Tulsa Soccer Club President Barry Williams announced that Rafael Simmons has been named ECNL-RL Director, and Coach of two RL teams.
Coach Simmons was most recently the head coach for men’s and women’s soccer at Neosho County Community College, Chanute, Kansas. Under his leadership the men’s program achieved national rankings as high as #5 in the nation and in 2017 were crowned the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Champions. Coach Simmons took over the women’s program in 2016, a team that lacked numbers, were winless for over 2 seasons and without a conference win since 2014. Simmons guided the women’s program to a 7-11 record in 2017, and a 10-10 record in 2018. The women’s program also achieved its first National Ranking under Coach Simmons.
At Neosho, Coach Simmons guided 28 players to All-Conference selections, 13 players to All-Region honors, and 11 players received Scholar All-American honors.
Under Coach Simmons’ leadership, over 30 players transferred to 4-year collegiate programs in his last 3 seasons. Coach Simmons recruited top student-athletes nation-wide including players from USSDA academies, ECNL clubs, and Gatorade Players of the Year.
Prior to Neosho, Coach Simmons served as the assistant Coach for Ozarks FC in the (NPSL), as an assistant Coach at Dakota Wesleyan University, and as Head Coach at Dakota Alliance Soccer Club, where he helped guide youth players through the college recruiting process. While at Dakota Alliance, Coach Simmons also served as Head Coach for the South Dakota Olympic Development Program (ODP).
Currently pursuing a USSF National B License, Coach Simmons received his Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education and Coaching from Ashford University, where he also played collegiate soccer. Coach Simmons also holds a Master of Arts in Education and Policy from Dakota Wesleyan University, and is fluent in English and Portuguese.
We welcome Coach Simmons, his wife Sarah, and their two sets of twins, Mikael and Mylah who are 3 years old, and Avery and Annika who recently turned 1 to Tulsa Soccer Club.
Girls Director of Coaching Yolanda Thomas on Coach Simmons:
“Coach Rafa stood out tremendously in the hiring process. His knowledge of the game, dedication to developing players on and off the field, and his long track record of preparing players for their next step will provide leadership within the ECNL-RL program that will ensure our players get the best possible experience and resources to achieve their dreams.”
Mike Saddler, Athletic Director Colby Community College on Coach Simmons:
“I hired Rafa at Neosho and if I had an open position, he would be my first call. He is extremely organized and took on the pressure of leading of two programs while raising preemie twins without breaking a sweat. Rafa has a remarkable ability to relate to kids, his players respect him, and under his leadership they want to perform on and off the field.”
Julio Vasquez, Columbus Crew MLS, Team Coordinator “Rafa is a great and genuine person. He is a life-long learner and student of the game who is always looking for ways to improve. He sets high expectations in training but shows immense patience when working with players. His voice is distinct. When he speaks, players listen.”
For more information or interviews, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Nick Salis at 918-261-3402.