At the ripe old age of 11, Greg Simmons knew he was going to be a sportscaster. Not just that he wanted to be a sportscaster, but that he was going to be a sportscaster.
"There was no doubt in my mind," Greg said. "I was a very focused young child."-
While still a student at Jefferson High School in San Antonio, he ran a radio station over the public address system and started broadcasting Little League games when he was only 15. To get his foot in the door with the local media, Greg also anchored the daily farm report, as well as the news, for a San Antonio radio station.
"It was a Thursday and the station manager at the time had just let the weekend sportscaster go," Greg explained. "He needed a replacement, asked me if I was interested - which, of course, I was - and hired me on the spot. I went on the air for the first time that Saturday, just two days later. And I've never left."
He said other news stations have courted him on numerous occasions, including opportunities at ESPN and CNNSI, as well as in larger markets, such as Dallas.
But he has turned them all down. Why? Greg said he loves living in San Antonio. He grew up here, graduated from high school and college here, and works at what he calls "the best, most aggressive TV station in town."
Greg said high school football season is his favorite time of the year.
"There's nothing like it," he said. And being a native San Antonian gives Greg an enormous advantage when it comes to covering the dozens of high school games played in the KSAT 12 viewing area each weekend. Friday nights are his busiest nights with the KSAT 12 sports team strategically dispatched across the area to transmit up-to-the-minute scores and the most exciting highlights back to Greg and producers in the newsroom throughout the evening.
At 10 p.m., when most local anchor teams are calmly seated at the anchor desk, Greg Simmons is only beginning to assemble his Friday night sports report. During the ensuing 18 minutes before he goes on air, he somehow manages to formulate a fluid, cohesive, and dynamic sportscast, which usually includes highlights from at least 15 local games (his record, which he tries to break each season, is 19), as well as live shots from the KSAT 12 satellite truck and KSAT's Sky 12 helicopter.
Plus, it doesn't hurt that Greg types a blazing 110 words per minute.
When he's not in San Antonio reporting on local sporting events, Greg can be found on the road with the Spurs or traveling with the Dallas Cowboys to every game they play - even as far away as Tokyo.
He said KSAT 12 is the only station outside of Dallas that the Cowboys consider "Dallas" media, which is critically important to the station's ability to bring San Antonio sports fans the type of sports coverage they expect and demand for their favorite teams.
"Nobody travels more than we do," he said.
No wonder Greg works six days a week - and during football season, sometimes even seven.
Each Sunday night, Greg can be seen on KSAT 12's "Instant Replay," a 30-minute live broadcast that focuses on the sports events of the day, as well as sports highlights from the previous week. In addition, "Instant Replay" features live interviews with local and national figures from a variety of sports.
"'Instant Replay' was something I'd always wanted to do, and one day, while I was walking down the hall with our general manager, I happened to mention the idea to him. He said, 'Yes' and the next thing I knew, just a few short weeks later, "Instant Replay" was on the air."
But covering sports isn't the only subject near-and-dear to Greg's heart. In 1995, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul approached Greg about getting involved in their effort to feed the homeless in San Antonio. After another brief, yet fortuitous conversation with KSAT 12 Vice President and General Manager Jim Joslyn, the deal was done and the Greg Simmons Golf Tournament was born.
The tournament has raised $22,000 one year as 250 participants spent the day playing a round of golf on Fair Oaks Ranch's two 18-hole golf courses.
"The good news is the golf tournament was a sell-out," Greg said. "But the bad news is also the golf tournament was a sell-out because we have no room to grow. So, now we're hoping to have a gala, as well, which will hopefully raise another $30,000."
KSAT 12 News Director Jim Boyle said Greg is easily the best, most aggressive sportscaster in town.
"Greg won't let anything get in the way of getting a story. He sets the standard for sports coverage in the market," Boyle said.
You can E-mail Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greg Simmons can be seen on the KSAT 12 Nightbeat (Time Warner Cable Channel 13) Monday through Friday at 5 and 10 p.m., as well as on "Instant Replay," Sunday at 10 p.m.
KSAT 12, owned and operated by Post/Newsweek, is the San Antonio affiliate for ABC-TV. The station airs live news, weather and sports broadcasts at 5 a.m., noon and 5, 6 and 10 p.m. KSAT 12 also owns and operates LATV, which can be viewed on KSAT Digital 12.2, or Time Warner Cable Channel 81, GVTC Cable Channel 165 and Grande Communications Channel 189.
Its call letters, KSAT, stand for San Antonio, Texas and symbolize the station's commitment to the people of San Antonio as the local resource for fair, accurate reporting and a means by which residents have a voice with which to be heard.