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Sims named Jesuit soccer coach

Posted Sep 17, 2013 by Jarrett Guthrie

Updated Sep 17, 2013 at 06:18 PM

TAMPA - Eric Sims said he was ready to step away from coaching high school soccer after his 12th season at Gaither ended in February. A married father of one, Sims said he chose to focus on his duties as a club coach and assistant coach at the University of Tampa, leaving the high school sidelines.

However, the chance to return to his alma mater Jesuit, was something Sims said he just couldn’t pass up. Jesuit named Eric Sims as its boys soccer coach Tuesday, the school announced in a release and Sims addressed his Tigers players in a meeting after school.

“I was done with high school the week after our season was over,” Sims said. “I have a son and a wife and I was going to concentrate on UT, but I always said this is where I wanted to coach if it was ever available.”

“It was one of the greatest times of my life when I went to Jesuit and I definitely couldn’t pass this opportunity up.”

Sims, a 1995 graduate of Jesuit was a standout in three sports (baseball, football and soccer), before going on to a successful athletic career at the University of Tampa. Sims is a member of both the Jesuit and UT Hall of Fames.

Sims replaces longtime Jesuit coach Bob Bauman, who stepped down in August to pursue a campaign for a Circuit Court judgeship. Bauman won three state titles and reached the state playoffs 24 times in 26 seasons leading the Tigers. Sims, who helped Bauman capture a state title in soccer said it will be a tough challenge replacing his old coach.

“They are definitely big shoes to fill, he’s a legend,” Sims said. “It’ll be a tough task, but I’m definitely looking forward to it.”

Sims stepped down this summer as the boys soccer coach at Gaither and takes over at his alma mater with 12 years of head coach experience at the high school level, including three state final four appearances and 10 playoff berths.

Sims is an assistant coach for the UT men’s soccer program and is also the executive director of the Tampa Bay United Soccer Club. He was a standout goal keeper for the Spartans, helping the team win three Sunshine State Conference titles and two elite eight appearances. While a member of the Spartans baseball team, Sims helped UT capture the 1998 NCAA Div-II National Championship and was inducted into the Spartans Hall of Fame in 2012.

New Jesuit coach Eric Sims is a member of both the Jesuit and UT Hall of Fames.

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