Academics and athletics have been important to Steve Simek for a very long time.

His love of sports started long before he cared so deeply about the Green & White.

In 2010, he was inducted into the Paulsboro High School Athletic Hall of Fame for his success as a student-athlete. His efforts at Paulsboro H.S. got the attention of Rutgers University which offered him a football scholarship. A two-year letterwinner, Simek was ranked nationally in several categories relating to his abilities as a punter. Before he graduated from Rutgers in 1976, he received the Upstream Award which is given to the senior football player with the highest academic average.

He quickly began teaching and coaching at SHS. A health and physical education teacher, Simek coached the sophomore football team with Del Hood and the next year became the offensive coordinator.

"Steve replaced me as head football coach when I was appointed vice principal at Steinert," said former SHS coach Frank Lugossy. "He was my offensive coordinator and was extremely well prepared to become a head coach. Steve was an outstanding role model for his players. His practices were well organized and prepared the team for all phases of the game. He created an environment where his players could succeed and provided an atmosphere where his players could compete at the highest level."

"In the summer of 1980 I was appointed head football coach and held the position for 13 years until I became a vice principal at Nottingham High School in the summer of 1993," Simek said.

Simek and other football coaches from Mercer County were involved in forming the 12th Man TD Club which built camaraderie and respect through weekly award dinners. Steve served as secretary and vice president during his tenure as head coach at Steinert.

He also was an assistant coach in boys' track and field and boys' basketball.

He ended his career in 2012 with retirement after 36 years in the Hamilton Township School District, including his last assignment as a vice principal at SHS. In 2008, he was named the Outstanding Administrator from the Mercer County Professional Counselor Association.

With wife Linda, Simek enjoys the retired life with their children and grandchildren.