Kendall is the oldest son of Henry and Glinda Simmons. He was born and raised in Ripley, Ms with his two older sisters and younger brother. He graduated from Ripley High School while earning an athletic scholarship to Auburn University in 1997. He started almost every game on the offensive line as a Freshman throughout his Senior campaign. During that time he earned All SEC, All American and other honors as an Auburn Tiger. After graduating from Auburn with a degree in Graphic Arts in 2001, he married his college sweetheart who’s also an Auburn Alumnus, Celesta Henry the summer of 2002. They have 3 girls Kensley, Laila 13, Olivia Pearl 11 and a boy Tyce 7.
Kendall played 8 years after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers as the 30th overall pick in 2002. Following his first season, Simmons was selected as the team’s rookie of the year. Shortly before his second season began in 2003, Simmons was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and was not sure if he would be able to continue his football career. With the help of team doctors and a strong support network, Simmons returned to the field that same year. He learned to manage my diabetes, regained his strength and flourished on the football field.
The following season Simmons started all 16 regular season games and all 4 playoff games with the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2005 season also winning Super Bowl XL over the Seattle Seahawks. He dedicates his time to diabetes care, raising awareness, properly managing blood glucose levels and to demonstrating that diabetes can be successfully integrated into your life and ambitions.
Now retired from the NFL, Simmons is still very active in the diabetes community. He was blessed with an opportunity to speak to children and adults with diabetes across the country to let them know that the disease can be managed. During this time he also learned more from those living with the same disease which helped him in his daily walk.
He hopes that his story will inspire you and others with diabetes. Simmons spent the majority of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, playing 7 NFL seasons with the team and spanning 80 regular season and 7 post-season games.
He also played with the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills. After retiring from the NFL in 2010, Simmons went on to speaking nationally for Novo Nordisk from 2010-currently. He lives by this motto each and everyday. “Each morning find a way to make Diabetes conform to the lifestyle you want to live.”