Born in Rio de Janeiro, he guided Jamaica to the World Cup in France in 1998. This was Jamaica's first, and to date, only appearance in the final stages of a World Cup, as well as making Jamaica the first English speaking Caribbean country to qualify for the World Cup. His squad was made up of a few English players of Jamaican parentage, and they were dubbed 'The Reggae Boyz' in the English media.
In the 2004 Summer Olympics, he won the silver medal with the Brazil women's national football team. He has also previously coached Trinidad and Tobago. In 2006 he was the Head Coach and manager of Iran national under-23 football team. In 2007 Simões then returned to Brazil to coach Série BCoritiba, where he won the second division. He left Coritiba in November 2008 to accept the position as Jamaica's Technical Director for the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign. On September 11, 2008 Renê Simões was fired by the Jamaica Football Federation after just nine months in charge due to the country's poor performance in World Cup qualifiers. On October 2, 2008, he was appointed to manage Fluminense and was released on 6 March 2009. Simões then returned to Coritiba at the start of the 2009 Brasiliero but was released after four months, when the club fell to the relegation zone. He then moved to Serie B Portuguesa in São Paulo but Simoes resigned in August 2009 after only two weeks as coach of second-division Portuguesa in Brazil, after saying armed men threatened the players in the locker room after a loss. He was appointed as the Head Coach of the Costa Rica national football team on September 16, 2009 after former coach Rodrigo Kenton was sacked due to poor performance in the World Cup Qualifiers for South Africa 2010.
On December 20, 2009, signed to lead the Ceará officially signed Simoes as the club's new manager, he was until a few weeks ago Costa Rica national's manager, subs Gusmao who didn't renew with the Brazilian club.
On April 10, 2011, he was announced as the new manager of Bahia.
On February, 16, 2012, Simões became director of youth academy of São Paulo. In Cotia, city where the academy is localized, he created the Padrão São Paulo de Qualidade, that tryes to improve the footballers formation into the club. On November 07, 2012, however, Simões left this employ.