They are the Brothers Simon.
Simply, they just might be the best coaching siblings in Oklahoma.
For sure, they are the most accomplished.
Ead, Dax, Kale and Keanon — four brothers. Four winners.
Throughout the annals of state athletic history, sibling success stories have endured and inspired.
Two brothers, often. Even three. Sometimes brother and sister.
Coaching, it seems, can be a family affair.
Time and again, coaching fathers beget coaching offspring.
Seldom, though, do four coaching stalwarts emerge simultaneously with the same pedigree.
The Brothers Simon range in age from 32 to 41. Their coaching prominence is still in its infancy.
But make no mistake. The Brothers Simon represent the gold standard for coaching clans to come.
For years, the three Crabb brothers of girls basketball fame held firm as the go-to example of sibling success. Jim, Johnny and Joe combined to win six state championships and 1,389 games. All three are enshrined in the Oklahoma Girls Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Then there are the Dixon brothers, Truman, J.T and Leon. Truman and Leon Dixon are in the Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame while Truman and J.T. have plaques in the OGBCA hall.
Brothers H.O., Wayne and Gene Estes made their marks in coaching, and the first two have been saluted with induction into the OCA Hall of Fame.
Two of the three Burnett coaching brothers, Bill and Benny, have joined their father, Charles, in the OGBCA Hall of Fame. Many expect the third brother, Jerry, to join them upon his retirement.
The list of family and sibling coaching accomplishment is long and impressive.
The Brothers Simon, however, appear to be writing a composite resume unlike no other, complete with four compelling and separate bullet points.
Combined, the Brothers Simon have coached 11 state championship teams. There have been eight baseball titles, two boys basketball titles and one girls basketball title.
The brothers have produced a total of 1,847 high-school victories.
The numbers surely will continue to grow. Three of the four brothers are in their 30s.
At 41, Ead is the bellwether. He charted the course for his brothers to follow.
His specialty is baseball. After five years coaching at Allen, he moved to Roff in 2004 and put down the foundation for a dynasty.
His teams have produced six state championships (four spring, two fall) and seven runners-up. His 2010 spring team set a national high-school record with 131 home runs. He was selected that year’s small-school All-American coach of the year by MaxPreps. In 2006, he coached in the OCA All-State game.
At Allen and at Roff, Ead’s coaching record stands at 915-262, a winning percentage of .777.
Dax is second in line at 37. He has been the most versatile of the coaching brothers, having coached girls and boys basketball and baseball.
He spent five years each at Silo and Varnum, winning the 2009 Class B girls basketball gold ball with the latter. He moved to Tushka in 2014 and guided his 2016 fall team to a state title, followed by a runner-up finish in the spring.
His coaching record for baseball is 262-65, a winning percentage of .801. Then there is his girls basketball record, 195-95, and his boys basketball record, 171-60.
The third brother is Kale, age 34. He is the only non-baseball coach of the family. In May, he moved to El Reno, his fourth basketball stop, following Dickson, Roff and Okemah.
He directed the Roff boys to a state championship in 2010, completing a unique school and family sweep. With brother Ead winning fall and spring baseball titles sandwiched around Kale’s basketball championship, Roff pulled off the rarest of trifectas.
At Okemah, Kale added to the gold ball haul, winning Class 3A in 2014, after finishing second in 2013. He has compiled a won-loss mark of 221-88 in his first three coaching positions.
As he did in Okemah, Kale will serve as assistant principal at El Reno.
Kale and the youngest Simon sibling, Keanon, just missed overlapping coaching assignments at El Reno.
Keanon, 32, started his coaching career at El Reno in 2013. Three years later, he moved up to Class 6A Mustang and immediately found success. His first squad knocked out nationally ranked and perennial power Owasso in the opening round of the state tournament, en route to the school’s first championship.
In only his fourth season as a head coach, Keanon joined his brothers with a gold trophy and lifted his overall record to 83-65. Keanon played baseball for Ead at Allen.
While success has come to be a family trait with the Simons, so, too, has modesty.
Together and separately, the brothers downplay their own athletic prowess while pointing with pride to their sister, Miya, celebrated as “probably the best athlete of all of us.”
Keanon might have had a distinguished playing career, lettering four years in baseball at Oklahoma State and being drafted by the Pittsburgh in 2007.
But Miya, second oldest of the siblings, earned All-State honors in high school in three sports, according to the brothers.
Miya did not enter coaching, but went into education, nonetheless. Still, she married a coach. And the four coaching Simons call their brother-in-law, Byng girls basketball coach Trent Miller, “a great coach.”
From Ead through Keanon, the brothers are a loyal, close-knit, God-fearing band.
“One of the closer families you’re going to find,” Ead said.
“As close as you can get,” Kale said.
They emphasize discipline, for themselves, for their athletes.
They accentuate hard work, for themselves, for their athletes.
They recall the time when Kale dove onto the court, sliding several feet, to demonstrate to his players one way of playing hard, tough, strong, winning basketball.
“Not giving your very best and not going all out is just not acceptable,” Kale said.
They are a competitive lot. As brothers tend to be.
Their parents, Connie and Danny Simon, still live in Allen, where the family lived for years. Mom was a teacher. Dad played some college football.
“Dad was competitive,” Kale said. “I think a little bit of that (in the sons) comes from him.”
Dax is not so sure, saying that the brothers “are competitive by nature.”
“I don’t know where it comes from,” he said. “I never knew when you acquired it. I just always remember having it.
“But there’s more common ground there than we know because we’ve all been successful and not necessarily all doing the same things,” he said.
Ead the elder said the parents “raised us to be our own men.”
“They let us make our own mistakes, our own decisions.”
Kale said of his father: “He did expect things to be done a certain way, to be done to a pretty high standard.”
As Danny Simon proved to be a guiding beacon along the path of right and wrong, Ead provided the vocational compass for his siblings to follow.
“He was always a good example for us,” Dax said of Ead.
“I respect him,” Kale said. “He’s had, to me, a pretty good outlook on life. He coaches things the right way. I respect that about him.”
When Ead was winning his first state championship in 2004, Dax said, “that made it seem more achievable, at least to me, for me to do.”
“We never won one (state title) playing. But we were able to win as coaches, so he was able to break that barrier, or achieve that milestone, probably a better way of saying it,” Dax said.
After breaking through that championship barrier, as Dax put it, the brothers Simon have raised the bar.
“Winning state is a very humbling experience,” Kale said. “When you think of all the people that it takes to get those kids to that point, even though you are the head coach, you’re just a small piece in that formula.
“We surround ourselves with kids and families that are successful, and communities that are successful. That’s what successful people do. They surround themselves with those type of people.
“And it’s our duty as coaches, when you have good kids, to get the most out of them. That’s what coaching is,” Kale said. “We are accountable, and we hold our kids accountable.”
Dax, the coach with state championships in two different sports at two different schools, talked about expectations and achievement.
“As a coach, you’re trying to train that kid to perform under extreme pressure and extreme circumstances,” he said. “The only way to do that is by putting them in extreme situations.
“You can’t put them in ordinary, daily situations and expect them to perform at an extreme level.
“That’s one thing we all try to do in the realm of coaching. We’re pretty extreme at what we do, therefore we are able to achieve extreme things.”
The brothers have, indeed, achieved things. They have succeeded. Individually and together.
They spend time together. They talk often.
Their families are close. There are family weekends. Family vacations.
Kale has five daughters. Ead and Dax each have two sons, one daughter. Keanon is expecting a son this summer.
During Keanon’s march to the baseball championship in May in Oklahoma City, the Simon family made up a large and vocal contingent for the finals.
At that time, the brothers Simon counted 11 children, 11 state championships.
With the arrival of Keanon’s firstborn, the brothers will need another championship to keep pace. That is not an unreal expectation.
They laugh together. Process together.
They agitate each other. Hail each other.
They are old-school coaches in style and substance.
Each is physically fit. Short, cropped hair. Handshakes are strong, to the point. Eye contact is direct, fixed.
Their workplace demeanor is no-nonsense.
They teach by word, lead by example.
When employment offers loom, they seek each other’s counsel.
They don’t go out of their way to match their teams, but sometimes it happens. In the spring of 2015, Ead’s Roff Tigers had to take on Dax’s Tushka team and Keanon’s El Reno team in an El Reno invitational baseball tournament.
Ead’s team won both games.
It might not have been the best of times for Ead. But the competitive nature of Ead made it a little more acceptable.
The brothers Simon would rather beat up on strangers than one another.
And in the coaching world, they have been doing that just about better than any band of brothers before them.
As Dax said: “We’ve been blessed to coach some front-end kids. All-Staters. Pro kids.”