clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bowling Green hires Southern Utah head coach Todd Simon to same position

The Falcons call upon a coach with mid-major ties and Midwest roots to take over the BGSU program.

NCAA Basketball: Southern Utah at Bowling Green Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Bowling Green moved quickly to find a new head coach after cutting ties with Michael Huger, announcing the hiring of Southern Utah’s Todd Simon on Wednesday morning.

Simon holds an overall record of 127-115 in eight seasons as a collegiate head coach, with stops at UNLV as an interim coach and at Southern Utah. Simon was recently named the Jim Phelen National Coach of the Year and Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year in 2021, and was a finalist for the 2023 Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award.

“The BGSU family is excited to welcome Coach Todd Simon, his wife, Kati and his family to our community,” Derek van der Merwe said via press release. “The Falcon community will soon see and experience what I have learned through this search process. ...He is a coach who is committed to the student-athlete, the student experience and truly values the educational process. He embraces the academic mission of the University. He knows how to build a successful program, and he loves to win!”

Simon is a Midwest native, having been born in Fowler, Michigan, and graduating from Central Michigan University, where he was a full-ride academic scholar. Simon also brings over 20 years of experience in college and high school basketball, receiving mentorship from Paul Westphal (Pepperdine) and Lon Kruger (UNLV) as an assistant prior to his own head coaching career.

“My family and I look forward to being servant leaders to our student-athletes, to our campus and to the Bowling Green community,” Simon said via press release. “We are dedicated to developing our young men in the program both on and off the court, and we are excited to get to Bowling Green to start building relationships. We are going to bring an intense and exciting brand of up-tempo basketball to the Stroh Center and have an expectation to build one of the best home court advantages in the nation.”

Simon has a reputation as a program fixer; prior to his arrival at SUU, the Thunderbirds averaged 4.5 wins per season from 2013-2017. After Simon was hired in 2018, SUU began an immediate ascent, rocketing up to three-straight 20-plus win seasons from 2020-2022— even despite a move from the Big Sky to the Western Athletic Conference. SUU has been below .500 only twice since Simon’s arrival, his first two seasons in Cedar City. Since then, SUU has won at least 17 games in every season.

His development of players is also notable; in his time at Findlay Prep [NV] HS, Simon coached several NBA prospects, including Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson, Avery Bradley and Christian Wood. Southern Utah also had great individual success under Simon’s tenure, with six of the top 10 scorers in Thunderbirds history all having played for him.

This season, SUU finished 22-12, including 12-6 in the WAC, finishing third in the conference in the regular season.

Simon will be the eighteenth coach in BGSU history, and will be expected to put the Falcons in position to get to their first NCAA Tournament since 1968. Simon is expected to be introduced to media at a time and date still to be determined.