Thursday , Mar , 15 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Evansville hires Simmons as men’s basketball coach

Evansville, IN (Sports Network) – The University of Evansville hired Marty
Simmons as men’s head basketball coach on Thursday, returning the alum and
former assistant coach to his old stomping grounds.

Simmons played at Indiana before transferring to Evansville, and was an
assistant coach for the Purple Aces from 1990-96 and from 1997-2002. He
replaces Steve Merfeld, who resigned March 3 after posting a 54-91 mark over
the past five years.

“Evansville has a very, very special place in my heart,” Simmons said. “I feel
fortunate to again be part of the Evansville basketball program, which has so
much tradition and history. I look forward to locking arms with the current
players so we can achieve success together.”

The Purple Aces, who have produced seven consecutive losing seasons, finished
14-17 this season and fell to Drake in the first round of the Missouri Valley
Conference Tournament.

The 42-year-old Simmons guided Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville to an
88-59 overall mark in the last five seasons. SIU-E reached the NCAA Tournament
in 2005 for the first time in 15 years, and Simmons was named the Great Lakes
Valley Coach of the Year. The following season the team did even better,
winning three games in the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Championships
and advancing to the Elite Eight.

Simmons also played one season (1988-89) for the LaCrosse Catbirds in the
Continental Basketball Association. The following year he made the All-Star
squad as a member of the Illinois Express in the World Basketball League.

“We had an outstanding pool of candidates, but no one could possibly bring the
combination of expertise, leadership, passion and love for a university that
Marty provides” said Evansville Director of Athletics Bill McGillis. “We are
very fortunate that he will lead our program into the future.”