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Simmons, James

Simmons, James

Simmons, James

Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Interview 219a : In this interview with Jonathan Gerland, former Diboll High School athletic director and football coach James (Jim) Simmons recalls his 2 years in Diboll. Coach Simmons directed the athletic department and coached the football team, girls volleyball team, and track team from 1965-1967 during the beginnings of racial integration in Diboll's schools. Coach Simmons remembers about his time in Diboll as enjoyable and talks about the issues involved in upgrading the athletic program, creating a winning football team, and overseeing racial integration. He doesn't recall any overtly racial problems among the football team and credits those students with the smooth transition and winning season. He particularly talks about players Johnny Jones, Louis Landers, and Mack Mitchell. School officials and community members mentioned are Willie Massey, Robert Ramsey, Billy Burt, Gemar Batiste, Jerry Gartman, Minnie Jones, and Arthur temple, Jr.