Fifteen years ago this fall, former running back Ken Simonton was finishing up an all-everything career at Pittsburg (CA) High School before embarking on a record-setting, four-year run at Oregon State. Now, the 33-year-old is trying to help current running backs at his high school alma mater do the same.
Simonton is in his first season as Pittsburg’s running backs coach. The Pirates averaged 284.5 rushing yards/game during the regular season en route to a 7–3 record and face Monte Vista High in the first round of the CIF North Coast Section Playoffs on Friday.
At Oregon State, the 5-foot-8 Simonton was the catalyst of a Beavers football revival. As a sophomore in 1999, he led OSU to its first winning season in 30 years. 2000 was even better as the Beavers went 11–1 and defeated Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.
After leaving Corvallis as OSU’s all-time leader in rushing yards (5,044), attempts (1,041) and touchdowns (59) — records that he still holds — Simonton spent a seven-year professional career in the NFL, NFL Europe and CFL. He now resides in Antioch, CA, with his wife Kolette and their two children. Ken Simonton profile