Duane Simpkins hired as head coach at American U
DMV basketball legend Duane Simpkins hired to be the new head coach at American University, the school announced on Saturday. Simpkins spent the last eight seasons just outside of DC at George Mason, where he has worked under both Dave Paulsen and Kim English.
“We are thrilled to welcome Duane Simpkins, a proven talent and respected coach into our AU Athletics family,” AD Dr. Billy Walker said. “His passion for positively shaping the lives of young student-athletes was evident during the selection process. His close ties to the area as a coach and player, along with a tremendous recruiting acumen and unbending character, make him an ideal choice to lead our program. Duane is truly a changemaker.”
This is the first collegiate head coaching job for Simpkins, who previously coached at the prep level at Sidwell Friends and St. Albans, both in DC. He was a stand-out player for Gary Williams at Maryland in the mid-90s and went on to play professionally overseas and in the US before starting out his coaching career.
“Coach Simpkins’ outstanding basketball accomplishments and deep roots in the DC region will lead American University men’s basketball to great success,” said AU President Sylvia Burwell. “A proven winner with integrity and character, he will help us compete and thrive at the highest levels of competition. Coach Simpkins exemplifies the American University spirit of community and will support our student-athletes on the court, in the classroom, and in their growth and pursuits as people. He will be a leader in our community for all AU Eagles.”
American parted ways with previous head coach Mike Brennan last month after ten seasons at the helm. The Eagles reached the NCAA Tournament in 2014, Brennan’s first year, but haven’t played in any postseason tournaments since then. The team went 17-15 this past season, just their fourth winning record of Brennan’s tenure.
credit to American University Athletics for the image