|Born||February 21, 1965|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|Illinois Mr. Basketball (1983)|
IBCA Hall of Fame (1994)
UE Hall of Fame (1997)
100 Legends of the IHSA Boys Basketball Tournament (2007)
Martin Ray Simmons (born February 21, 1965) is an assistant men's basketball coach. He was formerly the head men's basketball coach at Div I University of Evansville, Div II Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and Div III Wartburg College. He was elected Mr. Illinois Basketball in 1983.
Simmons was born and raised in Lawrenceville, Illinois and attended Lawrenceville High School, graduating in 1983. While attending high school, Simmons led the Indians to consecutive 34-0 seasons and IHSA Class A state championships, becoming one of the most celebrated players in Illinois prep history. Because of Simmons’ ability to "carry" his team the nickname of ‘Mule’ was given to him during his junior year. His 2,986 career points were the third most in Illinois history when he graduated in 1983. Simmons played for legendary IHSA coach Ron Felling, who went on to become an assistant coach at Indiana University.
In 2006, Simmons was voted as one of the 100 Legends of the IHSA Boys Basketball Tournament, a group of former players and coaches in honor of the 100th anniversary of the IHSA boys basketball tournament.
After high school, Simmons spent his first two years of college playing for Bob Knight and the Indiana University Hoosiers. During his freshman year, he was an integral part of the Hoosiers' “Elite Eight” run in the 1984 NCAA Tournament. His 1985 team at Indiana finished second in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). After Simmons’ sophomore year, however, he transferred to the University of Evansville to play for former Indiana assistant coach Jim Crews. Crews made Simmons the Aces’ team captain, even though he had to redshirt the 1985–86 season. When Simmons became eligible, he immediately helped turn around the UE program. During the 1986–87 he averaged 22.4 points per game and led Evansville to a first place tie in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference. During his senior year, Simmons finished sixth in the nation in scoring at 25.9 points per game, and finished ninth in balloting for the Associated Press College Basketball Player of the Year. Evansville posted a 21–8 record in 1988 and recorded a first-round win over Utah in the NIT. Simmons was named to the first team all-MCC in both of his seasons at UE. Despite playing only two seasons at Evansville, Simmons ranks 22nd all-time with 1,265 points.
After graduating from Evansville, Simmons played the 1988–89 season for the La Crosse Catbirds of the Continental Basketball Association. During the 1989–90 season, while playing for the Illinois Express, Simmons made the World Basketball League all-star team.
After being a part-time assistant coach for Evansville from 1990–1996, Simmons became the head coach at Division III Wartburg College (Iowa) for the 1996–97 season. Simmons returned to the University of Evansville the next season as a full-time assistant coach, and stayed at UE until becoming the head coach at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville in April 2002. In 2007, after five years of coaching while producing 88 wins and 59 losses for the Cougars, Simmons once again returned to UE, this time as head coach. He coached the Aces for 11 seasons totaling 184 wins and 175 losses before being fired following the 2017-2018 season. In July 2018, Simmons accepted an assistant coaching position under his longtime friend, Brad Brownwell, for the Clemson Tigers. The two coached together at the University of Evansville from 1991-1992.
Simmons was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) Hall of Fame in 1994, and the University of Evansville Athletics Hall of Fame in 1997. In 2007, Simmons was voted one of the "100 Legends of the IHSA Boys Basketball Tournament," recognizing his superior performance in his appearances in the tournament.
Head coaching record
|Wartburg Knights (Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) (1996–1997)|
|Wartburg:||10–14 (.417)||7–9 (.438)|
|SIU Edwardsville Cougars (Great Lakes Valley Conference) (2002–2007)|
|2004–05||SIU Edwardsville||23–9||15–5||2nd||NCAA Division II First Round|
|2005–06||SIU Edwardsville||25–8||14–5||T–1st (West)||NCAA Division II Elite Eight|
|2006–07||SIU Edwardsville||15–12||10–9||5th (West)|
|SIU Edwardsville:||88–59 (.599)||55–43 (.561)|
|Evansville Purple Aces (Missouri Valley Conference) (2007–2018)|
|2008–09||Evansville||17–14||8–10||T–5th||CIT First Round|
|2010–11||Evansville||16–16||9–9||6th||CBI Second Round|
|2011–12||Evansville||16–16||9–9||T–3rd||CBI First Round|
|Evansville:||184–175 (.513)||82–116 (.414)|
Postseason invitational champion
- "Ex-Evansville coach Simmons to join Clemson". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
- 1994 IBCA Hall of Fame Archived 2011-07-26 at the Wayback Machine
- "100 Legends of Boys Basketball Tournament". Illinois High School Association. Archived from the original on January 2, 2011. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
- "SIUE Men's Basketball - Coaching Records". SIUE Cougars. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- "2007-08 thru 2014-15 Men's Basketball Schedules". University of Evansville. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
|Awards and achievements|
| Illinois Mr. Basketball Award Winner