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Wes Simmons set to join mother in Tigers Hall of Fame

June 12, 2017 – There was a bit of confusion when Wes Simmons got the call that he would be in the newest class of the Excelsior Springs Tigers Athletic Hall of Fame.

Simmons, a 1996 graduate of Excelsior Springs High School, originally thought that he was just being inducted as a member of the 1995 and 1996 baseball teams, which are also set to be inducted this year, but when Hall of Fame committee member Terri Irons told him it was as an individual there was some shock, he said.

“Obviously I was honored to get the call,” Simmons said. “I was actually really surprised. I thought, ‘Oh, it’s as a member of the baseball teams when we had those great runs. But when she told me as an individual, I was thinking there is no way. There are a lot of people who have made more contributions than I have.”

Simmons was already a member of the Tigers Hall of Fame as a player on the 1994 state championship football team. He graduated before the Tigers’ second championship, but Simmons earned two more championships as a linebacker on the 1998 and 1999 National Championship Northwest Missouri State football teams.

“I had great coaches throughout my athletic career,” Simmons said. “From coach (Vic) Bonuchi to coach (Sam) Shouse and everyone else. I’d like to thank all of them for making a positive deposit on my life. They created an atmosphere where we could just come together as a team and thrive.”

Simmons later earned his Master’s degree in Athletics Administration at Northwest, but his career took a different path. Instead of coaching football full time, Simmons got involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and currently works with the 3-dimensional Coaching Institute, which teaches coaches the importance of their interactions with their players and the lasting impacts they can make on a player’s life.

Wes will join his mother Kim in the Tigers athletics Hall of Fame. Kim was inducted posthumously in 2010 after she died suddenly in 2009. Kim was the Sports Editor at The Standard at the time of her death and Wes said her interactions with the athletes she covered inspired him on his journey – the way she lived was the embodiment of what he now tries to teach coaches. Read the rest of this story in the Tuesday, June 13 issue of the Standard 


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