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Jim Simmons Strong Foundation begins quest to honor late coach, teacher
Jim Simmons


The legacy of former teacher and coach Jim “Slim” Simmons will be honored by the newly formed Simmons Strong Foundation. 

Simmons, who passed away in March 2021 after a decade-long battle with bladder cancer, was a former baseball and softball coach at Statesboro High School. He began his coaching career in Effingham County at Effingham County High School, where he was an assistant coach from 1990-93, and a head coach from 1994-2005. He led the Rebels to the state playoffs five times, advancing to the Sweet 16 in his final season with them. 

Simmons was inducted into the Effingham County Sports Hall of Fame in March 2020, and was on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Rebel Field for a game in which the Rebels wore jerseys that read “Simmons Strong” on the back. 

Simmons was head coach for the Statesboro baseball team from 2006 until he retired after the 2019-20 season due to his health. In addition to being head baseball coach, Simmons was the head softball coach from 2009-19, and helped lead the Lady Blue Devils to four straight state playoff appearances.

Former SHS principal Chad Prosser remembered the coach fondly.

“Jim was one of the most engaging personalities that I ever had the pleasure of knowing,” he said. “Outside of my immediate family and maybe one or two other people, he has had more of an influence on who I am today than anyone. His students, players and coworkers all are better for knowing him.”

Like their Rebel counterparts, players at Statesboro High wanted to honor their coach about a year and a half ago, so the 

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