The extraordinary education and family atmosphere is what keeps Earl Sims coaching football at Gulliver Preparatory School. But it is his purpose and the lives he impacts that fuel his passion to believe in every individual.
Gulliver Prep is a community of people from diverse backgrounds and has many programs for the individual student to further their education.
“Our foundation at Gulliver starts with faith,” Sims said. “We do not impose religion, but we teach the players to have faith in everything they do on the field and off.”
The 11-year coaching veteran’s experience as a head coach also has prepared him for fatherhood over the past couple of years.
“Many values and lessons I have taught my players I now use as a father of my 2-year-old daughter,” he said.
All of Sims’ past experiences have shaped him into who he is today. From working as a security guard in a public school to being a case manager in Miami’s Overtown area to becoming an educator/assistant coach and eventually head coach at Gulliver, Sims understands what the primary goal is when impacting a life.
“As an educator/coach it is imperative to see greatness in every individual and remain dedicated to the process of developing and equipping them to become better people when they leave you by pushing them, remaining positive and placing them on a path to pursue their purpose.”
For Sims, his coaching philosophy paid dividends early as he took Gulliver to the state championship in three years. But even so, Sims views his greatest feats come to fruition off the football field.
“My greatest accomplishments happen on signing day and graduation,” Sims said. “Our graduates join the long list of those who attend many of the nation’s elite colleges and universities. Signing Day is a major event when most of the local and sometimes national media capture the moments when we celebrate the careers of our players who sign national letters of intent.
“We are in the business of building men. We have enthusiastic, experienced coaches who are motivated to develop individuals and turn potential into greatness,” he added.
Sims advocates that each individual has to have a starting point and a goal to reach according to plan.
“The result, many students far exceed their initial expectations when they become involved in our program. They become better students, players and people.”
At the end of each season Sims reflects to ensure that the players are accomplishing goals after each season. Reflecting even further, if Sims could now give himself some to himself as a rookie coach, he would warn himself to focus more on the people than the immediate game results.
“Don’t be in a rush to try to win games,” Sims said. “Learn from your losses, don’t focus on them. Make sure while you are preparing for games that you develop children.”
Sims, entering his 12th year, now understands how to bring football and faith together to impact young lives.
“Too often we become too consumed with the wins and the losses,” he said. “But it’s not about wins and losses, it’s about relationships and developing every individual we have been blessed to teach. It should be the coach’s goal to win the championship, but that is one game on one day. It is more important that we are developing people and building champions. You become a champion by how you live and what you are able to accomplish everyday.”