Jerry Simmons

Sport: CoachTennis

Induction Year: 2018

University: LSUUL-Lafayette

Simmons led LSU to 13 NCAA appearances, all of which were at least to the Round of 16, in 15 years. He was named National, Regional, SEC and Louisiana Coach of the Year in 1988, when he led LSU to a school-record 27 wins (only 2 losses) and to the National Championship match. LSU was ranked No. 1 in the nation for four weeks in 1988, a first in school history. He coached Donni Leaycraft to the 1989 NCAA Singles title, the first Grand Slam victory in school history. Simmons coached Johan Kjellesten to the 1989 Clay Court Singles title, the second Grand Slam victory at LSU. Tiger players earned 24 All-America honors and 34 All-SEC honors in 15 years under Simmons, and he had players earn 23 Academic All-SEC honors. His teams won 138 SEC dual matches in career, second in league history to Magill.

In 1998, Simmons was the youngest coach ever inducted into the ITA Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame, and is also in the Louisiana Tennis Hall of Fame. He was the first person to introduce corporate sponsorship to collegiate tennis with the USL Rolex Tennis Classic in 1977. He organized ESPN’s first televised college tennis match in 1979, served as tournament director of the Nokia Sugar Bowl tennis event from 1994-98 and is tour director of 2013 LSHOF inductee Chanda Rubin’s American ITF. His record at LSU was 278-105, and at UL Lafayette he was 214-92- 2 in 11 years.  Along with the 1988 NCAA title match, his LSU teams advanced to the NCAA Final Eight in 1987-89- 91-92, the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1984-85- 86-90- 93-95- 96-97 and made NCAA appearances in 1984-85- 86-87- 88-89- 90-91- 92-93- 95-96-97.