Coach Reginald Simpkins
Coach Reginald Simpkins is the epitome of what every coach should strive to be. Not only does he spend his free time coaching multiple sports, year-round, Coach Simpkins provides mentorship, guidance, tutoring, transportation, and even meals to the children he coaches. For many of his player’s, he acts as another parent, as well as a friend.
Coach Simpkins started his coaching career in August of 1987, after being discharged from the Marines. He joined the PAL family in 1991 as a coach for the Cougars after driving down seven mile and seeing the kids playing outside. Simpkins become involved in the volleyball program in 2011 at Golightly and has been coaching volleyball at Ludington Magnet Middle School for four years. In addition to volleyball, Simpkins is also a coach for football and track.
“For me, coaching is a calling. You need to be willing to be mother, father, friend, tutor, and mentor,” Coach Simpkins explained, “I try to model manhood for the boys and teach everyone how to respect yourself, because how the world sees you is how they will treat you.”
Coach Simpkins might live around the block from the school he coaches at, but that doesn’t mean he gets home quickly after practice. Simpkins bought a van and spends his evening dropping off a dozen or so players each and every night. He knows that if they didn’t have a ride, they couldn’t play. Simpkins doesn’t ever want money or transportation to be the reason a child can’t participate.
His players often become extended members of his family. He will pick them up early on Sunday mornings to attend church, provide meals to players who need it, and be there to talk whenever, wherever.
Coach Simpkins leads his team by example. All of his players are encouraged to try their hardest at school and required to bring their progress reports and report cards to him. As a student himself, Coach Simpkins brings his in as well to show his players that he is putting the work in. He is currently studying Social Work and Religious Studies at Marygrove College.
Simpkins favorite part about being a coach is watching his players become better people.
“I don’t care about the scoreboard,” he said, “When I see them become responsible and respectful and when I see them start playing for the team as a whole; that is a win for me.”
Coach Simpkins is able to do all of this amazing work for the youth in Detroit because of his excellent support system at home. He raved that his wife is the real reason his work is possible. She pitches in by cooking extra food for players and helping him buy equipment for players who need it. His 13-year-old son is not selfish about sharing his dad with the students at Ludington either. Coach Simpkins tries to make one-on-one time with his son whenever he can. What a great family doing great work for the kids!
Detroit PAL is honored to have a coach like Reginald Simpkins. He is making a difference in the lives of so many children who need not only a coach, but a mentor, a tutor, and a friend. His players have fun and grow in their sports and as young adults.
Thank you Coach Simpkins!