Matt Simon enters his third season as running backs coach. He coached Branden Oliver to a recordbreaking season in only his first season as running backs coach. Oliver rushed for a school-record 1,395 yards and added 13 touchdowns on the season.
In 2012, Oliver was hampered with injuries issues, but still averaged 117 yards in seven games. True freshman Devin Campbell stepped in and rushed for 502 yards on the season, including 160 yards against Ohio.
Simon brought a tremendous resume built upon 11 years of coaching in the National Football League and 18 years at the collegiate level, including serving as the head coach at the University of North Texas for three seasons.
Simon began his coaching career at the University of Washington, serving under head coach Don James from 1981-92, a tenure that was highlighted when the Huskies claimed a share of the national championship in 1991. He coached three All-Americans at UW, including running backs Greg Lewis and Napoleon Kaufman.
He would go on to serve as offensive coordinator at New Mexico from 1992-94 where his offenses ranked 18th and 10th nationally in his two seasons. He would then be named head coach at the University of North Texas, where in his first season he would lead the Mean Green to the Southland Conference title and earn Conference and AFCA Region 4 Coach of the Year honors.
After interning for one season with the Denver Broncos in 1998, Simon was named running backs coach with the Baltimore Ravens, where he contributed to tremendous success by the franchise, including helping the Ravens earn a Super Bowl title in 2000. He also helped lead Baltimore to playoff berths in 2001 and 2003, when the Ravens claimed their first AFC North title. With Baltimore he would coach Pro Bowler Jamal Lewis, who in 2003 under Simon’s tutelage, would post the second-highest rushing total in NFL history when he rushed for 2,066 yards and scored 14 touchdowns.
His success with running backs would continue when he spent the 2007-08 seasons with the San Diego Chargers. There he would help LaDainian Tomlinson to his second NFL rushing title, while fumbling just once, and also tutored Pro Bowl fullback Lorenzo Neal and Darren Sproles, who would earn a Pro Bowl alternate invite as a return specialist.
He has spent the past two years as a professional football consultant and head coach at Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills, OH. He has worked with several players to prepare them for the Senior Bowl, NFL combine and NFL draft, including Detroit Lions 2010 first-round selection Jahvid Best.