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Aubrey Sims hired as new IPHS AD/head coach

by Kevin Hamilton
Following a two-hour closed executive session Tuesday night, the Iowa Park CISD Board of Trustees returned in open session where Superintendent Steve Moody made the recommendation to hire Aubrey Sims of Snyder as the new athletic director/head coach.

Trustees then unanimously approved the new hiring, ending a month-long search to replace Scott Ponder, who left in January for Bells in East Texas.

Sims, a graduate of Alvarado High School and Texas Tech University, started his coaching career at Kennedale High School as offensive coordinator, in addition to coaching track, golf, and basketball. He also taught English I and II.

In 2005, Sims took over the athletic program at Class 2A Grandview High School, where in seven seasons he compiled a record of 68-13 (29-2) with the Zebras, six district championships and 15 playoff games.

He accepted the athletic director/head football coaching postionn at Snyder High School in Snyder, compiling a 7-15 record with the Tigers in two seasons, including a bi-district championship in 2013 (48-21 over Clint).

Sims, 38, and his wife of 16 years, Nikki, have two daughters Reagan (sixth grade) and Rylie (third grade).

“My family and I are very excited about our move to Iowa Park,” Sims commented to the Leader Wednesday. “Nikki and I grew up together in Alvarado, and feel like Iowa Park is a lot like home. We enjoyed our stay in Snyder but believe Iowa Park is a better fit for our family. We love the emphasis that the administration puts on education as well as their commitment to success in athletics.

“My title is athletic director and head football coach,” Sims continued. “Athletic director is first and will always be my number one priority. I want our kids to have every opportunity to be successful in all sports. I look forward to meeting the kids and coaches. I am also very proud to call myself a Hawk!”

According to Steve Fairchild, Iowa Park CISD board president, the selection process for Ponder’s replacement began over a month ago, with the school receiving over 100 applicants. Moody and IPHS principal Tim Bartram headed a fact-finding group to determine the qualifications desired for a new AD.
“Based on that question and answer session, Mr. Moody and Mr. Bartram brought us four candidates,” Fairchild noted. “The board sat in on the four-candidate process of interviewing. From that process, we felt we would have hired any of those four candidates. But we threw it back to Moody and Bartram to bring us who they wanted, and from that they narrowed it down to two and brought them back for another interview.”

From that process, said Fairchild, there was a final process of evaulating references, including employment, friends and relatives.

“They came up with the selection of Mr. Aubrey Sims of Snyder as our new athletic director, and we couldn’t be happier,” he said. “We feel he is going to be a great fit for Iowa Park. Good family man. Faith. He’s got a beautiful wife and two daughters. He is going to hit the ground running I believe some time around Spring Break. We need to help him find a house. I’m real excited. I think we’ve picked the right guy.”

Fairchild added that Sims is also focused on the overall athletic program and the academics inside the high school building.

Moody echoed much the same qualities in choosing Sims.

“Anytime you are hiring a position that is of this importance for the community and school district, it is very important that you find the right candidate that fits what you are looking for, that molds into what the school, the students, and the parents are expecting of a person in that position as athletic director and head football coach.

“We started out with over 100 applicants, and as we whittled down the applicants, going through the resumes, Coach Aubrey Sims’ application just kept finding its way moving up the ladder.”

Moody noted when the list was narrowed down to the final five, the candidate list was exceptionally strong.

“There is a high interest in the Iowa Park athletic director position,” he said.

“That is a positive thing for the community. It shows, in the coaching world, Iowa Park is a good place to be, a good place to coach. We have some good things happening here. We have been proactive in the last few years, passing a school bond. The city has been proactive. Coaches know about Iowa Park and want to be a part of our community.”

After checking references and researching the final candidates, Moody said the job became even harder, narrowing the list. “They were all good, with great attributes, and our job became very tough to find the one that rose up a little as the best fit for Iowa Park.

“I am very excited about what Aubrey Sims has to bring to our school, to our students, and to our community. He runs a well-organized program. He establishes a strong foundation. I’ve talked to other administrators and coaches, and all of them talk about the high energy he brings. The ability he has to motivate students, and get them to play well and maybe play a step above what their abilities are.

Moody added, “I think Coach Sims will have a lot of success leading Iowa Park not only in the football program, but in all of the athletic programs. And he also brings expectations with the students that they are not only going to succeed in the fieldhouse and on the athletic side, but in the classroom and on the academic side.”

Moody also said that Sims will likely bring one or two assistants with him from Snyder.