West Virginia University's basketball coaches paid tribute Monday to Roy Simms, the local sports legend, coach and mentor who passed away Saturday.
"Our state has lost a great man," WVU coach Bob Huggins told The Inter-Mountain Tuesday. "Roy loved this state and the people of our state. He constantly mentored and helped young people in need."
Simms, 52, an assistant basketball coach at Davis & Elkins College, collapsed during a D&E practice Saturday afternoon.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Andrew Davis
West Virginia University’s basketball staff attend a benefit dinner for Roy Simms in October. Show from left are, assistant coach Ron Everhart, assistant coach Billy Hahn, associate director of strength and conditioning Andy Kettler, video coordinator Josh Eilert, Simms, head coach Bob Huggins, associate head coach Larry Harrison and assistant coach Erik Martin. Simms, a former Elkins High School star athlete and coach, and current Davis &?Elkins College assistant men’s basketball coach, died Saturday after collapsing during a practice session at the McDonnell Center.
Simms, who loved the university, attended many WVU basketball games and often visited the team in the locker room.
"He would always bring players and athletes to Morgantown," WVU associate head coach Larry Harrison said. "He always went out of his way to help kids out."
Simms was known for organizing youth sports camps for local youth.
"He asked if we could help with the camp and bring our team down to help," Harrison said. "We loved going down and helping the young kids out and helping out with the clinics."
An outstanding Elkins High School athlete who starred in basketball and football, Simms was head basketball coach at EHS for two seasons before taking the assistant coaching position at D&E this year.
Simms learned over the summer he was in need of a heart and kidney transplant. In October, Huggins and his coaching staff attended a benefit dinner for Simms in Elkins that raised close to $50,000 dollars.
"Roy's wife and a couple of his friends called us up and asked us if we could help them out," Harrison said. "We were glad that we were able to help them out and raised more for him."
Simms' memorial service is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Dec. 1 at Harper-McNeeley Auditorium. A social for family and friends will follow at Halliehurst.
Contact Andrew Davis by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.