Simmons named Assistant Basketball Coach at Western Carolina

A local prep standout and a Western Carolina legacy, Jackson Simmons has returned to Catamount men’s basketball as a part of first-year head coach Tim Craft’s inaugural staff at WCU. Simmons, whose parents both played basketball for the Purple & Gold, was the director of basketball operations for the Catamounts from July 2017 through April 2018.
Simmons joins a current WCU coaching that includes another former Catamount assistant in associate head coach Andre Gray, as well as Andrew Brown and WCU alum Adam Bullard who coached alongside Craft at Gardner-Webb.
Simmons returns home to western North Carolina having most recently served as the head video coordinator for the Charlotte Hornets NBA team. He was on the franchise’s professional staff from 2018 through 2024, advancing from the assistant video coordinator position. This past season, Simmons was involved with on-court player development and the scouting of upcoming opponent personnel.
Before moving to the Queen City, Simmons spent the 2017-18 season on staff as the director of basketball operations under former WCU head coach Larry Hunter where he was responsible for all logistics surrounding the Catamount basketball team. Simmons began his coaching career under former NBA standout Mark Price at Charlotte, a part of the 49ers coaching staff as a graduate assistant from 2015 through 2017.
A 2015 graduate of the University of North Carolina with a Bachelor’s degree in Sports and Exercise Science, Simmons earned his collegiate start as a men’s basketball graduate assistant with the Charlotte 49ers. He also received a Master’s degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies from UNC Charlotte in 2017.
Simmons was a four-year letter winner at North Carolina, beginning his collegiate career as a preferred walk-on before earning a scholarship. He appeared in 115 career games, totaling 129 points and 119 rebounds. He was a two-time recipient of the Marvin Williams Carolina Way Award which is awarded to the UNC player who best exemplifies playing hard, being unselfish, and thinking of the team first. He was also awarded the Dick Baddour Senior Award in 2015.
In 2016, Jackson Simmons was inducted into the Jackson County Hall of Fame. A 2011 graduate of Smoky Mountain High and the Western North Carolina Player of the Year that season, he set the school record for career points (1,916) and the state high school record for career rebounds (1,544) before joining the Tar Heels roster.
Simmons is a Catamount legacy as both of his parents were WCU student-athletes. His father, Si, was a men’s basketball player from 1979-83 and a former athletics director at nearby Smoky Mountain High. His mother Cindi Saltz led the Catamount women’s basketball team in scoring three times between 1979-82. An accomplished high school volleyball and women’s basketball coach who won three state titles at SMHS, Cindi was inducted into the Jackson County Hall of Fame alongside her son in 2016. She is also a 2000 inductee into the WCU Athletics  Hall of Fame.
Simmons and the former Nicole Peterson of Charlotte were married on Sept. 8, 2018.

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