CEDAR CITY, Utah — Southern Utah University men’s basketball head coach Todd Simon has signed an extension through the 2021-22 season the university and Athletic Director Debbie Corum announced on Monday.
“Watching Todd work with this program, it is incredibly evident that he’s one of the best young coaches in the country and the success on the court speaks for itself regarding the positive direction of the program,” SUU Athletic Director Debbie Corum said. “He’s doing things the right way and he’s committed to developing the character of the student-athletes along with their athletic ability. For all these reasons we’re optimistic about the future of our men’s basketball program and happy to know that his leadership will continue on for at least another four years.”
The men’s basketball program has drastically improved since Simon took over following the 2015-16 season. This past year, the Thunderbirds improved their total win mark by more than double, jumping from six to 13. Additionally, the 13 victories were the third most for SUU since the 2000-01 season.
The T-Birds also finished non-conference play with a record above .500 for the first time since the 2006-07 season. The campaign culminated with the Thunderbirds making their first-ever trip to the Semifinals of the Big Sky Conference Tournament in Reno, Nevada, after knocking off Idaho State in the opening round and Idaho in the Quarterfinals.
“I am grateful for the opportunity Southern Utah University has given to me the last two years,” Simon said. “My wife Kati, my kids and I love Cedar City, our university and our fans. We are proud of the culture we’ve established on the floor, in the classroom and as community service leaders. I want to thank President Scott Wyatt and Debbie Corum for their faith and commitment to our coaching staff and basketball program. The foundation is set for an exciting era of men’s basketball on the horizon.”
The Cedar City community has noticed what Simon and his staff are accomplishing as well, as the T-Birds finished fourth in attendance amongst the teams in the Big Sky Conference.
Expectations are high for the Thunderbirds heading into the 2018-19 campaign, as a solid mix of returning veterans and fresh faces will hit the court for SUU in October.
But it’s not only what the team has done on the court that has impressed, but also what they’ve accomplished off the court. Since taking over the program coach Simon and his staff have seen 14 former Thunderbirds graduate from the program. The program also finished with a perfect 1,000 APR for the 2016-17 season, which measures eligibility, graduation and retention each semester or academic term and provides a clear picture of the academic performance of each program.
“Todd inherited a team that was very close to academic probation, and his commitment to the academic performance of his team is unprecedented,” Corum said. “Now the team is healthy academically, and the caliber of athletes that have started to arrive on campus and show interest in SUU has drastically improved.”
Prior to his tenure at Southern Utah, Simon was the interim head coach of the UNLV Rebels men’s basketball team, and was in his third season as Associate Head Coach, before being put in charge of the program. Before running with the Rebels, Simon was the head coach at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas, where as head coach the team finished 35-1 in 2012-13 with eight victories over top-25 ranked teams.
A native of Fowler, Michigan, Simon earned his bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan with a double major in sport studies and management information systems in 2003. He earned his master’s degree from UNLV in sport education leadership in 2010. Todd and his wife, Kati, have three sons and one daughter: Rece, Raylan, Ryder and Sophia.
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Story and Photo Courtesy of: SUU Athletics Strategic Communication