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The end to a roller coaster career

Photo contributed by Kyle Simpson

Logan Zrebiec, Reporter

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Going into easily one of the toughest matchups of the year, the SHS basketball team was an overwhelming underdog against Evansville Reitz. Southport ended up dethroning the number one team in the state on Feb. 28, 2015 with a score of 88-80.

This was just one of many highlights of former head coach Kyle Simson’s prolific career at Southport.

“It’s one of those things that you just can’t put into words,” Simpson said while reflecting on the game. “It was a day that I will never forget.”

According to Simpson, it was a normal Thursday morning for him when he made the decision that it was time for him to put family first, another day that he won’t be able to forget. His wife recently received a job in Bloomington at Indiana University. According to Simpson, it was hard for her to get back and forth everyday and she was coming late or completely missing an abundance of their kids’ games. Also, both Simpson and his wife have family in Bloomington so the move will bring them closer.

Simpson is going back home where his coaching career first started. Simpson was an assistant coach at Bloomington South High School (BSHS) for 12 years before bringing his family up to Southport.

Southport has been Simpson’s home for the past six years. Within the past six years, Simpson has done a lot for the SHS basketball program to help revive the historic fieldhouse. The year before his debut at SHS the team had went 6-14. His first year, he had a rocky start going only 1-19. After that rough start, the 2013-14 had went 15-8 and brought an upside to the program.

“In year one, you’re still figuring it all out and building a program,” said Simpson.

Before Simpson, there was no younger program affiliated with SHS. For kids to play basketball within the district, they had to play in the Perry Township Youth Basketball league. Within six years, Simpson has created a youth program for SHS that has increasingly grown every year. Assistant coach Isaiah Cousins believes that the recent success for Southport and the success to come has to be with the development of the youth program, which last year was sponsored by the Jr. NBA.

“One of the things I am most proud of… is the fact that our first year here we had about 36 kids in our youth program and over the span of six to seven years it expanded to 165 kids,” Cousins said.

Simpson’s prolific six years at SHS have come to an end. After a rough start, Simpson brought “Hoosier Hysteria” back to Southport.

“We were 1-19 after year one and we ended up five years later being in the semi-state, ranked nationally, ranked number one in the state for almost two years, winning three conference titles, winning a Hall of Fame (tournament), and winning 74 games in that stretch (of five years),” Simpson said.

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