The university reported that Sims, 24, died in an ATV accident on Saturday, May 30, 2021. The Missoula County sheriff also confirmed that Jesse Sims had died, according to NBC Montana.
“Grizzly Athletics is stunned by the news of Jesse’s passing. We all feel a sense of shock and sadness. He was an outstanding representative of his community and this university. Jesse was loved by so many and we join with all of them in mourning this tremendous loss. He will be missed,” said director of athletics Kent Haslam.
Here’s what you need to know:
Sims Was a Four-Year Starter for the Grizzlies & Was Working as a Strength Coach for Student Athletes
According to the University of Montana Department of Athletics and the Grizzly football program, both “are mourning the loss of former Grizzly defensive lineman Jesse Sims of Stevensville, who passed away following an ATV accident Saturday morning.”
“Sims, a #37 legacy jersey holder, was a four-year starter for the Grizzlies who earned All-Big Sky honors at defensive tackle following his senior season in 2019. Highly respected among his teammates and coaches, he was also a two-time recipient of Montana’s Larry Miller Award, given annually to the team’s top defensive lineman.”
The university noted that Sims was named Montana’s “Offseason MVP” in 2016 “for his work in the weight room, and had recently graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in health and human performance. Since graduating, he had begun a career as a strength coach for young student-athletes in Missoula.”
Details of the accident were not released.
“As you can imagine, the family and friends of this young man are experiencing deep loss,” Missoula County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a release, according to KHQ. “Please keep them in your continued thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.”
Sims Made 41 Starts During His Career With the University of Montana
The university’s press release described Sims as “a stalwart on the Grizzly defensive line, he made 41 starts and 48 appearances in his career and totaled 164 tackles, eight sacks, 18 tackles-for-loss, and two forced fumbles over four seasons.”
it continues, “In 2017 he was chosen by former Grizzly Tucker Schye as the next to wear Montana’s legacy #37 jersey that represents the spirit of Montana by recognizing “Hard work, dedication to the team, and tough play on the gridiron.”
“The Grizzly football family is heartbroken by the loss of our brother Jesse. He was a great friend, player, teammate, and representative of the University of Montana and had a bright future ahead of him. Our prayers are with his family and friends at this time,” said head coach Bobby Hauck in the release.
The release noted that Sims “came to Montana out of Corvallis High School in 2015, following in his older sister Alycia’s footsteps when she played basketball for the Lady Griz. He was a three-sport star for the Blue Devils, lettering in football, basketball, and track. He was an all-state football selection at Corvallis his senior year and helped his sophomore basketball team at Stevensville High School to a state championship.”