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Where Are They Now: Two-Sport Athlete Gabe Simpson Now Coaching Multiple Sports

Simpson walked onto the football and basketball teams at OSU.

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[Devin Wilber/PFB]

When reminiscing about being a two-sport athlete at the Division-I level, Gabe Simpson is still more frustrated he never got a bullpen to play a third sport.

Simpson was a member of Oklahoma State’s football and basketball teams as a walk-on his first year on campus in 2018-19. He played football, basketball and baseball at Jay High School before going to OSU in 2018 to walk onto the football team. But after playing as a defensive back on OSU’s scout team while redshirting, the Cowboy basketball team needed reinforcements that January once football season had ended.

“I just had full faith in myself that I could have went and played college basketball as well, so I just figured, ‘Well if there’s a tryout I may as well go try and see,'” Simpson told PFB.

Mike Boynton’s squad was gutted when four players were dismissed from the team in January, prompting Boynton to host a walk-on tryout midseason to add depth to his roster. Simpson stepped into the gym with the advantage of already having a physical and being eligible to compete as a student-athlete, but he was also listed at 6-foot-3 and 208 pounds. Then, during the 3-on-3 portion of the workout, Simpson remembers dunking it on another hopeful. Then he hit a 3 the next possession. Boynton had seen all he needed to and told Simpson he could step off the court.

Simpson played only three minutes and recorded a rebounded in his lone season of college basketball, primarily serving on the scout team. He finished his football career in 2021 as part of the team that won Bedlam and beat Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. Simpson was honored with the coaches’ outstanding walk-on award in 2019, and saw late game action against McNeese that season and against Kansas in 2021.

Simpson never made a significant impact during a game for either program, nonetheless, he played not just one, but two sports at the Division-I level. And he still swears he could have played three. Simpson says baseball was actually his best sport as a pitcher.

“Yes (I understand the significance of playing two Division-I sports), but I was also upset I never got a bullpen because I thought pitching was my best thing,” Simpson said. “So I thought there was a chance I was gonna get to do three of them. …

“I’m just a little upset I never got the chance to be the three[-sport athlete] because I think I could have been a P.O.”

After playing three sports in high school and two at the college level, Simpson, today, uses that experience and coaches a sport year around at Edmond Memorial High School. He coached girls’ basketball and baseball his first year in education, but this year he’ll also add football to the mix.

“Sports is the main thing that drew me back to it because I wanted to coach,” Simpson said.

Next summer, Simpson plans to enroll into the physician assistant program at OU. He’s already shadowing and getting patient care hours in preparation for that next career move. That’s on top of running a marathon and competing in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

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