Jefferson High Coach Mike Simmonds Joins USF

(January 30, 2006) Tampa, Fla. – Mike Simmonds, the ultra-successful coach at Jefferson High School in Tampa, has been named the defensive graduate assistant at the University of South Florida, USF head coach Jim Leavitt said today. Simmonds has coached Jefferson for eight years and took the team to the state championship game in 2002 and 2004.

"Mike Simmonds has proven himself to be an outstanding football coach," says Leavitt. "His experience will add tremendously to our football program and it will also allow me to give him increased responsibilities over and above a standard graduate assistant coach. In addition to helping with our defensive linemen, he'll be able to help us administratively as well."

Simmonds is a graduate of Indiana State University and he played one season (1989) for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a 10th round draft choice of the club in 1987. He began coaching Jefferson in 1998 and after a 2-8 start that season, he built a perennial state contender, reaching the playoffs in the next seven straight seasons.

The team played Palm Bay in the 4A state title game in 2002 and returned to the 3A state title game two years later against Jacksonville Bolles. In his seven seasons of playoff competition, Simmonds has a 17-7 record. He is 74-29 overall in his eight seasons as head coach.

Simmonds is one of two new graduate assistants for South Florida in 2006. Former USF offensive lineman Larry Scott wll be a graduate assistant on the offensive side of the ball.

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