Mark Simons is about to start his third season as an assistant coach, having joined the Spartan coaching staff on April 27, 2012. Simons has been involved in collegiate basketball coaching for over 35 years, most recently, being as assistant coach at Auburn University for the previous four seasons.
At Michigan State, Simons works with the Spartan post players, is the staff's academic liaison and handles the team's game scheduling, in addition to assisting with opponent scouts and gameday preparation.
Last season, the Spartans won the Big Ten regular-season title, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Second Round. Three Spartan post players earned All-Big Ten honors, including freshman Aerial Powers being named to the first team.
In his first season at MSU, the Spartan post players saw improvements across the board. A preseason injury to projected starting center Madison Williams, forced Courtney Schiffauer, Becca Mills and Jasmine Hines into more minutes than expected. All three posted career-highs in points, while Schiffauer and Hines had career-best numbers in every statistical category.
At Auburn, Simons worked primarily with the Tiger post players, while also assisting with game management and scheduling. Auburn had two postseason appearances during his time, including a trip to the NCAA Second Round in 2009, a season where it went 30-4 and won the SEC regular season title for the first time in 20 years. It was his second stint with the Tigers, also coaching the second half of the 2005-06 season.
From 2008-12, Simons had been an advance scout for the WNBA's Washington Mystics.
Surrounding his two stays at Auburn, Simons spent two years at Georgia Tech, the last as the Associate Head Coach. Both seasons the Yellow Jackets advanced to the NCAA Tournament and won at least 20 games, including a then-program best 22 wins in 2007-08. It also marked the first time in program history that the team played in back-to-back NCAAs, including winning its first NCAA game in 2007.
Prior to moving into the women's basketball coaching circle, Simons was the head men's basketball coach at Elon University in Elon, N.C. He was the head coach at Elon for 10 seasons (1993-2003), helping transition the program to the Division I level beginning in 1997. His tenure was highlighted by a trip the NCAA Division II Tournament in 1997, after leading the Phoenix to the South Atlantic Conference Tournament title.
Simons also held head coach positions at Georgia College & State University from 1991-93 and St. Andrews College from 1986-91 prior to moving over to Elon. While at St. Andrews, where he was also the athletic director, Simons was named both the 1988 South Region and Dixie Conference Coach of the Year, and the 1990 Carolinas Conference Coach of the Year.
Before becoming a head coach, Simons was an assistant coach at Saginaw Valley State for 10 seasons (1976-86) and at his alma mater, Aquinas College for one year (1975-76).
A native of Mt. Pleasant, Mich., Simons was a four-year letterwinner at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Mich. from 1968-72. While coaching at SVSU, Simons earned a master's degree from Michigan State in 1977. He has three children - a son, Adam, and two daughters, Katie and Molly - and a granddaughter, Ellie.
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