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Longtime NDSU booster club director to retire

FARGO — A fixture in the North Dakota State athletic department announced he's going to retire this spring. Pat Simmers, a former Bison athlete and assistant coach and current senior associate athletic director and executive director of NDSU Team Makers booster group, is calling it a career in May.

Simmers will go down as one of the key figures who helped guide the school's reclassification from NCAA Division II to Division I. Team Makers, in that period of time, went from an organization that raised several hundred thousand dollars to revenue of of $6.75 million in 2018. It first hit the $1 million mark in 2004, a figure at the time that was unexpected.

He's been leading Team Makers since 1998. A former football player and wrestler from 1970-74 and assistant football coach from 1979-84, Simmers was inducted into the Bison Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017. He was an all-conference defensive tackle in 1973 and was on teams that went 32-6-1 with three league titles.

He and his wife, Susie, have three sons — Chris, Chad and Ryan. All played football for the Bison.

"What great organizations to be a part of," Simmers said. "I have developed so many friendships and memories throughout those years. Leading Team Makers gave me a chance to help create the same opportunities for generations to come that were afforded to me and my family. For that, I will be forever grateful."

A search for his replacement will begin immediately.

"His leadership has helped (Team Makers) grow into one of the most successful annual giving programs in all of college athletics," said athletic director Matt Larsen.

Team Makers revenue mainly funds the entire athletic scholarship bill at NDSU.