B-CU Names Terry Sims New Head Football Coach
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Terry Sims was announced as the new head coach for Bethune-Cookman University Football on Monday afternoon, in a press conference held in front of a standing room only crowd at the Larry R. Handfield Athletic Training Center. The announcement was held inside the Harold V. Lucas Hall of Fame Room.
Sims, a 43-year old native of Jesup, Georgia, was announced as the 11th head coach of the B-CU Football program by Director of Athletics Lynn W. Thompson. The announcement came just five days after the resignation of former head coach Brian Jenkins, who recently accepted a similar position at Alabama State University.
“I am grateful for this opportunity afforded to me by Lynn Thompson,” said Sims in his opening statement to the press and fans in attendance of Monday’s press conference. “Brian Jenkins left a great legacy to try and fill here. I am honored to accept this position, and I hope to continue the winning tradition of B-CU Wildcats Football.”
Sims has spent the previous five years as an assistant coach for the Wildcats under Jenkins, responsible primarily for safeties and special teams. He was also the assistant head coach, handling some of the day-to-day duties of the program. Under his tutelage, the Wildcats secondary has ranked amongst the national top 25 statistically in several categories since 2010.
Before arriving in Daytona Beach, Sims spent four seasons in the Nation’s Capital of Washington, D.C., serving as recruiting coordinator, special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach at Howard University. Prior to moving into the MEAC, Sims coached cornerbacks at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for two seasons, working to improve passing coverage, and aiding the Ragin' Cajuns in attaining top-25 national pass defense rankings.
“Throughout the entire process of searching for a head coach, the name Terry Sims kept coming up – not only from coaches, but from the players,” stated Thompson. “I said this was not a cattle call. It was a process, and we reviewed five candidates for the job. Terry Sims just came out of it with the pedigree we felt would continue what we already have in place here at Bethune-Cookman University – a winning football program. Four MEAC titles in the last five years speaks for itself.”
An experienced coach with ties to Texas and the Mid-Atlantic region, Sims previously served in the secondary at Prairie View A&M. While working with the Panthers, Sims coached the defensive backs, in addition to kick returners. He was also in charge of breaking down film and preparing opponent scouting reports. Additionally, he was active in the planning of recruiting weekends, organizing on-and-off campus recruiting, while serving the role of academic and compliance liaison.
Prior to joining the PVAMU staff in 2004, Sims was the defensive backs coach at Texas Southern University in Houston, also serving as the assistant head coach for three seasons and was recruiting and video coordinator.
During his four-year term with the Tigers, Sims coached some of the top defensive backs in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, including Santino Hall, who finished the 2001 season leading the conference in pass breakups with 20, and Oliver Celestin, who led TSU in interceptions and broke the school record for yards on an interception return. Both players went on to play professionally (Celestine: NY Jets, Hall: Saskatchewan Roughriders).
Before coaching at TSU, Sims worked with the running backs at Austin Peay for three seasons. He produced the 1997 Offensive MVP, Chris Black, and DeAunta McAffee, who tied the school touchdown record.
Sims began his coaching career as a student assistant in 1994, working with the linebackers at his alma mater, Knoxville College. His next stop was at the University of Louisville, where he assisted the defensive backs as a graduate assistant in 1995 and had the opportunity to work with Sam Madison, who set the school record for interceptions (16) and passes defended (44), going on to be a four-time Pro Bowl selection with the Miami Dolphins and tie the NFL interception record (21).
Sims is a 1994 graduate of Knoxville College, where he was a team captain as a defensive back on the gridiron, while also patrolling center field in baseball. He would go on to earn his Master’s Degree from Louisville in 1997. He is married to Joyce. The couple has two children: daughter Sierra, and son Xavier.
“There is really only one thing left to do now that the announcement is over with,” continued Sims. “It’s time to get down to work molding young men’s lives in a positive way, and win some football games along the way. It’s time to get to work.”
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About Bethune Cookman University:
Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement. B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000. For more information, visit www.cookman.edu.