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Evansville hires Simmons as men's basketball coach

EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- Marty Simmons became men's basketball
coach at Evansville on Thursday after leading Southern
Illinois-Edwardsville for five years.


The 42-year-old played at Indiana and Evansville, and was an
assistant coach for the Purple Aces in 1990-96 and in 1997-2002. He
succeeds Steve Merfeld, who resigned this month after five years
and a 54-91 record.


"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 Aces were 14-17 this season, losing to Drake in the first
round of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.


Simmons led SIU-Edwardsville to a 88-59 record and was the Great
Lakes Valley Conference coach of the year in 2004-05, when the
Cougars reached the NCAA Division II tournament for the first time
in 15 years.


He played two years for Bob Knight at Indiana, then transferred
after the 1985 season to Evansville, where he played for former IU
assistant coach Jim Crews. As a senior, he finished sixth in the
nation in scoring at 25.9 points a game. Simmons was inducted into
the university's athletic hall of fame in 1997.


Simmons played one season for LaCrosse in the Continental
Basketball Association and one season with the Illinois Express in
the World Basketball League before returning to Evansville as an
assistant.


"Marty Simmons is Evansville basketball," athletic director
Bill McGillis said. "He represents the values, integrity and
commitment to excellence that have exemplified our program
throughout its history. Marty is an outstanding basketball coach, a
proven winner and a very proud letterman."