The Memphis Tigers Women’s Basketball team has announced the hiring of a new head coach, Alex Simmons. Simmons now becomes the 13th head coach in the program’s history.
The coaching search ends amid the resignation of the former head coach and current Cincinnati head coach Katrina Merriweather.
Simmons comes from Gardner-Webb where she coached for five years with a record of 90-58. This past season, Simmons was named Coach of the Year and led Gardner-Webb to a 29-5 record, as well as a Big South conference championship and an NCAA Tournament berth.
Simmons, a Tennessee native, won two National Championships with Tennessee in her time as a college basketball player.
“I am elated to be back home in the state where I grew up to represent the Memphis Tigers Women’s Basketball team,” said Simmons. “This is a basketball city and the passion behind this program is infectious.”
After graduating from the University of Tennessee in 2008, Simmons started off her coaching career as a graduate assistant coach at Kansas from 2009-2010 before becoming an assistant coach at Middle Tennessee State from 2010-2013.
Simmons would then take on the assistant coach role at Ole Miss in 2013 before accepting her first head coaching job for Gardner-Webb in 2018.
"Her historic success, both as a player and coach, as well as her strong ties to the state of Tennessee and within the basketball community made her the obvious choice for us in continuing to grow the Memphis women's basketball program,” said University of Memphis Vice President and Athletic Director Laird Veatch.
Simmons plans to use some great coaching methods from her time at Gardner-Webb and her hall-of-fame coach, the late Pat Summitt.
“I'm looking forward to getting to work with this administration and getting on the court with these 901 Women. Go Tigers," exclaimed Simmons.
It is obvious that the program has great expectations for Simmons as the new head coach. Memphis will look to seek long-term success and earn its first NCAA Tournament appearance since the 1997-98 season.
"As a player, she learned from one of the best to ever do it in Pat Summitt, she coached with some of the best in the country at Kansas, Middle Tennessee and Ole Miss, and she has proven to be one of the best up-and-coming coaches in our game with her success as head coach at Gardner-Webb,” said University of Memphis Senior Woman Administrator Lauren Ashman.
The public will get a chance to hear from Simmons at her introductory press conference with the program.
The date will be announced soon.