Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
|Simms joins Vandal staff|
MOSCOW, Idaho – University of Idaho director of track and field/cross country announced the hiring of Allen Simms, a highly-decorated athlete and young coach, to an assistant position on his staff overseeing the Vandal jumps program on Wednesday.
In Simms, Idaho adds a national champion and multiple-time All-American jumper, an athlete who competed at multiple world championship competitions and a young coach who has already demonstrated his ability to succeed at a high level.
“We’re very, very excited to add a coach of Allen’s caliber at Idaho,” Phipps said. “His experience as an athlete, his time working with world-class coaches, and then his formal education is a great combination. He’s already a great coach, but I think he’s someone who has the ability and the drive to really make a name for himself in this sport.”
Simms has previous collegiate coaching stops at Davidson from 2008-11, where he worked with sprinters, hurdlers and jumpers, and at Utica College in 2011, where he coached the school’s jumpers to five school records, two conference titles and two Eastern College Athletic Conference bids.
“It’s an honor to be at Idaho,” Simms said. “I want to give back to the sport, share my knowledge and help build conference and NCAA champions here.”
Simms said he originally wasn’t familiar with Idaho, but a conversation with Vandal alumna and two-time Olympic hurdler Angela Whyte, whom he knew from their time competing on the international track and field, gave him a good idea of the school. After he took a deeper look at the Idaho track and field/cross country program, which is coming off an indoor-outdoor sweep in men’s track and field and has won seven Western Athletic Conference team titles since 2005, he liked what he saw.
“I saw a team that is fairly young and has the ability to do well,” Simms said. “It’s a program that has a strong tradition and has had a lot of success that you can build on. This is a good, solid group of confident athletes who know what it feels like to do well.”
Simms holds an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Level III Jumps coaching certification and a USA Track & Field Level I coaching certification.
He was an NCAA Champion and six-time All-American at the University of Southern California from 2003-05. As a freshman in 2001, he was an All-American in the triple jump at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
He won the 2003 NCAA indoor triple title with a leap of 56-7.5 (17.26m), and broke the Pac-10 conference record and USC school record in the process. He finished the 2003 season ranked No. 4 in the United States in the triple jump. He’s also an inductee in the USC Track and Field Hall of Fame.
“Allen was an amazing collegiate athlete at USC and went on to have an excellent post-collegiate career,” Phipps said. “He’s competed at world championship meets, so obviously, he’s a guy who brings a lot of experience at the very highest level in college, and also the highest level internationally.”
Simms was the 2005 NCAA runner-up in the outdoor triple jump (55-10.5). He won the 2004 Pac-10 title in the triple jump and swept the long and triple jumps at the NCAA West Region Championships, where he earned West Region Field Athlete of the Year honors.
Simms finished third at the 2010 USA Indoor Championships, sixth at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, sixth at the 2007 Pan American Games and was the runner-up at the 2004 North American, Central American and Caribbean Championships (U23) in the triple jump.
As an athlete, Simms has career bests of 56-7.5 (17.26m) in the triple jump, 26-4.25 (8.03m) in the long jump and 6-6.75 (2.00m) in the high jump.
He represented the United States at the 2003 and 2005 (13th) World Outdoor Track and Field Championships and in 2004 and 2006 (11th) at the World Indoor Championships. He was the 2004 USA champion in the indoor triple jump with a mark of 55-4.75 (16.88m). In 2001, Simms swept the USA junior national titles in both the long and triple jumps – a feat that was unprecedented in the meet’s history.
Simms said his competitive experience gives him a strong base in the sport, but that his main goal is to continue to learn and improve consistently.
“With my background from the last 10 years as an athlete, with the research and the work I’ve done I think it helps a lot,” Simms said. “I just love this sport and I’m trying to gain more and more knowledge. I’ve learned a lot of from my mentors and I learn a lot from these athletes every day.”