By Brooke Hill | Staff Writer
From Walkmans to iPhones and from Grant Teaff to Matt Rhule, Mike Sims has been at Baylor through it all.
Sims was honored with a special “thank you” edition of the Lunch with a Legend series put on by the Baylor Sports Network on Thursday at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
Sims was at Baylor for 42 years, first as a student trainer, then as the first full-time assistant trainer and ultimately the associate athletic director for athletics training. Sims left to take a position with Southwest Sports Medicine in June 2017. During his time at Baylor, Sims attended 476 consecutive Baylor football games
The Lunch with a Legend series has been going on for three years now, and Thursday saw the largest crowd of them all. The banquet hall was packed with former colleagues, friends and students of Sims who wanted to honor him and thank him for all that he’s done for them.
Vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics Mack Rhoades opened the program by sharing that in Sims’s time in charge of the athletic department, Baylor won 79 conference championships and seven national championships. Rhoades also thanked Sims’ wife and kids who were present, recognizing that Sims’ success was a family effort.
“The care that he would provide, the leadership, the comfort, Sims provided all of those things for our student athletes each and everyday,” Rhoades said.
Host and “Voice of the Bears” John Morris recalled a time in a game where the scoreboard went out. A guest added that Sims immediately raced over to the scoreboard, climbed inside of it, and made it work perfectly with only a pair of fingernail clippers.
Sims enjoyed reminiscing about some of his favorite wins during his career.
“One of my most memorable times is when Coach Teaff and I took the group out to California and we beat USC when they were No. 4 in the country and we beat them out there. That’s one of those games that after you win you don’t realize until a few days later, ‘Oh this is a really big deal,'” Sims said.
Traditionally, the format of the luncheon is just a conversation between Morris and the guest of honor, but this lunch was different. After a short conversation, Morris asked the crowd members to share their favorite memories of Sims or their funny stories about him. About a dozen guests stood up to speak about Sims.
“You stood for the Lord no matter what the problems were. He poured his life into my daughter and she is now the massage therapist for the Dallas Cowboys, so you taught her how to touch people,” one guest said.
Those in attendance included Ken Starr, president and chancellor of Baylor from 2010-2016, former football head coach Grant Teaff and his team of assistants, Rhoades and women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey.
At the end of the ceremony, every single chair in the room was empty as the crowd stood to give Sims a minute long standing ovation.