After looking over his basketball assistant head coaching resume, Bob Simon who was named to replace Matt O’Brien as the number 1 head assistant for the University of Maine men’s basketball team in September is probably without a doubt in my basketball opinion the most experienced and qualified assistant basketball coach that Maine has had in the program’s history.
He comes to Maine from the 56th ranked D-1 basketball team in the country last season, the Alabama Crimson Tide who had a 19-15 record. That is compared to UMaine’s 337th rank out of 351 D-1 men’s teams at 7-25 in the Pomeroy D-1 College Basketball Rankings for the past 2016-17 season.
For this coming 2017-18 season Alabama is ranked 23rd and Maine 332nd in the Pomeroy D-1 RPI Rankings.
He has 25 years of collegiate assistant coaching experience.
The past 3 years from 2015-2017 he was the number one head assistant coach at Alabama, under former NBA player and coach Avery Johnson. He was an assistant at Providence for 9 year from 2006-2015 and during that time period they went to the “Big Dance” 2 years in a row, he was an assistant at Fairfield in Connecticut for 5 years from 2006-11. Prior to that he had experience at Toledo and Wayne State.
Alabama has been to the NIT the past two years in a row
Simon was also on the staffs of 3 NCAA’s March Madness qualifiers, 6 NIT’s and 7 20 win season teams.
He also was part of the recruiting team that got the ESPN’s 5th ranked recruiting class of 2015.
Maine is very, very lucky to get such a qualified veteran experienced number one assistant coach let alone when the season was less then a half a month before the basketball practices started, as his hiring was announced on September 18 on goblackbears.com the Maine men’s basketball website.
Great that he was willing to come to Maine from the 23rd ranked pre-season RPI poll team to a Maine program that is the 332nd ranked team in the same pre-season team Pomeroy RPI Rankings for 2017-18.
Also, that he was willing to leave a warm winter climate of Alabama for the cold, snow and ice of Maine winters.
Coach Walsh is extremely high on Simon and has said that Simon will make everybody in the Maine men’s basketball program better including the players, the other assistant coaches and Walsh himself.
The Blackbears started the exhibition season off in the right direction by looking good in a 84-63 victory over D-3 Husson University of Bangor at the Cross Insurance Center, the home court of Maine.
Maine and Coach Walsh will need Simon’s help with 9 new players (3 freshmen, 2 transfers and 4 JUCO’s) coming in to go with the 8 returning players and a roster that features 12 guards and just 5 front court players of the 13 scholarship players and 4 walk ons.
In fact, Simon may just be the most valuable recruit (including players) that Walsh and his staff have recruited in their 3 years at Maine.
Maine basketball fans should welcome Bob Simon’s addition to the UMaine men’s basketball coaching staff and they should give Coach Walsh a big hurrah for hiring Simon.
All stats and information taken from the UMaine 2017-18 Basketball Program, UMaine men’s basketball goblackbears.com website and an article in the Bangor Daily News announcing Coach Simon’s hiring.