Southern Miss football hosts Louisiana Tech in the annual Blackout Game.
Southern Miss takes on Louisiana Tech this Saturday in Ruston, La.
The team will scrimmage tomorrow at 10 a.m.
Six new assistant coaches have been named.
John Simon joined the Southern Miss head coach Todd Monken's first coaching staff in January of 2013 to lead the running backs.
In his first year with the Black and Gold, Southern Miss rushed for 875 total yards, including 1,075 yards by running backs. The team was led by a quartet of running backs - Kendrick Hardy, Jalen Richard, George Payne and Tyre Bracken. Hardy and Richard received the lion-share of the carries, combining for 741 yards on 178 carries for a combined average of 4.2 yards per carry. As a true freshman, Payne averaged 4.0 yards per carry, while Bracken averaged a 3.1 clip.
In addition to carrying the rock, Simon's 2013 running backs also aided the passing game. Bracken and Richard combined for 52 receptions on the year for 469 total yards (9.0 yards per reception). Hardy added 64 yards on six receptions for a 10.7 average.
Last fall, the running back position saw considerable improvement as that grouped totaled 1,149 rushing yards, including 536 yards from true freshman Ito Smith and six rushing scores from George Payne.
Prior to joining the Golden Eagle football staff, Simon had a successful run as a coach and administrator at Franklin D. Roosevelt High in the Dallas ISD.
During the 2012 season, Simon served as the school's athletic director after hiring a head coach to lead the program where he remained on staff as an assistant coach after spending the 2011 season as the interim head coach. Prior to becoming the interim head coach, Simon was the school's assistant athletic director for two seasons and served as the team's special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach.
Simon is known throughout the country through various seminars and attendance at THSCA Coaches Convention, AFCA Coaches Convention, and has also participated in the NFLPA Coaching Symposium and NFL-NCAA Coaches Academy. He has also made a career of motivational speaking through his own nonprofit organization, I.M.A.G.E., focusing on improving minority areas and speaking to at-risk youth.
To his credit at Roosevelt, Simon helped develop Patrick Levels into a Division I defensive back. Levels joined the Baylor University football team under the direction of head coach Art Briles. In his first season, Levels sat out and participated on practice squad, redshirting to retain eligibility. As a redshirt freshman, Levels played in all 13 of the Bears' games, recording 14 tackles, including 10 solo tackles.
Simon spent three years in the National Football League - two years with the Washington Redskins and one season with the Tennessee Titans.
During his collegiate and professional career, Simon crafted his knowledge of the game and coaching style after being led by such legendary coaches as Jeff Fisher, Steve Spurrier, Joe Gibbs, Gary Crowton, Hugh Jackson and his familiarity to Monken goes back to his playing days at Louisiana Tech where Monken was his running backs and then later wide receivers coach.
Over his playing career at Louisiana Tech, Simon was a four-year starter and team captain during his senior season, helping the Bulldogs to their first WAC Championship and bowl appearance in 11 years. On the ground, Simon generated 4,852 all-purpose yards and moved to wide receiver during his senior campaign where he extended his streak of games with a catch to a then-NCAA record 46 games, which encompasses every game of his career. He received the Humanitarian Award during the 2001 Humanitarian Bowl and was a recipient of the Louisiana Tech President's Award.
Simon is married to the former Cecelia Stroy, who he met while attending Louisiana Tech, and the couple has two children, John IV, and James.
|Simon at Glance|
|2011||Roosevelt||Interim-Head Coach/Athletic Director|
|2010||Roosevelt||Assistant Athletic Director/Special Teams Coordinator/Secondary|
|2009||Roosevelt||Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Secondary|
|Follow SouthernMissFootball:||Follow @SouthernMissFB|