Jefferson football coach Simmonds to join USF

Published January 31, 2006

TAMPA - Jefferson football coach Mike Simmonds, who led the Dragons to prominence with two state runnerup finishes and seven straight trips to the playoffs, has stepped down after eight seasons to become a graduate assistant at the University of South Florida. He will help coach the defensive line.

"(USF) coach (Jim) Leavitt contacted me, which he has done before, and this time I decided to take the opportunity," Simmonds said. "South Florida is a very stable environment with a program on the rise. My future aspiration is to help USF win the Big East, get in the BCS and go for the national title."

Simmonds went 75-28 at Jefferson.

He was 17-7 in the playoffs.

Jefferson reached the Class 4A final in 2002, when the Dragons lost to Melbourne Palm Bay 19-10. In 2004, they were beaten by Jacksonville Bolles in the 3A final.