Simmons ready for the challenge

Being the last coach hired by new Husky head football coach Tyrone Willingham, Special Teams and Tight Ends Coach Bob Simmons hasn't had much time to get settled. However, that didn't stop the former Oklahoma State head coach from sitting down with to update us on his history and what he expects from this team.

"The only point I can get to is from the Silver Cloud (Inn) to the office right now," Simmons said with a chuckle, referring to his geographically challenged state of mind.

Simmons' first and only visit to Montlake was with the Colorado Buffaloes in 1989 and he liked what he saw in Husky Stadium that day. "Number one, it was an electrifying atmosphere," Simmons recalled. "At that point I had never been to Washington before, and walking through that tunnel was amazing. The crowd atmosphere and the scenery looking out over Lake Washington, we were saying, ‘Wow! Look at this!'."

Even more poignant for Simmons was the fact that the Buffaloes were mourning the death of former QB Sal Aunese who had battled cancer for several years. "I remember how focused that team was," Simmons said. "If I can recall, everyone had a habit, that particular year, of pointing to where Sal was. They did that before every game. I just remember how focused they were for the entire year."

Colorado was focused that day especially, handing a good Husky team a solid butt-kicking, 45-28.

Simmons coached special teams and linebackers on that team and is excited about returning to the offensive side of the ball in his new opportunity with an old friend…Coach Willingham.

"Coach has his process and we talked about coming in and being the tight ends and special teams coach," Simmons said. "About the time he called, we (Simmons and his wife Linda) sat down and thought about it, along with some other potential options. But coming to a program with the status of Washington was important.

"Everybody around the country has talked about this program and how it was and how it can be. There were so many positives that when he asked me to come aboard it was a no-brainer."

Besides his long relationship with Willingham, Simmons has one other tie to the Husky program. "I know Jim Lambright," he said. "His son was a coach at Colorado when I was there."

With Simmons' vast experience spanning four decades, he has met and worked with several outstanding coaches. He recalled one man who had an effect on his viewpoint in preparing the kicking and return units.

"A long time ago I worked with a man named Frank Gansz (the former Kansas City Chiefs special teams guru) and I have always aspired to what he believed," Simmons said becoming serious. "Special teams is like coaching a position. You have to be fundamentally sound in every phase, every technique and every discipline.

"The kids have to know that no matter what they do that if they are fundamentally sound and stick to the foundation that you work on in spring and fall, then they can handle most situations."

Finally, Simmons explained what he wants to establish with his players…trust. "Everything starts with that," he added. "Start with trust and communication and you have to establish that early with the players. Establishing a personal relationship with your players is very important."

Simmons said he is ready to get to work and wants to help Washington get back on top.

"I already really enjoy being here," he said. "I understand the tradition here and I plan to spend a lot of time here and do the best job that I can with coach Willingham to make this a successful program again."

Bob Simmons Scout Profile Top Stories