Jamie Sims named Middleton's athletic director

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Jamie Sims, third from left, was named Middleton's new athletic director Thursday night. Sims is shown here (from left) with daughter Lilyana, wife Kristina, and daughter Maleah./Photo submitted

Jamie Sims knows the job is daunting.

He understands that the demands, stresses and time-commitment can all be a bit overwhelming.

But Sims believes he’s ready for his next great challenge. And the powers-that-be at Middleton High School think he’s the man to lead their athletic department into the future.

Sims, currently the principal at Black Hawk Middle School in Madison, was named Middleton’s new athletic director Thursday night. Sims replaces Bob Joers, who died of pancreatic cancer last month.

Ben White was named Middleton’s assistant athletic director and student activities coordinator. He’ll spend approximately 50% of his time in each role.

“I am really excited,” Sims said Friday afternoon. “The program is in great shape thanks to all of the hard work laid by Bob. I’m just excited to build on that and amplify that. Athletics is really my true passion and I can’t wait to get started.”

Middleton principal Peg Shoemaker spearheaded the hiring process. There were 30 applicants for the job and six candidates interviewed earlier this week.

When that process ended, Shoemaker and the hiring committee liked what the duo of Sims and White offered.

“Jamie comes to us with a strong teaching background as well as proven leadership skills,’’ Shoemaker said. “He aligns with our vision to elevate the participation of our marginalized students.

“Ben has done an incredible job with our MHS clubs and activities and his long-standing success as a coach will make him an asset in a growing student body.  

“Both of these administrators together are perfectly positioned to lead our athletics program to new heights of involvement on and off the field of play. They have the drive, creativity, and perseverance to help elevate all of our student-athletes.’’

Sims, 38, graduated from Madison County High School in Georgia in 1999. There, he was a standout offensive and defensive lineman in football and also ran the 4x100 in track and field, a rarity for a football lineman.

Sims attended the University of West Georgia where he was also an offensive lineman on the football team. Sims then returned to Madison County High School and spent 12 years teaching and coaching.

Sims came to Black Hawk Middle School in Madison in the 2015-’16 school year, where he began working as dean of students. Kristina Sims — Jamie’s wife — is from Chetek, Wis., and the couple decided to move closer to her family.

Sims advanced to assistant principal, interim principal, then principal at Black Hawk, and earned his Masters in Educational Leadership from Edgewood College during that time.

While Sims enjoyed his time at Black Hawk, athletics has always been one of his great passions. So when the Middleton job opened, Sims couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pursue it.

“This was the first time where I felt my own school (Black Hawk) was in a great position if I left,” said Sims, who has two daughters — Lilyana and Maleah — in the Madison Metropolitan School District. “I’ve really wanted to get back to high school athletics if I could and Middleton is place I highly respected. It just seemed like a great fit.”

Sims often uses a saying that goes: “Kids don't always care how much you know until they first know how much you care.”

He plans to make that one of his mantras at MHS.

“I have great passion and people will see that,” Sims said. “And we will find ways to meet the needs of athletes and families and continue to make our kids successful.”

Sims is taking over arguably the top athletic department in the state.

Middleton has won the highly prestigious WSN Cup among large schools each of the last two years. In the COVID-shortened 2019-2020 school year, the Cardinals won state championships in girls golf, boys cross country and boys swimming and had several other high-level finishes at state.

Sims is hoping to put his own stamp on the department, though, and help the Cardinals achieve even greater success in the future.

“I know there’s pressure, but I’m excited about that,” Sims said. “That drives and motivates me. I want to amplify what’s already been done here and just add to it. I can’t wait to get started.”

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