Simmons hired as assistant track & field coach

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

TYLER – UT Tyler has hired its most decorated student-athlete in athletic department history in three-time NCAA national champion Whitney Simmons who is the new Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator for the track & field and cross country programs.

Simmons earned seven all-America honors during her illustrious career, along with winning the 2017 NCAA Division III Hammer and Weight Throw National Championships after the 2016 NCAA DIII Hammer Throw title. Now the White Oak native will remain within the program as a coach, along with continuing to train in the Hammer with an Olympic berth a goal.

“I've spent the last four years doing everything I could to develop as an athlete, while also helping the program develop and gain recognition in the community, and on a national level,” Simmons said. “To be able to continue helping the program means so much and I'm extremely excited to work on the other end of things. I've seen how this program works first-hand as an athlete, and I think that will help me relate to our current and incoming athletes as a coach. Both me, and Jordan Grubb, who ran for us last year, and who's helping coach the sprints now, want nothing more than to watch the program develop into something great, and we are doing anything we can to assist Chris and Bob in any way they need us.”

Simmons has a long and impressive list of career accomplishments with her three NCAA national championships, seven All-American honors, three USTFCCCA West Region Field Athlete of the Year selections and winning six ASC titles. Her senior season included winning the hammer and discus at the ASC Championship in Abilene after winning six regular-season meets in the Outdoor season. She started her year by winning the Weight Throw at the NCAA DIII Indoor with a mark of 19.62 meters in Naperville, Illinois for the second national title of her career before establishing a new NCAA record with a throw of 64.03 meters in Ohio. Simmons was a four-time All-American in the Hammer Throw during the Outdoor season and a three-time NCAA DIII Indoor All-American in the Weight Throw during her career with the Patriots. 

“I’m most excited to add someone with such a passion for this University and program,” UT Tyler coach Chris Stonestreet said. “Whitney graduated in four years, worked a part time job, and competed at the highest level of any thrower in Division III history. Her understanding of what it takes to be a well-rounded student athlete is what will make her so successful in recruiting. Her love for this school is very evident and I’m excited for athletes and recruits to see that.”

In ASC Championship competition, Simmons won the conference Hammer title all four years and won the discus as a junior and senior after finishing second her first two years. She is the only UT Tyler student-athlete to win more than one national title in their career and was named the ASC Athlete of the Year to cap an incredible senior season of accomplishments and awards. Simmons now plans on helping the programs continue to attract high-level athletes and also help them develop into champions in competition.

“With my accomplishments and my story, I feel as though I can add a lot to the recruiting side of things,” Simmons said. “I came in as a mediocre discus thrower and left with all of my accomplishments. All I want is to give someone else that chance, and now I'm able to do that. It's the best feeling in the world, and I hope I can work to give back to the University and program that gave me so much.”