May 25, 2006
ATLANTA – Mark Simons, a coach with vast experience in both men’s and women’s collegiate basketball, has joined the Georgia Tech women’s basketball program as an assistant coach, announced Yellow Jacket head coach MaChelle Joseph Thursday afternoon.
“I am very excited about Mark Simons joining our staff here at Georgia Tech,” said Joseph. “Mark’s experiences on the men’s side as a head coach and at Auburn last year will make him a valuable member of our staff.”
Simons joins the Yellow Jacket program after serving as an assistant coach for the Auburn women’s basketball program during the second half of the 2005-06 season, helping the Tigers to a 14-15 record.
“Georgia Tech just hired a quality person and a great basketball coach in Mark Simons,” said Auburn head coach Nell Fortner. “Mark will bring tremendous knowledge and a love of the game to the Georgia Tech program. He helped us so much at Auburn in the three months that he was here, and I am sure that he will do the same for Georgia Tech.”
Prior to his appointment to the Auburn staff, Simons served as the head men’s basketball coach at Elon University from 1993-2003, during which time he led the Phoenix to a South Atlantic Conference Championship and its first appearance in the postseason since 1972. He also helped transition the team from Division II to Division I.
The 1990 Carolinas Conference Coach of the Year and 1988 South Region and Dixie Conference Coach of the Year had four players named to the Big South All-Rookie Team over a two-year span and also boasted a 100% graduation rate.
“Coach Simons is a well-respected coach with a wealth of experience and a true gentleman,” said Arizona State head men’s basketball coach Herb Sendek. “He is the kind of leader and teacher that you want for your daughter and certainly a great addition to the Georgia Tech staff.”
“Mark is one of the top post coaches out there,” added Joseph. “And I know that he will have an immediate impact on our young post players.”
Simons will be making his second coaching stint in the state of Georgia after serving as the head basketball coach at Georgia College in Milledgeville from 1991 through 1993. He earned his first head coaching position at St. Andrews College in North Carolina in 1986, where he served as both the head basketball coach and athletics director from 1986 through 1991.
A 1972 graduate of Aquinas College, Simons earned his first coaching position in 1975 at his alma mater, serving as an assistant coach from 1975-76 before being named an assistant coach and instructor at Saginaw Valley State in 1976, where he worked until 1986. While at Saginaw Valley State, Simons earned his masters degree from Michigan State University in 1977.
Simons, 55, is married to the head women’s basketball coach at Duke University, Gail Goestenkors, and has one son, Adam, who plays basketball Xavier University, and two daughters, Katie, who recently earned her masters degree from George Washington and now works in Washington, D.C., and Molly, the coordinator of a camp for autistic children and adults in the Chapel Hill, N.C. area.