Colorado State takes field for its second spring drills under Jim McElwain
Rams go on the road looking to upset No. 22 Broncos
Rams take on new conference member Bulldogs on Homecoming Saturday
Rams to face Spartans in first true road game of 2012
Intensity rises Monday
McElwain, Baldwin, English, Simmons and Hammerschmidt talk about what they want to accomplish this spring.
Al Simmons at a glance...
- Named to Jim McElwain's inaugural staff on Feb. 16, 2012.
- For all or parts of six seasons has coached at the NFL level, including two years (2003-04) as a full-time assistant coach with the San Francisco 49ers. Also has assisted NFL staffs during training camp on four occasions, with the Los Angeles Raiders (1993), Arizona Cardinals (1996), San Diego Chargers (1999) and Dallas Cowboys (2000).
- Coached three future Denver Broncos draft selections at Cal (Deltha O'Neal, Nick Harris and Syd'Quan Thompson) and one at Arizona State (Omar Bolden).
- Enters his 29th season in coaching in 2014, with all 28 years of his career tutoring defensive backs in some capacity.
- First met former Colorado State head coach Sonny Lubick during a spring visit to Fort Collins in 1996, as a Montana State assistant. Wound up coaching Lubick's son, Marc, with the Bobcats, and later coached with his other son, Matt Lubick, splitting the defensive-backs duties at Arizona State in 2007.
- Owns 10 years of experience coaching in the former Pac-10. Also has 10 overall years as a defensive coordinator during his career.
- Has spent 18 years of his career coaching in the Bay Area, near his hometown, Oakland. In fact, the Mountain and Pacific time zones have encompassed all of his college resume.
- Age on Sept. 1, 2014: 52
- Hometown: Oakland, Calif.
- High School: Oakland (Calif.) High School.
- College: Cal State Hayward (bachelor's in business, 1987; master's in athletic administration/sensory motor skills, 1991).
- Family: Single.
|1986-87||Cal State Hayward||Defensive Backs|
|1988-93||Cal State Hayward||Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs|
|Summer 1993||Los Angeles Raiders||Defensive secondary assistant|
|1994||San Francisco State||Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs|
|1995-96||Montana State||Defensive Backs|
|Summer 1996||Arizona Cardinals||Defensive secondary assistant|
|1997||Idaho State||Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs|
|Summer 1999||San Diego Chargers||Linebackers assistant|
|Summer 2000||Dalas Cowboys||Defensive secondary assistant|
|2001-02||Oregon State||Defensive Backs|
|2003||San Francisco 49ers||Cornerbacks|
|2004||San Francisco 49ers||Defensive Backs|
|2005||San Jose State||Cornerbacks|
|2007||Arizona State||Co-Special Teams Coordinator/Cornerbacks|
|2012-13||Colorado State||Co-Defensive Coordinator/Secondary|
|(assistant coach at Oregon State)|
|(assistant coach at Arizona State)|
|(assistant coach at Arizona State)|
|(assistant coach at California)|
|(assistant coach at California|
|2013||Gildan New Mexico Bowl||Washington State|
|(assistant coach at Colorado State)|
Prominent players coached
- The top CB selected in the 2000 NFL Draft, Deltha O'Neal (15th overall, Denver).
- Two-time All-American Syd'Quan Thompson, the Broncos' seventh-round selection in the 2010 NFL Draft.
- CB Justin Tryon, the Redskins' fourth-round selection in the 2008 NFL Draft, who was a member of the Super Bowl-champion New York Giants in 2011, and played in all 16 games for the Giants in 2012.
- S Chris Conte, the Bears' third-round choice in the 2011 NFL Draft, who started 15 games in 2012.
- K Thomas Weber, 2007 Lou Groza Award winner.
- P Nick Harris, Denver's fourth-round choice in the 2001 draft, and a 12-year NFL vet.
- All-American CB Dennis Weathersby, selected by the Bengals in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft.
- First-team all-Pac-10 choice Terrell Roberts, who played two years with the Cincinnati Bengals.
- CB Omar Bolden, a Freshman All-American at Arizona State and a 2012 fourth-round choice by the Denver Broncos, who has played in all 32 games in his first two NFL seasons.
- Seven-year NFL veteran Chidi Iwuoma.
- Darian Hagan Jr., son of the former Colorado cornerback; the younger Hagan signed as a free agent with the Cleveland Browns in 2011.
- A pair of all-conference players, Omar Turner and Jared Lucero, at Montana State.
Playing career: Laney College, 1981-82; Cal State Hayward, 1983-8
Al Simmons enters his 29th season in the coaching profession in 2014, and his third as co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Colorado State. Head Coach Jim McElwain made Simmons part of his inaugural Rams staff on Feb. 16, 2012.
Together with Marty English, Simmons coordinates the CSU defense with primary emphasis on the secondary. The pair led a defense that in 2013 ranked fourth in the Mountain West in scoring defense (29.8). Simmons' defensive secondary has been a young, developing unit in his two seasons with the Rams, as just 14 of the 112 player starts have been made by seniors. The Rams will have their most experienced secondary of the McElwain era in 2014, coupled with an infusion of young talent as well.
Overall the Simmons-English defense ranked third in the MW and 30th in D1 FBS in rushing defense in 2013 (140.6) and No. 4 (No. 46 FBS) in sacks (2.3 per game). Three CSU defenders earned All-MW recognition, inlcuding MW Defensive Player of the Year and first-teamer Shaquil Barrett. Cornerback Shaq Bell was named to the second team while linebacker Max Morgan earned honorable mention.
In his first season at Colorado State the Rams ranked fourth in the Mountain West in passing yards allowed (203.2). The Rams' defense produced three players who earned All-Mountain West honors, including second-team defensive end selection Lanston Tanyi. Barrett and Bell received honorable mention, while LB Cory James was named to Phil Steele's national All-Freshman second team. James set a Colorado State freshman record with 7.5 sacks in 2012.
Simmons came to Fort Collins from UTEP, where he'd served under Mike Price for one season (2011) as safeties coach. While still in the Mountain Time Zone, El Paso represented the Eastern-most stop in his impressive college coaching career.
For all or parts of six seasons, Simmons has coached at the NFL level, including two years (2003-04) as a full-time assistant coach with the San Francisco 49ers. Simmons also has assisted NFL staffs during training camp on four occasions, with the Los Angeles Raiders (1993), Arizona Cardinals (1996), San Diego Chargers (1999) and Dallas Cowboys (2000).
Prior to his year in Conference USA, Simmons spent three seasons (2008-10) on Jeff Tedford's staff at Cal, coaching the Golden Bears' defensive backs. During that period, his second stint at Cal, Simmons helped Syd'Quan Thompson, Denver's seventh-round selection in the 2010 NFL Draft, to All-America recognition in both 2008 and '09. The Bears, who picked off just 10 passes the year before Simmons' arrival, improved their interception total to 24, which led the Pac-10 and ranked third in the nation. Cal in the season after adding Simmons also improved its total defense from 378.8 yards/game in 2007 to 315.2, and its pass defense from 214.4 in 2007 to 193.0 in 2008. In his last season on staff, 2010, Simmons helped Cal lead the conference in total defense, thanks in large part to the play of S Chris Conte, the Chicago Bears' third-round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft.
In two seasons at Arizona State (2006-07), Simmons worked under two head coaches, Dirk Koetter and Dennis Erickson. His Sun Devil pupils included Justin Tryon, a first-team all-Pac-10 selection and fourth-round draft selection who played for the Super Bowl-champion New York Giants in 2011, and Freshman All-American Omar Bolden, a 2012 fourth-round draft choice of the Denver Broncos. As co-special teams coordinator, Simmons developed 2007 Lou Groza Award winner Thomas Weber, who was in training camp with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2011 and '12.
Simmons spent one season (2005) as Dick Tomey's cornerbacks coach at San Jose State, after two years on Erickson's 49ers staff in San Francisco, where Simmons coached the cornerbacks in 2003 and the overall secondary in 2004.
He got back into the NFL after two years (2001-02) as Oregon State's defensive backs coach, where he coached All-American Dennis Weathersby, the victim of a random act of violence days before the 2003 NFL Draft,who wasstill selected by Cincinnati in the fourth round. Weathersby left the Beavers as the program's all-time leader in passes defensed.
Simmons' first term with Cal, and first experience in the Pac-10, was 1998-2000, when he served as the Golden Bears' cornerbacks coach. His top protégé at Cal was Deltha O'Neal, the No. 1 cornerback selected in the 2000 NFL Draft, 15th overall in 2000, by the Denver Broncos. He also tutored All-American punter Nick Harris, Denver's fourth-round choice in the 2001 draft, and a longtime NFL veteran.
He earned the jump to Cal after serving as defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Idaho State in 1997.
Before that, Simmons coached for two years (1995-96) under Cliff Hysell at Montana State, as defensive backs coach. With the Bobcats, he first coached with McElwain, who at the time the offensive coordinator, and coached a pair of all-conference players, Omar Turner and Jared Lucero.
Including one campaign (1994) as the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at San Francisco State, Simmons launched his coaching career where he grew up, in the Bay Area. Tim Tierney gave Simmons his first job, at Cal State Hayward as the defensive backs coach, a role he held for two seasons (1986-87). He earned additional duties as Hayward's defensive coordinator and held the reins of the defense from 1988-93.
An all-conference linebacker at Laney College (1981-82) and an all-league safety at Cal State Hayward (1983-84), Simmons grew up about 10 miles from the Oakland Coliseum, and graduated from Oakland High School.
Simmons owns two degrees, a bachelor's in business ('87) and a master's in athletic administration and sensory motor skills ('91), both from Cal State Hayward. He is single.
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