John Simon | University of Memphis

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Team: University of Memphis
Organization: NCAA Football
Position: Pass Game Coordinator/WR Coach

Biography

John Simon has joined the football staff at Memphis as a recruiting coordinator, passing game coordinator and assistant coach of the wide receivers. Simon spent the past two seasons as the associate head coach and running backs coach at Arizona State and the former NFL back also coached in the college game at regional foes Louisiana-Lafayette and Southern Miss and in high school in Dallas, Texas. 
 
"I could not be more excited to announce the addition of John Simon, his wife, Cecilia, and their children, John IV and James, into our Memphis football family," Norvell said. "John is joining our program in a leadership role as our recruiting coordinator and brings another dynamic piece to our offensive staff as passing game coordinator and wide receivers' coach. Coach Simon is a remarkable leader who has not only seen incredible success throughout his coaching career, but who has developed some of the nation's top performers. He has established himself as an elite recruiter with incredible ties throughout this region. A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he has many years coaching throughout our recruiting footprint. John was also a phenomenal player who can rely on his collegiate and NFL experiences to help build his players throughout their journey, on and off the field."
 
Hailing from Baton Rouge, Simon played his college ball at Louisiana Tech from 1998-2001. He gained more than 4,000 all-purpose yards and caught a pass in a then-NCAA record 36 consecutive games. In his senior season (2001), he helped the Bulldogs to the program's first Western Athletic Conference Championship and a bowl appearance in 11 seasons. Simon, who moved to wide receiver in his senior season, received the 2001 Humanitarian Award at the Humanitarian Bowl and was the recipient of the Louisiana Tech President's Award. 
 
After college, Simon spent three seasons in the NFL. He was a member of the Tennessee Titans roster in 2002 and spent the 2003-04 season with the Washington Redskins. Following his professional career, Simon worked as a motivational speaker and created his own non-profit organization I.M.A.G.E, which focused on improving minority areas and helping at-risk youth. 
 
In 2008, Simon began coaching at Franklin D. Roosevelt High School in Dallas in a number of areas. After beginning as a receivers' coach in 2008, he moved to the team's defensive coordinator role in 2009. He then spent the 2010 season as the special teams' coordinator, secondary coach and athletics director. In 2011, he capped his high school coaching career as the interim head coach and athletics director. He moved into administration full time in 2012, serving as the school's athletic director.
 
In 2013, Simon entered the college coaching ranks, joining the staff at Southern Miss as a running backs coach. Under his guidance, USM backs Jalen Richard and Ito Smith combined for more than 3,000 total yards, including 2,200 yards on the ground and 29 total touchdowns in 2015. Ito Smith ranked 18thin the nation with 134 all-purpose yards per game in 2015. The all-conference duo also combined for more than 800 receiving yards in 2015, as the Golden Eagles broke five major offensive single-season records, grabbed 10 wins and a Conference USA West Division title and earned a bowl berth in the Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl against Washington. Southern Miss was one of just five programs in FBS in 2015 to have two running backs with 1,000 yards on the ground.
 
Simon joined the staff at Louisiana-Lafayette in 2016 as the team's wide receivers' coach. He then joined the staff at Arizona State in 2017. At Arizona State, Simon served as an associate head coach and worked with the Sun Devils' running backs, helping them account for 27 rushing touchdowns in 2017 and 26 rushing touchdowns in 2018. Kalen Ballage finished 26thin the nation and second in the Pac-12 with 14 rushing touchdowns in 2017. In a win over Texas Tech, Ballage tied an FBS record with eight total touchdowns (seven rushing, one receiving). Both Ballage (44 catches) and Demario Richard (17 catches) finished with double digit receptions. According to Pro Football Focus, the Sun Devils finished the 2017 regular season with the 30th-highest graded rushing game, an improvement of 11 spots from the 2016 season. In 2018, sophomore back Eno Benjamin rushed for 1,642 yards, a new ASU single season record, and 16 touchdowns, earning first team All-Pac-12 honors.
 
Simon and his wife, Cecelia, have two children – John IV and James. 

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