Head Football Coach Ruffin McNeill Discusses Regular-Season Finale At Marshall
Dennis Simmons, who has enjoyed a continuous 11-year association with Pirate head coach Ruffin McNeill, is in his second season as East Carolina's outside receivers coach.
His appointment, which was announced Feb. 2, 2010, completed a 10-year stay at Texas Tech which included two years on the Red Raiders' coaching staff.
Simmons' impact on the Pirates' offensive unit quickly became visible through the play of newcomer Lance Lewis a year ago. Lewis, who joined the squad for the first time in fall camp, became only the third ECU pass-catcher n history to reach the 1,000-yard milestone.
The big-play All-Conference USA performer contributed 89 receptions for 1,116 yards and topped the unit with 14 touchdowns, while also standing among the nation's Top 20 in receptions per game (12th), total reception yards (16th) and receiving yards per game (20th).
At Texas Tech, his wide receivers' coaching appointment in 2008 followed a two-year stint as head coach Mike Leach's chief of staff from 2005 to 2007.
After accepting the Red Raiders' on-the-field assignment, Simmons stepped into a vital role on the offensive side and inherited the nation's leading receiver and Biletnikoff Award winner Michael Crabtree.
Crabtree repeated as Biletnikoff winner under Simmons' watch and was a consensus All-America choice for the second-straight season. Crabtree, only a redshirt sophomore in 2008, was drafted No. 10 overall in the 2009 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.
Simmons' '08 group, led by Crabtree's 97 receptions, 1,165 yards and 19 touchdowns, accounted for 31 of the team's 47 receiving touchdowns. The 31 scores by the wide receivers alone were more than 107 Division I teams' total receiving touchdowns a year earlier.
In 2009, he, along with inside receivers coach Lincoln Riley, transformed walk-on Alex Torres into a Freshman All-America selection after a team-leading 67-catch, 806-yard, six-touchdown performance.
A former three-year starter at Brigham Young University, Simmons initially arrived at Texas Tech as the assistant athletics director/quality control for the football program.
Simmons' previous responsibilities included scheduling, coordinating recruiting visits and spearheading the Texas Tech Football Camps. He also handled player personnel issues and ran the Texas Tech Football Outreach Program and community service initiatives. Simmons remained as the staff huddle leader for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter and served as the academic liaison after returning to the field.
Additionally, Simmons was involved on campus with President's Select, the Saddle Tramps, Goin' Band from Raiderland and spirit squads when it pertained to recruiting, and also served on the Student-Athlete Opportunity Fund Board.
Simmons came to Texas Tech from Cornell University, where he coached the running backs and was assistant athletics director and chief of staff. Prior to Cornell, he served as an assistant coach at his alma mater, BYU, in 1997, working with the offensive line and special teams.
Simmons graduated from BYU in December 1996 with a bachelor of arts degree in broadcast communications. Twice named to the dean's list, Simmons earned four letters and was a three-year starter at outside linebacker. He helped the Cougars win four-straight Western Athletic Conference titles and was a part of four bowl games, including the Cotton Bowl, Copper Bowl, Holiday Bowl and Aloha Bowl.
A native of Memphis, Tenn., Simmons earned his master's degree in educational leadership in August 1999 from BYU. He served as an NFL Minority Fellowship intern with the Buffalo Bills during the summer of 1999.
Simmons, 37, has a daughter - Kendyll (2)