Antoine Sims has been named interim football coach at Tates Creek, but the former Commodore all-state lineman hopes to eventually shed that "interim" tag.
"It's been a dream of mine, ever since I was a player here, to come back and be head coach some day," he said.
"So I want it to be more than 'interim.' I can't approach it as something temporary. This means a lot more to me than that. Tates Creek football helped mold me into the person I am today, and I think I have a lot to give back to the kids here."
Sims succeeds Mike Harmon, who resigned as coach last month after six seasons at the Tates Creek helm.
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Sims was a star player for the Commodores in the late 1990s, and went on to play at the University of Louisville.
He was an assistant at Tates Creek under Mark Willoughby from 2003-05, got out of coaching for a few years, then was as an assistant under Harmon in 2008.
Sims, 34, has been head coach at Tates Creek Middle School the last five years.
He has been a law enforcement officer for Fayette County Schools for eight years and has been stationed at Tates Creek.
Sims said the Commodores' reputation as a program to be feared has waned, and he's determined to regain that respect.
"It used to be there was a group of schools that didn't want to play Tates Creek, even when things weren't going well here," he said. "Now I feel like teams are chomping to get over here and play us."
To remedy that, Sims said Tates Creek first has to "do some in-house stuff, to get our kids to understand the accountability that comes with this program."
He met with the players Monday afternoon and told them "to go home and have an honest chat with themselves and take an honest look in the mirror.
"They need to understand that it wasn't until I took football seriously that I learned the lessons that came with it. It did wonders for me and helped me as a young man."
In Sims' playing days, Tates Creek was known for its tough, physical style.
"Smash-mouth football we called it," he said. "We'll have a variation of that. Times have changed, things have changed.
"But we've got to get back to where schools don't want to play Tates Creek again."