Billy Sims is an accomplished athlete and successful entrepreneur whose career highlights include numerous high school, collegiate and professional records that still stand today.
Sims athletic career began at Hooks, Texas where Sims’ high school football performance gained national attention. It was here, Sims talents as a running back began to materialize. Sims was highly recruited by many universities but Sims would ultimately choose the University of Oklahoma.
Under the guidance of Coach Barry Switzer, Sims had a record setting junior year in 1978. That year, Sims was the nation’s leading rusher and scorer and was also the recipient of the coveted Heisman Trophy.
Sims entered the NFL draft in 1980 and was the number one overall draft pick going to the Detroit Lions. Sims career in the NFL was short lived but impressive. He was named NFL Rookie of the Year and contributed to a winning 9-7 season for the Lions versus a 2-14 season the year prior. Sims would ultimately retire from professional football in 1985.
Billy Sims Barbecue
Following his retirement, Sims split his time between working in Sports Marketing and volunteering with non-profit organizations. Sims would find his second passion, Billy Sims Barbecue, in 2004 when he and current business partner Jeff Jackson met while jointly working on marketing campaigns for major retail apparel brands.
Seeing how much Sims enjoyed visiting with and serving his fans, Jackson knew the two had to work together on a joint venture. Both Sims and Jackson are from regions known for great barbecue. Sims, from Hooks, Texas and Jackson from Kansas City, Kansas it was only natural that the two would combine their passions into a barbecue based business. After a few successful creative meetings honing their recipes and procedures, Sims and Jackson opend the first Billy Sims Barbecue location in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the Farm Shopping Center.
Together Sims and Jackson have grown Billy Sims Barbecue into an enterprising, successful barbecue franchise with over 40 restaurants in five states. Today, Jackson leads the Billy Sims Barbecue management team and Sims maintains an active managerial role within the company. Sims enjoys visiting the locations, meeting with fans and greeting guests. It is not uncommon to visit a Billy Sims Barbecue location and meet Sims in the dining area.