Mark Simoneau, one of the greatest football players in K-State history, has been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. He is the first player of the Bill Snyder era to be selected for this honor, and joins former linebacker Gary Spani, as the only K-State members of the Hall.
A true son of small-town Kansas, Simoneau was humbled when he received word of the honor:
Being the first player under Coach Snyder to be elected to the Hall of Fame is truly humbling. As a small town kid from Smith Center, Kan., I never could have dreamed of such an honor, but it shows that with hard work and a dream, anything is possible. This is truly an unbelievable honor for me, my family, the town of Smith Center and all of the K-State nation. I want to thank coaches (Roger) Barta and Snyder and all of the coaching staffs over the years for instilling in each of us the resolve to be successful not only as football players but also as young men.
The list of Simoneau’s accomplishments while at K-State is long. He holds the school record for unassisted tackles (251), and was an All-Conference selection three times. In his senior year at KSU, he was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. The Wildcats record won-loss record during Simoneau’s college career was also outstanding, as the team went 42-7, won two North Division titles, and spent four consecutive weeks as the #1 team in the nation during the 1999 season.
Simoneau’s playing career did not end after graduation. He was taken in the third round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. He spent eleven seasons in the NFL, playing for the Falcons, the Philadelphia Eagles, the New Orleans Saints, and finally the “home town” Kansas City Chiefs.
Of Simoneau, Bill Snyder had this to say:
Mark is a tremendous young man with a wonderful family and I am extremely proud of him. He had a long career in the NFL because he maintained the intrinsic values of commitment, unselfishness, hard work, mental toughness, persistence, responsibility and integrity. He has been the consummate team player throughout his life, and this is truly a well-deserved honor.