said Davis. Ironically, when Simmons took over at Seminole in 1975, he was a basketball coach at nearby Choctaw High School in Oklahoma City. Nobody had heard of him or of Seminole Junior College. . Five short years after taking the helm at Seminole, Simmons led the Trojans to their first JUCO, World Series. And since then, Simmons and his Trojans have been a constant companion to the JUCO World Series. Lloyd Simmons is baseball from his head to his toe. He doesnt take any bull from anybody, said Joseph, who is an avid Seminole fan and booster. "He stands up to you and tells Lloyd Simmons of Seminole has won more games than any other junior college baseball coach. you how he feels. He works hard and expects you to work hard. We need more people like that, whether its a coach or a person in government Davis agreed. You feel good that there are still some people around who will dedicate himself to kids, said Davis. And as a result, real leaders come out of his program. That was never more evident than this year. He lost 20 players from last years squad that finished with a 644 record. He had just one starter and one pitcher back. It looked like it was going to be a rebuilding year for the Trojans. And it would take every bit of Simmons 25 years of experience to keep the Trojans a contender. They did it As it turned out, all Simmons did was reload. The young and inexperienced Trojans are sporting a 59-11 record as they prepare for a shot at getting Simmons something he has never won a national championship. Seminole has placed second three times and third once. This year, however, they almost didnt make it to the tournament The Trojans had to battle from the losers bracket in the Region II and Central District tournaments to gain a berth in the JUCO World Series. You always figure you have to work harder to get them mentally and physically prepared to play, said Simmons. But being so young, it was really important that we (Seminole coaches) get that done early (in the season). 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