UNLV and head coach Dave Rice are set to hire Findlay Prep head coach Todd Simon as an assistant coach, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.
In the ever-competitive prep school basketball landscape, Findlay Prep is second to none, and that is largely attributed to Todd Simon.
Simon has been with the program since its inception in 2006, beginning as an assistant coach and resident director for the student-athletes — the players on Findlay Prep all live together in a home purchased by Cliff Findlay, the founder of Findlay Prep and former UNLV basketball player. For five seasons (2007-08 to 2011-12), Simon worked alongside his friend and former Findlay Prep head coach Michael Peck, who is now assistant coach with the Portland Trailblazer and the head coach of their D-League affiliate the Idaho Stampede, as an associate head coach.
During his time at Findlay Prep, Simon has coached a slew of Division 1 players and NBA players. Most notably Anthony Bennett, the #1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft who spent a year at UNLV after Findlay Prep.
According to Simon’s bio on the Findlay Prep website, “the team has had 30 international student-athletes from 19 different countries as well as 6 McDonald’s All-Americans, 6 Jordan Brand All-Americans, and 6 Parade All-Americans.” Not too shabby considering the program hasn’t even been around for a decade.
In his only season as head coach, Simon guided the Pilots to a 35-1 record with their only loss coming in the semifinals of the ESPN National High School Invitational to St. Benedict’s (NJ). In the previous five years as associate head coach, Findlay Prep compiled a ridiculous record of 157-8. Bear in mind that this team traveled around the country to play some of the nation’s top teams — it was no cupcake schedule.
Simon is no stranger to the college game. Prior to Findlay Prep, he made stops at Pepperdine under Paul Westphal and UNLV under then head coach Lon Kruger assisting with video scouting, and camp and recruiting organization.
In the summer of 2006, he worked as a member of the support staff for Team USA men’s basketball team during their training in Las Vegas assisting a team led by Mike Krzyzewski and assisted by Jim Boeheim, Mike D’Antoni, and Nate McMillan.
With college basketball becoming a more worldly game every season with players coming in from Canada and European countries, the fact that Simon has experience recruiting and coaching players from outside the country will pay dividends for Dave Rice.
You can find Kevin on twitter @KLDoyle11