Keynote Speaker

Coach Lewis B. Sims

In the fall of 1992, Lewis Sims made a fateful decision that would totally change his life. The trials and tribulations that led to his dismissal from the United States Naval Academy would mold him into the person he is today.  Tracing that journey and sharing it over the past 20 years has been his way of paying it forward to students and faculty members over the Southeast.  From sleepless nights in Bancroft Hall to blaming everyone but himself, Lewis has experienced the full spectrum of the grief that goes with the loss of a dream.  Once he accepted responsibility for this chapter in his life, Lewis’s journey took him down a path that has been marked by many more victories than losses.  From the disgrace of his USNA separation, to leading his football team to a state championship appearance, he has used his experience to encourage young people to seek integrity first and success second.  The lessons he learned have enabled him to reach hundreds of students and mentor many more into accepting the decisions they make, learning the lessons in those decisions, and growing to become productive in their chosen endeavors.