Father, daughter share similar NCAA Tournament experiences in KU band, 30 years apart


The Final Four has brought Kansas Jayhawk fans, from near and far, to San Antonio, Texas.

Some of the biggest fans, are those who play in the Jayhawk band.

They’ve been on the sidelines, playing their instruments and following the team every step of the way in the NCAA Tournament.  Whether it was in Wichita, Omaha and now to San Antonio.

Kellie Simlery plays baritone in the Jayhawk band.

“It’s a big trumpet, like four times the size of a trumpet basically,” said Simerly.

Just like her dad, Mark did, back in 1988.

“My dad got to go to the National Championship in 1988, so for me to be able to do that in my senior year is unreal,” said Simerly.

It’s an experience, Simerly says, she has talked to her dad about before.

“He told me his experience, he got to sit right on the court, just like we get to, he got to witness an unbelievable game against Oklahoma in 1988 for his senior year as well,” said Simerly.

So, for Simerly, this run and trip to the Final Four holds a special place in her heart.

“I’m going through the same experiences, I’m basically walking in his shoes, as a senior, at Kansas, here in San Antonio for the Final Four and we hopefully get to witness a National Championship game as well,” said Simerly.  

It’s something Simerly says she’d love to share, as father and daughter.

“It’d be an amazing parallel to experience,” said Simerly.

The KU Jayhawk band and the fans will have another day to see the sites and prepare for the teams showdown with Villanova.

The game is set to tip-off Saturday night at 7:49 p.m. CST at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

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