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Mike Simpson

Born   March 13, 1947 - Mena, Arkansas

Mike Simpson, who played in the NFL, is from Groves, TX. The Golden Triangle (Basically the areas of Jefferson and Orange counties in Texas) has produced an overwhelming number of athletes. One of those high school greats came out of Port Neches-Groves, the Indians. 

They have produced quite a few top-end athletes. As is told by some of the most loyal and knowledgeable PNG fan base, Mike Simpson might be at the top of that list, or as they put it, he is at the top of THE list. They also add that by consensus; he is the fastest ever to come off their reservation. That speed would serve Mike Simpson well for the rest of his Sports Career.

During his time at PNG, Simpson played for legendary Museum of the Gulf Coast Hall of Famer coach Bum Phillips, alongside another MOGC Hall of Famer and then PNG quarterback, Wade Phillips. Throughout Bum's career, he was known to be a great motivator and one of the best Defensive Coaches, a distinction he shares with his son Wade Phillips. Mike attributes much of Bum's influence to his success in High School, college, and later in the NFL. 


In 1965, Mike was the lead runner at PNG in their four-man 440 sprint relay team, setting a National Record of 41.2 seconds.  The time stood at the National Record and remained unbroken for years.  He also won the 220-meter race at the state meet with records that stand out to this day.  When with the San Diego Chargers, Mike held the training camp team record for the fastest player to run the 40 Yard dash in full pad at 4.5 seconds—the fastest time in the history of the Chargers.


Another high school side note is that Mike was elected King of their Senior Court with their Queen, Cheerleader Laurie Nunez. Wade Phillips and Laurie were later married. To this day, Wade likes to remind Mike Simpson. You may have been the King, but I got the Queen.

After two years at PNG, Bum Phillips went on to coach at the University of Houston and recruited three of his high school athletes to go with him. Simpson, George Caraway, and Wade Phillips.  Simpson graduated from PNG in 1965, 


After graduating from the University of Houston, Simpson was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 13th round of the NFL draft. Shortly after, San Francisco 49ers Vice President Jack White found Simpson and offered him a contract to play with the 49ers.


Simpson's speed caused the San Francisco Coaching staff to consider moving Mike to a receiver position due to his speed. However, it was only a short time before Mike settled into the position of defensive back, where his speed and agility allowed him to be a valuable asset to the San Francisco 49er's defense. Mike was with San Francisco from 1970-1974 along with Lamar University Football Hall of Famer Johnny Fuller, who was also in the MOGC Hall of Fame alongside Mike and many others. During those four years, the 49ers won 3 NFC Western Division Championships. After seven grueling seasons, the 1975 pre-season ended his NFL career. At 5'9" and 170 pounds, Mike felt like his body had experienced enough punishment, and it was time.


Years later, after playing sports, Mike Simpson was diagnosed with the beginnings of dementia and Alzheimer's and is participating in studies currently being conducted on NFL Players.


Through the years, Mike continued to play the guitar, a passion that began when his parents, at age 10, bought him a blonde Fender Esquire guitar that started his love for playing the guitar. In his college days, Mike had a former team member who asked Mike to teach him how to play the guitar. We are told that his former college teammate and guitar student still has the beginner's book Mike gave him. That person went on to use those lessons to further his life in the music industry and is known by everyone as Larry Gatlin of the Gatlin Brothers.

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