The tenure of Abilene High School Football Coach Steve Simpson came to an end this week as the Abilene School Board accepted his resignation Wednesday night during a special meeting. His resignation ended a career that spanned 45 years of coaching football at both the high school and collegiate level. Coach Simpson stepped away from the game to spend more time with his family and have the ability to watch his grandchildren play sports.
Simpson began his coaching career at Baileyville B&B in 1975. He would then move on to Dodge City Community College where he was an assistant on the football staff and head track coach from 1979-83. Next, Simpson went to Perry Lecompton, where he served as the head football and track coach from 1983-87. He then returned to Dodge City Community College to serve three years as an assistant and four years as their head football coach. It was then back to the high school ranks where he became head football coach and athletic director at Stafford from 1994-04. His next stop was at Sublette, where he served as head football and track coach from 2004-14. Finally he came to Abilene in 2014 and took over both the football and track program.
Coach Simpson took over for Jeff Geist at Abilene in 2014. The Cowboys finished 6-5 in 2013 and finished 2nd in the NCKL. Simpson made an immediate impact as he guided Abilene to a 6-0 start in 2014 and in the process they won their first NCKL title since 2011. That season the Cowboys lost their final three games in district to McPherson, Hays and Buhler and fell short of the playoffs. In 2015 Abilene finished 9-2, were undefeated NCKL Champions, and defeated Ulysses in the opening round of the playoffs to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1991. The Cowboys would fall short of the semifinals in a 35-34 loss at Andover Central.
In 2016 the Cowboys got off to a fast start again, they went 7-0, were undefeated NCKL Champions and returned to the playoffs where they lost at Buhler. In 2017 Abilene struggled in what was a injured plagued year, that saw the Cowboys finish 2-7. Abilene improved to 4-5 in 2018 but fell to 0-9 this season.
Coach Simpson is still currently teaching P.E. and is the Head Coach for the track team for this upcoming spring. That will only change next year if his position is needed to fill the Head Football Coach position.