Former Seminole State College Trojan Baseball Coach Lloyd Simmons was honored Nov. 2 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with induction into the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
Simmons was recognized alongside Mike Martin, former head coach at Florida State University and five former college players. Players included University of Texas’ Dave Chalk, Florida A&M’s Andre Dawson, Southern California’s Wally Hood, Cal State Fullerton’s Mark Kotsay and Ferrum College of Virgina’s Billy Wagner. Dennis Poppe, former NCAA Director of Championships, rounded out the 2019 Hall of Fame class from the new contributors section.
The “Night of Champions Gala” ceremony, held at the Raising Cain River Center Ballroom overlooking the Mississippi River in downtown Baton Rouge, was telecast live on Cox Sports.
Simmons is the winningest coach in junior college baseball history with 1,804 wins. He led his teams to an unprecedented 13 trips to the NJCAA World Series, where they returned home as runners-up four times. His teams won 16 NJCAA Region II titles and 13 NJCAA District championships.
He coached 41 NJCAA All-Americans, and more than 200 of his players signed professional baseball contracts, with 43 of those playing in the major leagues. Simmons was named Oklahoma Baseball Coaches Association Coach of the Year eight times during his career and was inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame in 1997.
“It’s a great honor to be here and to be recognized with all the other great guys that are here to get this reward,” Simmons said. “I’m really just thankful for all my players in the past that worked hard and were able to get me this honor.”
During an on-stage interview during the induction ceremony, Simmons commented on the support he and his program received over the years from Seminole State College and the community of Seminole.
Seminole State College President Lana Reynolds said Simmons’ induction in the College Baseball Hall of Fame focused the national spotlight on his career and the institution.
“Coach Simmons built a powerhouse baseball program at Seminole that is known throughout the country. This award brings national attention to his legendary accomplishments – and in doing so, brings such positive attention to Seminole. We are very proud of him and congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition,” she said.
Saturday’s ceremony began with a “Walk of Legends” that included former College Baseball Hall of Famers. Coaches and several members of the 2019 Little League World Series Champions from River Ridge, Louisiana, were also introduced and interviewed.
Several special national baseball awards were also presented during the evening. Erik Bakich from the University of Michigan was named the “Skip Bertman National Coach of the Year.” Adley Rutschman of Oregon State, was presented the Dick Howser Trophy as “National Player of the Year.” The “John Olerud Two-way Player of the Year” award went to Aaron Schunk of the University of Georgia. Mississippi State University’s Ethan Small was named “National Pitcher of the Year” and Grae Kessinger from the University of Mississippi was the “2019 Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year.”
A “National Collegiate Umpire Award” was presented to Jon Bible.