Dave Simmons Basketball Camps
Head Coach Dave Simmons
Dave Simmons was named the ninth head coach in McNeese basketball history on Aug. 9, 2006, and since then, he’s led the Cowboys to a Southland Conference championship, two league tournament championship game appearances and two national postseason tournaments.
The DeRidder native wrapped up his ninth year as McNeese’s head coach last season making him the second-longest tenured hoops coach in school history. In addition to his nine years at the helm, he spent seven previous season as an assistant coach from 1987-94 and was part of the staff that helped coach the Cowboys to their first-ever NCAA Tournament in 1989.
The 2015-16 season will be his 10th as head coach and 17th overall at McNeese. He has compiled a 127-152 record at McNeese. He needs four wins to pass Glenn Duhon to become the second-winningest coach in school history.
He’s the only coach in school history to take his teams to back-to-back postseason national tournaments - 2011 NIT and 2012 CollegeInsider.com tourney. McNeese made back-to-back appearances in 2001 (NIT) and 2002 (NCAA), but under Ron Everhart and Tic Price.
Simmons, a native of DeRidder, was inducted into the Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame (LABC) in 2007 after having a stellar playing career at Louisiana Tech from 1977-81 where he earned All-Southland Conference and NABC All-District honors.
As a coach at McNeese, he earned SLC Coach of the Year honors in 2011 after he led the Cowboys to the league’s regular season title, and was awarded the Tommy Joe Eagles Memorial Award by the LABC as the state’s major college coach of the year in 2011 and 2012.
In the 2014-15 season, Simmons notched his 125th victory at McNeese on March 1 when the Cowboys defeated Lamar 70-69. That win moved him past Wayne Cusic (1946-52) as the 3rd-winningest coach in school history. He led the Cowboys to the second round of the SLC Tournament. Two of his seniors – Kevin Hardy and Desharick Guidry – signed professional contracts overseas following their senior season.
His coaching career at McNeese is full of memorable moments both as an assistant and head coach.
Simmons was an assistant on the staff of head coach Steve Welch from 1988-94 and helped coach the Cowboys to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 1989. He left the Cowboys after the ‘93-’94 season to become the head coach at Edward Waters for two years. He was hired as McNeese’s head coach in 2006 and has led McNeese to the 2011 SLC title, the 2011 NIT where the Cowboys hosted Boston College in the first round, and the 2012 CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
His 2010-11 team finished 21-12 making it the first 20-win season in nine years and just the 11th in school history. The Cowboys knocked on the 20-win door the following year where the 17-win season saw four games where the Cowboys came up short by four points or less.
On Feb. 7, 2013, Simmons coached the Cowboys to a Southland Conference first when his team defeated Sam Houston State 59-58 in overtime to mark the 300th conference win for the Cowboys – the first team in league history to win 300 conference games.
He won his 100th game as McNeese’s head coach on March 9, 2013 after a 91-88 double-overtime win at Nicholls in the regular season finale.
Simmons was also on the staffs at Northwestern State and Louisiana Tech when those two teams won league titles and played in the NCAA tournament, and an assistant at Delta State when it played post season.
He was an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech when the team went to the NIT Final Four and made two NCAA appearances. He was an assistant at Delta State when it won 24 games and appeared in the Division II Final Four and he was an assistant at Northwestern State when the Demons won back-to-back league crowns, participated in the NCAA and gave the SLC a first round NCAA victory for the first time since the 1980s when the Demons, playing as a 14-seed, shocked No. 3 Iowa on a last second 3-point basket.
During a 29-year career Simmons has coached more than 20 players who have gone on to play in the professional ranks including Karl Malone of Louisiana Tech and one of the top 50 all-time greatest players to have played in the NBA.
As a player at Tech, he was the team captain and team MVP and in 1981, ranked 5th in the nation in free throw shooting (.890, 130 of 146), a Louisiana Tech school record with a minimum of 80 attempts, and a mark currently ranks No. 3 on the Southland Conference’s single-season list. His .818 career free throw mark is also a Tech school record and is rated as the 2nd-highest in league history with a minimum of 300 FT made. He led the Bulldogs in scoring his senior season with 498 points and his 1,563 career points scored is ranked 12th on the school’s career chart.
Simmons and his wife Elaine Marie have three children, Desmond, David and Deon.