Red Simmons is a local legend at the University of Michigan here in Ann Arbor. He started the Women’s Track Club at the school in 1966 and then with Title IX passing, became the Varsity Coach of the Women’s Track Team.
Red Simmons passed away this month, after turning 102 in January. And what a great quality of life he experienced. This blog article by David Brandon, the Athletic Director at the University of Michigan, is a great tribute and tells of this amazing man.
He actually spent the first part of his working career, 25 years, as a Detroit Policeman. He graduated from Eastern Michigan University (called Michigan Normal School when he attended) in nearby Ypsilanti. He experienced seeing Jesse Owens breaking four world records at an event in Ann Arbor, which was probably a memory he would always cherish.
Below is from Brandon’s post:
Those who have met Red Simmons over the past 20 years probably would not know about his history. They would have known Red and his wife Lois as Michigan’s number one sports fans. They weren’t just U-M sports’ fans; they were fixtures at almost every one of our home events for almost every sport.
Then Lois suffered health issues and those challenges started to take a toll on Red. He was still driving his Chevrolet to the athletic campus early this year and working out or walking the steps at Crisler Center. And he was still eager to talk about U-M athletics and especially the student-athletes he coached and got to know. But you could see Red was slowing down. After all, he was a centenarian.
The reason I’m writing here about Red Simmons, even though most have no idea who this guy was and perhaps don’t really care… The reason is because Monday is the day we write about what is great about being over 60… Enjoying life after sixty.
When my husband told me about Red Simmons and his great history in many areas of life, the one thing that struck me was the part about him working out or walking the steps of Crisler Center (University of Michigan’s Basketball arena) as recently as early this year! Now that’s the best… Live young a long time! (That’s my husband’s mantra…)