Former Seminole State College Baseball Coach Lloyd Simmons will return to the helm of the Trojan program as its new head coach.
Simmons, who built a dynasty in collegiate baseball over his 26 years at Seminole, left the program in 2001. He served as a rookie manager for the Kansas City Royals for six years, and then worked three years as the pro team’s area scout for Oklahoma, Arkansas and Western Tennessee.
In February, 2011, he became the area scout for the New York Yankees organization — covering Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas.
During his tenure at Seminole, Simmons established a record of 1,643-312. His teams made 13 trips to the NJCAA World Series in Grand Junction, Colo., where they returned home as the runner-up four times. His teams were consistently ranked in the top 15 in the nation. Along the way, Simmons produced 41 NJCAA All-Americans and 165 of his former players signed professional baseball contracts.
The City of Seminole and the Seminole Chamber of Commerce recognized Simmons for his civic contributions with induction into the Seminole Hall of Fame in 1994.
In 1997, Simmons was inducted into the NJCAA Baseball Hall of Fame. In January, 2001, he was voted the Oklahoma Baseball Coaches Association Coach of the Year for the ninth time in his career.
Simmons resume’ also includes serving as assistant coach of the USA Team Tour of Japan in 1983 and coach of the USA Olympic Trials in Homestead, Fla. in 1994.
Last Spring, Simmons returned to SSC to accept the “Distinguished Service Award” presented for his longtime service to the institution and the positive impact he has had on the lives of students.
Simmons said he was excited about returning to Seminole. “I enjoyed my years of coaching at Seminole. I tried to have a positive influence on the lives of the outstanding young men who were in my program — many who are now coaching, playing professional ball and working in their chosen professions. I have enjoyed the excitement and challenges of working in professional baseball, but I have missed coaching collegiate baseball,” Simmons said.
“While I was at Seminole, I felt fortunate to have the support of the community as well as the SSC Board of Regents, administration, faculty and staff. I appreciate the many fans and friends who helped build the Trojan program. I hope that support will continue,” he said.
Dr. Jim Utterback, President of Seminole State College, said Simmons brings with him a wealth of experience and respect. “Lloyd Simmons is one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game. He has forgotten more about baseball than most coaches ever know. He is a person of utmost integrity and he’s a winner. This is a great day for SSC baseball players and fans.”
Seminole State College Athletic Director, Dr. Tom Mills, commented, “I am really excited about the future of our baseball program.”
Former Trojan, Olympic Gold Medal winner, and St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Ryan Franklin said, “Z is a great coach. One of the biggest reasons that I was able to stay and play professional ball for 19 years was because of the mental toughness he taught me. As a major league player, you go through lots of ups and downs. What I learned from Z stuck with me and helped me survive.”
Seminole businessman Curtis Morgan, C.E.O. of Tiger Trucks and the Most Valuable Player of the 1981 NJCAA World Series when he played for the Trojans, said Simmons’ return will be a great boost to the program.
“On behalf of the alumni, we are excited to see Z back in Seminole doing what he is great at and loves. He will command a tremendous amount of work, dedication and respect, which will make the Trojans top competitors. His connections will be a tremendous asset for our players wanting to go on to play at four-year schools and pro ball,” Morgan said.
Simmons will begin his new post immediately.