Missouri Southern parting ways with head football coach Jeff Sims

Sims joined the MSSU program in November 2018.
Web Jeff Sims 1

JOPLIN, Mo – Missouri Southern is making a change in its leadership of the football program, relieving Jeff Sims of his head coaching duties.

Sims took over at Missouri Southern in November 2018 after four seasons as the head coach at Garden City Community College.

Sims led the team to a 2-9 record in 2019 in his only season as head coach. The Lions were not able to get on the field this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joe Bettasso will serve as interim head coach for Missouri Southern through the spring, with a national coaching search beginning soon.


Missouri Southern State University has made a change in the leadership of its football program. Director of Athletics Jared Bruggeman announced today that Jeff Sims, head football coach, has been relieved of his duties.

Joe Bettasso, linebacker coach, will serve as interim head coach through the upcoming spring football season, which begins in February.

“We have every confidence in Coach Bettasso that he will be committed to growing a successful program, leading with integrity, and putting our student-athletes first,” said Bruggeman. “Bettasso has served as interim head coach before and we feel he is the right person to step in as we search for a new leader for Southern football.”

Missouri Southern President Dean Van Galen and Bruggeman will meet with football student-athletes, this week, regarding the change.

A national search will begin soon.

“We will be looking for someone who has built a winning program, is high-energy, and has strong organizational skills,” said Bruggeman. “A healthy athletics program is vital to the college experience and we are looking forward to the upward momentum of the program for all of our Lion community.”