April 23, 2007
“I am excited to offer Mark the opportunity to be our associate head coach,” said Joseph. “He has played a significant role with the success of our team this season and the growth of our program.”
In Simons first year at Tech, he helped the Yellow Jacket program to a 21-12 record, the best in school history as a Division-I program, and the program’s first NCAA Tournament win, a 55-54 thriller over DePaul. Tech also earned its first winning record in Atlantic Coast Conference play. The Jackets 9-5 ACC record is seven wins better than last season and is the second-best turnaround in conference history.
“I am very flattered and eager to continue to be part of this great team that Coach Joseph has assembled,” said Simons. “I want to help her as Georgia Tech continues to build on this season’s success.”
Under Simons tutelage, sophomore Jacqua Williams broke the women’s and men’s school record in steals with 95. He also worked at improving junior Janie Mitchell’s post play. She finished the season averaging 14.5 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Simons also was instrumental in the advancement of freshman Brigitte Ardossi.
“He (Simons) was also a major factor in the development of our post players and very influential in our improved defense this year,” added Joseph.
Before being hired at Georgia Tech, Simons served 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.
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.
Simons is 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, has one son, Adam, who plays basketball Xavier University, and two daughters, Katie, who works in Washington, D.C., and Molly, the coordinator of a camp for autistic children and adults in the Chapel Hill, N.C. area.