Minnesota saw immediate production at receiver once Simon took the reigns. Minnesota had six receivers record a catch of at least 25 yards, which was the most for the Gophers since 2012 when they also had six. Tyler Johnson also became a breakout star for the Gophers, as the All-Big Ten Honorable Mention selection led Minnesota with 35 receptions for 677 yards and seven touchdowns. His 677 receiving yards were the fifth most ever by a Minnesota sophomore, while his seven receiving touchdowns were the second most ever by a Gopher sophomore.
At Western Michigan, Simon took the Broncos to new heights. In 2016, Western Michigan passed for 3,533 yards and 33 touchdowns. The man responsible for the majority of those yards, receptions and touchdowns was Simon-coached NCAA Consensus All-American Corey Davis. Davis, who was the first Consensus All-American in Western Michigan history, caught 91 passes for 1,427 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2016. He ended his career with 5,212 yards in four seasons, which made him the Football Bowl Subdivision all-time career receiving record holder.
In 2015, Simon coached the most prolific receiver duo in the country since 2002. The duo of Daniel Braverman and Davis were the first receiving duo since 2002 to catch more than 1,400 and 1,300 yards in the same year (Davis recorded 1,436 yards, while Braverman had 1,371).
Braverman and Davis were each named to the All-MAC team in 2015. Braverman finished second in the FBS nationally in receptions (108), eighth in receiving yards (1,371) and eighth in receiving touchdowns (12). Davis was fifth in the country in receiving yards (1,436) and receiving touchdowns (13), while finishing 12th in receptions (90).
Simon helped turn Braverman and Davis into NFL draft picks as well. Braverman was drafted in 2016 by the Chicago Bears with the 230th overall pick, while Davis was taken in 2017 by the Tennessee Titans fifth overall. Davis, who was the first Consensus All-American in Western Michigan history, caught 91 passes for 1,427 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2016. He ended his career with 5,212 yards in four seasons, which makes him the Football Bowl Subdivision all-time career receiving record holder. Davis joined Randy Moss as the only Mid-American Conference receiver to be drafted in the first round.
Simon spent two years at Rutgers before joining P.J. Fleck at Western Michigan. He coached receivers at Rutgers in 2013 and worked in player development in 2012.
Simon is extremely familiar with head coach P.J. Fleck and the state of Minnesota. Fleck was Simon’s position coach at Northern Illinois. Simon, who is from Minnesota, spent the 2011 season coaching tight ends at the nearby University of St. Thomas.
Simon started his coaching career at his alma mater Northern Illinois, as he was an offensive quality control assistant for the Huskies in 2010.
As a receiver at Northern Illinois, Simon earned four letters from 2004-08 and served as a co-captain. He caught 96 career passes for 1,660 yards and averaged 17.3 yards per catch. Simon caught passes in 20 straight games during one stretch and totaled five career 100-yard receiving games. He racked up a team-best 969 yards on 52 catches in 2007. During his senior year, he was one of only 22 players in the nation selected to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team for leadership and work in the community.
Simon earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational management and signed a contract with the New Orleans Saints after college.
Simon and his wife, Charlotte, were married in July 2016.
SIMON AT A GLANCE
2017-present: Minnesota - Wide Receivers
2014-17: Western Michigan - Wide Receivers
2013: Rutgers - Wide Receivers
2012: Rutgers - Player Development
2011: University of St. Thomas (Minn.) - Tight Ends
2010: Northern Illinois - Offensive Quality Control
Playing Experience: Northern Illinois (wide receiver), 2004-08; New Orleans Saints (wide receiver), 2009-10
Birthday: December 4, 1985
Hometown: Farmington, Minn.
High School: Farmington High School, 2004
Alma Mater: Northern Illinois, 2008 (organizational management)
Elite Access: Gophers at Target Field
6/22/2018 - Football
The entire Gopher Football team traveled to Target Field in Minneapolis to watch the Minnesota Twins play the Boston Red Sox in June.
6/18/2018 - Football
Jerry Gibson and Winston DeLattiboudere are spending their summer as Como Park Zoo and Conservatory security guards.
Player Profile: Antonio Shenault
6/18/2018 - Football
Antonio Shenault will help lead a young defensive back group in 2018. The senior has played in 33 games and has made 111 tackles.