Central Michigan women's basketball hires Georgia Tech's Mark Simons as assistant coach

Georgia Tech assistant coach Mark Simons (center) speaks with members of the Yellow Jackets' women's basketball team during a timeout in a game against Florida State on Sunday, Mar. 3, 2019. (Photo Credit: Al Levine / The White and Gold)

New coach Heather Oesterle has officially filled the one and only assistant spot on her staff.

His name is Mark Simons, and he comes from Georgia Tech. Well, actually, he comes from Mount Pleasant – the city in which he was born and raised.

Now, he's finally returning home.

The Chippewas announced Monday night the addition of Simons, thus completing Oesterle's first coaching staff since taking over in July for longtime coach Sue Guevara. 

"I'm really excited for Mark to join our staff," said Oesterle in a CMU Athletics press release. "I think he's going be a great fit with our staff and our team will love him."

Simons' coaching career spans over 35 years, and it's included stops at the college and WNBA level. He most recently was an assistant at Georgia Tech for the 2018-19 campaign.

Before joining the Yellow Jackets, he served as an assistant coach at Michigan State from 2012-17. He helped lead the Spartans to four NCAA Tournaments and four 20-win seasons. Reaching the NCAA Tournament was nothing new to Simons, as he helped Auburn do the same twice during his four years (2008-12) as an assistant.

Along with spending time at Auburn, Michigan State and Georgia Tech, Simons was an advance scout for the Washington Mystics of the WNBA. He was also the men's basketball coach at Elon for 10 years, from 1993-03.

Simons was a four-year basketball player at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids after graduating from Sacred Heart Academy in Mount Pleasant. His nephew is former CMU men's basketball star John Simons.

"Looking forward to seeing all the Simons' in the crowd at our games," Oesterle said. "He comes highly recommended by (Guevara). He's someone I can really trust and he has a great basketball IQ."

He got his start in coaching as an assistant at Saginaw Valley State (1976-86) after working as an assistant for one season at Aquinas. While working at SVSU, he earned his master's degree from Michigan State in 1977. His two other coaching destinations were at Georgia College and St. Andrews College.

Guevara, CMU's coach from 2007-19, shared her thoughts regarding the hire on Twitter.

"Love Mark Simons," she wrote. "He will be an awesome addition to an already great staff."