FSU Alumnus Ernie Sims Hosts Annual Charity Weekend in Tallahassee
The Ernie Sims Charity Weekend is as much about the past as it is about the present and the future.
The former North Florida and Florida State Christian football player returned to Big Bend this weekend to share his experiences with the kids and inspire them to pursue their dreams.
As he did.
“I’ve come to the point in my life where I’ve accomplished a lot,” Sims said.
“I just want to see the young people in our community not only excel in sport but also in life and give back the skills, values and things that I learned throughout sport that helped me grow. .”
Ernie Sims Charity Weekend has been a mainstay in Tallahassee through his “Big HITS Foundation,” which began in 2008 while playing for the Detroit Lions.
His mother, Alice Sims also played a major role in the maintenance and continuation of events.
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Where It All Began: Christian North Florida and the State of Florida
A five-star rookie via Rivals.com out of NFC, Ernie Sims played linebacker and running back where he had over 100 tackles and over 1,000 rushing yards in his senior year.
He helped the Eagles win three Class A state championships under head coach Tim Cokely.
After graduating from high school, the top recruit in the nation opted to stay in Tallahassee for college, choosing FSU over Florida.
With the Seminoles, he had an All-ACC and All-American career as a linebacker before being selected ninth overall in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. Sims played eight seasons in the NFL with four teams, ending his professional career in 2013 with the Dallas Cowboys.
Sims, 37, quickly transitioned into coaching and is currently the USF linebackers coach.
Sims was on head coach Jeff Scott’s first USF staff in the 2020 season as a defensive quality control analyst. He was promoted to linebackers coach in January 2021.
In his first season, Sims helped guide linebacker Antonio Grier to team-leading totals in tackles (92), tackles for loss (8) and sacks (3) and tied for team leader in interceptions. (2) and forced fumbles (2).
Grier also earned Conference Coaches Second Team and Pro Football Network First Team All-AAC honors.
mom knows best
Ernie Sims described his weekend as his mother’s baby.
The weekend consisted of a golf classic at Hilaman Golf Course, a youth football and cheerleading camp at Tom Brown Park, and invitational track and field at FSU’s Mike Long Track.
The origin of the track meet comes from Ernie’s former track club, the Capital City Christian Cruisers.
Track teams from Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi were all in attendance Saturday.
“Ernie grew up on the track,” said Alice Sims. “He’s always wanted to give back since he went to college and the NFL, so he started this foundation to show young people that if he could be successful, so could they be.
“For 15 years, we have been consistent and more than 10,000 people have been impacted by this foundation.”
Gather the community
Of course, Tallahassee holds a special place in the hearts of the Sims family as a home.
The biggest goal was to bring the region together for a weekend of activities.
“With everything going on in our society in our inner cities, I think it’s important that we have more of these kinds of community events where we break down barriers to learn how to work, play and be happy. together,” Ernie told Sims.
The weekend enjoyed the support of a multitude of Tallahassee conglomerates and entities such as: City of Tallahassee, Parks and Recreation, Boys and Girls Clubs of Big Bend, Law Enforcement, first responders, NFC, FAMU DRS and Rickards.
“It was a phenomenal event and it has grown steadily over the years,” said Ernie Sims. “We brought together a lot of people.
“That has continued to be a staple in what we do. Not just from a sporting point of view, but also from a mental point of view in how we want to lead our next generation.”
Former FSU running back Mark Lyles attended the football camp, and Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey was also in attendance for part of the weekend.
The late Delmas Barber was honored at events as a former board member before his passing in April.
“It’s special,” Alice Sims said. “To see everyone coming together in one accord to be positive for children is so special.
“There is not a single organization or entity that has said no to us. For me, that’s what I call community. Tallahassee is a great place. We impact young people and want to hold them in away from juvenile justice systems to make sure they succeed.”
Gerald Thomas III covers FAMU athletics for the Tallahassee Democrat. Contact him by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @3peatgee.