Southern Utah University Men’s Basketball Head Coach Todd Simon has signed a contract extension to stay in Cedar City through the 2023-24 season.
“My family and I are extremely happy to be a part of this community and it is truly an honor to be the head coach at Southern Utah,” Simon said. “I am very proud and thankful to work for the strong leadership of President Scott Wyatt and Debbie Corum. I am equally thankful to our staff, current and former players, the Cedar City community, our alumni and this great institution. This is a very special place with special people throughout the university. It is my commitment to continue to do our absolute best to achieve our goals on and off the court and represent SUU with honor.”
Simon is in his fourth season with the Thunderbirds, and the program has seen nothing but improvement since he took over ahead of the 2016-17 campaign.
In three years, Simon took a team that finished 6-24 and had them participating in the postseason. The rebuilding process was truly recognized last March, when the Thunderbirds hosted a home game in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. This marked only the second time in the history of the program that the T-Birds had competed in a Division I postseason tournament. It also led to the first Division I postseason victory in the history of the program as the T-Birds knocked off Drake 80-73 in overtime.
Along with the postseason appearance, there were a number of other factors that made the 2018-19 campaign special. SUU finished .500 for the first time since the 2006-07 season with a mark of 17-17. The T-Birds won nine Big Sky Conference games, which was the most the program had earned since joining the league. They also secured back-to-back winning non-conference records. Along with those accolades, Cameron Oluyitan won Big Sky Newcomer of the Year, and the T-Birds swept rival Weber State.
They’ve also made back-to-back trips to the semifinals of the Big Sky Conference Championship Tournament.
“What Todd has been able to do here in such a relatively short amount of time has been an absolute pleasure to watch,” SUU Director of Athletics Debbie Corum said. “He has brought in an incredibly high level of talent and completely changed the way that Cedar City, the state and the entire nation thinks about Thunderbird basketball. Not only is Coach Simon succeeding on the court but he and his staff are teaching these young men how to succeed in the game of life. I’m thrilled that we were able to give him this extension and prolong his tenure here at Southern Utah.”
The Thunderbirds have also turned a number of heads already this season. Along with leading SUU through the Maui Jim Maui on the Mainland event, Simon has added a few other milestones to his growing resume. When the Thunderbirds topped the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Lincoln, it was the first victory over a Power Five Conference opponent since the 1996 season for SUU, and the T-Birds became just the second-ever Big Sky team to win on the road against a Big Ten Conference opponent.
The Thunderbirds are also rewriting the record books under Simon’s leadership, as just recently the team set a new school record for largest margin of victory (86 points) and three-point shots made in a single game (17).
The Thunderbirds are also getting the job done off the floor under Simon, including a perfect 1,000 APR score in 2017.