Dennis Simmons, who spent 10 seasons at Texas Tech under head coach Mike Leach, returned to a familiar role as Leach’s outside wide receivers coach prior to the 2012 season and begins his third year at Washington State University.
Last season, Simmons saw the Cougars catch the most passes in Pac-12 single-season history and quarterback Connor Halliday tie the school’s single-season record with 34 touchdowns passes while the air raid produced the nation’s fourth-best passing attack. For the second straight season, Simmons had a number of receivers contribute with 10-plus receivers catching a pass in game 11 times last year. Simmons also saw his outside receivers lead the Cougars in touchdown catches after Gabe Marks, Dom Williams and Vince Mayle each caught seven touchdowns.
In 2012 Cougar receivers posted the second-most receiving yards in school history (3,965). The Cougar offense threw for 330 yards per game, ninth nationally, with four of the top five receivers being underclassmen, including three freshmen.
Prior to WSU, Simmons had served two seasons as East Carolina's outside receivers coach. Simmons' impact on the Pirates' offensive unit quickly became visible through the play of newcomer Lance Lewis in 2010. Lewis became only the third ECU pass-catcher in school history to reach the 1,000-yard milestone. The big-play, All-Conference USA performer contributed 89 receptions for 1,116 yards and topped the unit with 14 touchdowns, while also standing among the nation's Top 20 in receptions per game (12th), total reception yards (16th) and receiving yards per game (20th). In 2011 Simmons' coached a pair of receivers, Lewis and Justin Hardy, who ranked among the Top 10 in Conference USA.
At Texas Tech, his wide receivers' coaching appointment in 2008 followed a two-year stint as Leach's chief of staff from 2005 to 2007.
After accepting the Red Raiders' on-the-field assignment, Simmons stepped into a vital role on the offensive side and inherited the nation's leading receiver and Biletnikoff Award winner Michael Crabtree.
Crabtree repeated as Biletnikoff winner under Simmons' watch and was a consensus All-America choice for the second-straight season. Crabtree, only a redshirt sophomore in 2008, was drafted No. 10 overall in the 2009 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.
Simmons' '08 group, led by Crabtree's 97 receptions, 1,165 yards and 19 touchdowns, accounted for 31 of the team's 47 receiving touchdowns. The 31 scores by the wide receivers alone were more than 107 Division I teams' total receiving touchdowns a year earlier.
In 2009, he, along with inside receivers coach Lincoln Riley, transformed walk-on Alex Torres into a Freshman All-America selection after a team-leading 67-catch, 806-yard, six-touchdown performance.
A former three-year starter at Brigham Young University, Simmons initially arrived at Texas Tech as the assistant athletics director/quality control for the football program.
Simmons' previous responsibilities included scheduling, coordinating recruiting visits and spearheading the Texas Tech Football Camps. He also handled player personnel issues and ran the Texas Tech Football Outreach Program and community service initiatives. Simmons remained as the staff huddle leader for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter and served as the academic liaison after returning to the field.
Additionally, Simmons was involved on campus with President's Select, the Saddle Tramps, Goin' Band from Raiderland and spirit squads when it pertained to recruiting, and also served on the Student-Athlete Opportunity Fund Board.
Simmons came to Texas Tech from Cornell University, where he coached the running backs and was assistant athletics director and chief of staff. Prior to Cornell, he served as an assistant coach at his alma mater, BYU, in 1997, working with the offensive line and special teams.
Simmons graduated from BYU in December 1996 with a bachelor of arts degree in broadcast communications. Twice named to the dean's list, Simmons earned four letters and was a three-year starter at outside linebacker. He helped the Cougars win four-straight Western Athletic Conference titles and was a part of four bowl games, including the Cotton Bowl, Copper Bowl, Holiday Bowl and Aloha Bowl.
A native of Memphis, Tenn., Simmons earned his master's degree in educational leadership in August 1999 from BYU. He served as an NFL Minority Fellowship intern with the Buffalo Bills during the summer of 1999.
Simmons, 37, has one daughter, Kendyll.