Feb. 23, 2005
Seattle - First-year Washington football coach Tyrone Willingham announced the hiring of Bob Simmons to fill the final assistant coaching position on his staff today. Simmons will coordinate Washington's special teams. Willingham also announced that linebackers coach Chris Tormey will take on the added responsibilities of serving as Washington's recruiting coordinator.
Previously Willingham had named eight other assistant coaches. Tormey, along with defensive line coach Randy Hart return from last year's UW staff. Defensive coordinator Kent Baer, defensive backs coach Steven Wilks, running backs coach Trent Miles, offensive line coach Mike Denbrock and football operations director Erica Genise joined the Husky staff after working for Willingham at Notre Dame. Offensive coordinator Tim Lappano and wide receivers coach Eric Yarber came to Washington after working for the San Francisco 49ers last year.
Simmons is the fifth member of the current coaching staff who worked for Willingham at Notre Dame. He is the third member of the staff to have served as a collegiate head coach. From 1995-2000 he directed Oklahoma State's program. Tormey was head coach at Idaho (1995-99) and Nevada (2000-03), while Wilks was the head coach at Savannah State in 1999.
The past three seasons Simmons coached the linebackers at Notre Dame. During his first season with the Irish, Simmons helped Courtney Watson, one of three finalists for the Butkus Award, earn first-team All-America honors.
While at Oklahoma State, Simmons compiled an overall record of 30-38, rebuilding a downtrodden program as the Cowboys realized amazing success early in Simmons' tenure. During his third season, the Cowboys took that success to another level as Oklahoma State won six straight games to open the campaign and finished the 1997 season with an 8-4 record. The Cowboys were ranked in the nation's top 25 seven of the last eight weeks of the 1997 season, finishing the year ranked 25th, and earning an Alamo Bowl appearance against Purdue. It was Oklahoma State's first postseason bowl appearance since 1988, as Simmons earned Big XII Conference Coach of the Year honors.
After leaving Oklahoma State, Simmons served as a volunteer consultant for the Big XII Conference in Dallas, Texas, in 2001. He worked directly with senior associate commissioner Donnie Duncan and coordinator of football officials Tim Millis.
Simmons spent seven seasons on Bill McCartney's staff at Colorado from 1988 to 1994. He played a key part in rebuilding the Colorado program from a second-division Big Eight finisher to a college football power. While Simmons was on the Colorado staff, the Buffs had a record of 76-16-5 and appeared in six bowl games. Colorado won the national championship in 1990, and won Big Eight Conference championships in 1989, 1990 and 1991. Simmons served as assistant head coach for the Buffaloes in 1994.
Prior to his stint at Colorado, Simmons spent eight seasons at West Virginia coaching outside linebackers for head coach Don Nehlen. While at West Virginia, he was part of a staff that fashioned six winning seasons and made five bowl trips, including a 1987 appearance in the Sun Bowl opposite Oklahoma State.
He began his coaching career in 1976 as receivers coach at Bowling Green before moving on to the University of Toledo, where he was the outside linebackers coach for three seasons (1977-79). After Toledo had back-to-back 2-9 finishes in 1977 and 1978, he helped guide the Rockets to a 7-3-1 finish in 1979.
Simmons has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards. He received the Salt and Light Award in 1998 and was awarded the Distinguished Citizen Award by the Boy Scouts of America, also in 1998.
Simmons graduated from Bowling Green in 1971 with a major in physical education. He received his master's in college student personnel from Bowling Green in 1972.
As a student-athlete, Simmons lettered three times as a linebacker at Bowling Green and was all-Mid American Conference as a senior when he registered 150 tackles. He lettered in football, basketball and track at Shaw High School in East Cleveland, Ohio.
Born June 13, 1948, in Livingston, Ala., Simmons is married to the former Linda Davidson and has three adult children - Brandon, Nathan and Lelanna. They have two grandchildren, B.J. and Ethan, through Brandon and his wife, Aisha.