Tom Simi enters his second season as Jacksonville football’s Assistant Head Coach & Offensive Line Coach in 2018. An accomplished player and teacher, Simi and Head Coach Ian Shields coached together at various institutions over the past 20 years, dating back to 1997.
In Simi’s first year at the helm of the Dolphins’ offensensive line, the team posted a 7-4 overall record, improving from a 5-5 mark the previous year. JU ranked fifth in the nation in both rushing offense and fewest sacks allowed, averaging 269.3 yards on the ground, while limiting opposing defenses to just 0.73 sacks per-contest. Additionally, three of the Dolphin O-Linemen (Jaleel Roberts, Jake Howell and Jake Dempsey) received postseason honors.
Prior to his tenure in the River City, Simi served as the Assistant Head Coach & Offensive Line Coach under Shields at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C. during the 2014 and 15 football seasons. The 2014 Bears squad led the nation in rushing offense and set the NCAA Division II record for yards-per-game, averaging 416 per-contest. Posting an 11-0 regular season record, the team finished ranked No. 8 in the year’s final Division II poll. The line ranked second in the nation in fewest sacks allowed and saw two players make at least one All-American team, with offensive lineman Joe Ray winning the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the conference’s best blocker and finishing as a finalist for the Gene Upshaw Award, which signifies the top lineman in all of Division II.
For the second straight year, the Bears led the nation in rushing offense and ranked second in fewest sacks allowed in 2015. Additionally, Ray was given the Jacobs Trophy , and was a finalist for the Gene Upshaw Award once again.
Simi spent the 2013 football season coaching the centers and guards at Army – West Point, overseeing a ground attack that ranked third in the Football Bowl Subdivision in rushing offense. His tenure with the United States Military Academy began in 2009, when he served as the Head Coach of the USMA Prep School from 2009-12, helping to develop numerous future Army – West Point players. The team posted a 23-13 record in his four seasons at the helm, including a 21-6 mark the final three years.
Simi’s head coaching career began at Feather River Junior College in Quincy, Calif. In 2008, when he took over the team and served as the Offensive Line Coach after overseeing the OL the previous four seasons (2004-07). The Golden Eagles made four bowl game appearances in five seasons, including the year he was the Head Coach, and ranked in the Top Five in rushing offesnse all five seasons and led the state twice, out of California’s 72 JUCO programs. Under Simi’s watch, three offensive lineman garnered All-State honors and 10 made All-Conference teams, while nine earned FBS or FCS scholarships.
Simi began his coaching profession at his alma mater, Eastern Oregon University, working alongside Shields from 1997-2001. The 1998 Mountaineer team posted the institution’s best record since 1981, while the 1999 offense set 30 school records, ranking in the top-10 nationally in total and rushing offense.
As a player at EOU, Simi was a four-year starter, earning All-Conference honors twice. He earned a bachelor’s in history from Eastern Oregon while playing on the team.
Simi is married to Kathleen Simi, and has a daughter – Hannah, and a son – Caleb.