ASU Names Al Simmons Cornerbacks Coach
Feb. 3, 2006
TEMPE, Ariz. - San Jose State University Cornerbacks Coach Al Simmons was named Cornerbacks Coach for Arizona State, according to an announcement by ASU Head Football Coach Dirk Koetter Friday. Simmons takes the place of Mark Carrier, who was named Secondary Coach for the Baltimore Ravens last month.
A 20-year coaching veteran, Simmons' diverse background includes coaching experience at both the collegiate and professional levels. He has nine previous seasons of Division I coaching experience, including three at California (1998-2000), two at Oregon State (2001 and 2002) and one at San Jose State (2005). In addition, he has also served on the coaching staff of the San Francisco 49ers for two seasons and has participated in the National Football League's Minority Fellowship Coaching program in 1993 with the Oakland Raiders, in 1996 with the Arizona Cardinals, in 1999 with the San Diego Chargers and in 2000 with the Dallas Cowboys.
'Arizona State University is a place that I have always wanted to coach,' says Simmons. 'I am extremely excited to get back into the Pacific-10 Conference once again. I have always admired ASU for having a consistent football program. It will be great to work for Coach Koetter. I think the defensive staff and I are a good fit. There are a lot of good things in store for this program.'
'We are excited and fortunate to have added a coach of Al's experience and reputation to our staff,' says Koetter. 'With Al, we have added a proven West Coast recruiter with contacts in Northern and Southern California.'
Simmons will be coming to ASU from San Jose State where he served as cornerbacks coach under head coach Dick Tomey. At San Jose State, Simmons was responsible for developing the cornerbacks, assisting in the weekly game plans and assisting in the planning of the team's daily practices. Last season, one of Simmons' pupils, senior CB Trestin George, was named to the All-Western Athletic Conference's Second-Team after a season in which he intercepted three passes, recorded 48 tackles and broke up seven passes.
'Al Simmons is as good a defensive backfield coach as I've been around in my career,' says Tomey. 'His results will be immediate at ASU. He's an exceptional coach and an exceptional person. He taught me a lot about football while coaching together with the San Francisco 49ers. I was fortunate enough to get him last year as a graduate assistant at San Jose State while he was still in the employ of the 49ers. His Pacific-10 Conference and state of California roots run deep and he will help the ASU program in many ways.'
Prior to arriving at San Jose State, Simmons spent two years on the coaching staff of the San Francisco 49ers under head coach Dennis Erickson. In San Francisco, Simmons spent his first season as Cornerbacks Coach before being moved up to Secondary Coach his second season. In his first season with the 49ers, Simmons worked under current Atlanta Falcons head coach Jim Mora, who was the Defensive Coordinator in San Francisco in 2003. In 2003, the 49ers defense recorded 36 takeaways, their most since 1997.
Simmons was also a part of Erickson's staff at Oregon State where he served as Secondary Coach for two seasons. While in Corvallis, Simmons coached All-American CB Dennis Weathersby. In 2002, Simmons' input helped Oregon State lead the Pacific-10 Conference in passing defense.
'Al is a great technician of secondary play,' says Erickson. 'He is as good as there is at coaching cornerbacks. He was with me for two years at Oregon State and then at the San Francisco 49ers. He understands what it takes to be successful in the secondary. On top of that, he is a great recruiter.'
Before joining Erickson at Oregon State, Simmons coached the cornerbacks at California for three seasons (1998-2000). At Cal, he mentored the transformation of one-time tailback Deltha O'Neal into an All-America defensive back. O'Neal would later be the first cornerback selected in the 2000 National Football League draft.
Simmons is a native of the Bay Area who attended Cal State Hayward, serving as defensive coordinator and secondary/linebacker coach there from 1986-93. In 1992, his team finished No. 1 in the conference in scoring defense and No. 2 in total defense.In 1994, Simmons moved over to San Francisco State as defensive coordinator and secondary coach, helping the Gators place second in their conference in total defense, pass defense, turnovers created and scoring defense.
Simmons left the Bay Area in February 1995 to become secondary coach at Montana State for two seasons. While he was there, Montana State finished second in the Big Sky Conference in pass efficiency defense in both 1995 and '96.
Simmons graduated with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1983 and earned a master's degree in physical education in 1991, both from Cal State Hayward.