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April 10, 2013
By Mark Hornickel / Photography by Darren Whitley
Wes Simmons ’01, ’03
As a high school student and son of Northwest alumni, Wes Simmons didn’t envision becoming a Bearcat, but a recruiting visit changed his mind – and his life’s path.
At Northwest, his football teammates rallied around him after his brother died in a car wreck, and he met his future wife, former Northwest basketball player Amy Coy Simmons ’01. He also realized his desire to minister and become involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
“Because of the family atmosphere at Northwest, I had such a support system come around me that was a significant signpost on my journey,” Simmons said. “We all had each other’s back. That really helped me understand the importance of being there for other people and giving yourself to causes that are greater than yourself.”
Today, Simmons is the area director in northwest Missouri for FCA, and he’s using the lessons he learned under his former head football coach, Mel Tjeerdsma, to minister to other coaches and student-athletes participating in FCA chapters across the country.
That ministry includes an annual FCA camp in Maryville that uses Northwest’s Mozingo Outdoor Education Recreation Area (MOERA). The camp is designed to help coaches and student-athletes build trust and gain accelerated leadership training.
“For anyone who attended Northwest, they know firsthand the experience they had, and they want others to experience those same opportunities,” Simmons said. “That goes into a lot of how we build our FCA ministry in northwest Missouri.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468