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 career humbly began at Hooks, Texas where Sims high school performance gained national attention. It was here, Sims talents as a running back began to materialize, ultimately earning him a place in the Texas High School Hall of Fame. Sims was highly recruited by many universities but Sims would ultimately choose the University of Oklahoma.
Sims was recruited by Coach Barry Switzer to the University of Oklahoma in 1975. Unfortunately, Sims suffered injuries early in his collegiate career and entirely missed his freshman season as well as a large portion of his sophomore season.
Under the guidance of Coach Barry Switzer, Sims made up for lost time his junior year in 1978. Sims ran for a record 1,762 yards on 231 carries for an average of 7.6 yards per carry. He also became the only back in Big 8 history to rush for more than 300 yards in three consecutive games. Undoubtedly, that year, Sims was the nation’s leading rusher and scorer.
Sims would be the recipient of the coveted 1978 Heisman Trophy. In addition, he also was named consensus All American, and AP and UPI College Player of the Year. Sims followed his junior year with an impressive senior season and was runner up for yet another Heisman Trophy. Unfortunately, Sims lost a close Heisman ballot race in 1979 to his good friend, Charles White.
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. Sims played in the Pro Bowl in 1980, 1981 and 1982. Sims would contribute to a winning season for the Detroit Lions taking them to the playoffs in 1982 and 1983. He was named NFL Rookie of the Year and contributed to a winning 9-7 season for the Lions versus a dismal 2-14 season the year prior. During his professional career, Sims gained 5,106 yards, scored 42 touchdowns before retiring in 1985.
Following 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 would meet. Together Sims and Jackson have grown Billy Sims Barbecue to an enterprising, successful barbecue operation. With over 40 locations in operation or under construction, Billy Sims Barbecue has grown substantially.
Sims now has a management staff in place that assists him in overseeing the administrative aspect of the business though he maintains an active managerial role within the Billy Sims Barbecue franchise. Sims enjoys visiting the locations, meeting with fans and greeting guests as they dine in the unique Billy Sims Barbecue setting that Sims describes as family friendly, game-day fun.