Meet the Coaching Staff

NEWARK, Del.  -- New University of Delaware football head coach Danny Rocco added the final piece to his coaching staff Friday as he announced the hiring of successful longtime collegiate and National Football League assistant Matt Simon as offensive coordinator.

Simon, who has spent the last six seasons at NCAA FBS member University at Buffalo and is a veteran of 10 NFL seasons as an assistant coach, will also coach the Blue Hen quarterbacks.

He is the final full-time hire for Rocco, who last week announced the addition of former University of Richmond defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach Chris Cosh; outside linebackers coach Clint Sintim; inside linebackers coach Manny Rojas; offensive line coach Blaine McCorkle; tight ends coach Bill Polin; wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Fontel Mines; and football strength & conditioning coach Chris Stewart; associate director of football operations Carl Kotz; and video coordinator Tony Palmieri to the staff.  Three interns will be added to the staff in the coming weeks.

“We are excited to add Matt Simon to our football family here at the University of Delaware,” said Rocco, who was hired as the Blue Hens’ head coach on Dec. 14. “Coach Simon comes to us with a wealth of experience that will serve our student-athletes well. He has worked at all levels of the game, has had success at each of them, and his experience in the NFL gave him the opportunity to work with some of the greatest coaches and organizations in the country. Matt’s maturity and overall wealth of knowledge and experience make him a perfect fit for our program moving forward.”

“I have been blessed and I am proud to have the opportunity to join Coach Rocco here at Delaware,” said Simon. “I have been impressed with Coach Rocco and believe he is one the most dynamic coaches in the game today. I am looking forward to returning to the Mid-Atlantic region and excited about rebuilding the great traditions of Delaware Football.”

Simon, 63, brings a tremendous resume built upon a decade of coaching in the National Football League and 25 years at the collegiate level, including serving as the head coach and quarterbacks coach at the University of North Texas for three seasons in 1994-97 and serving as an assistant on the University of Washington’s 1991 national championship team. He also won a Super Bowl as an assistant with the Baltimore Ravens in 2000, making him one of only 10 men to win both an NCAA Division I-A/FBS national championship and a Super Bowl.

During his most recent tenure at Buffalo, Bulls offensive players flourished under his tutelage. Simon coached All-Mid American Conference running back Branden Oliver, who ran for a school-record 1,535 yards and became just the 13th player in MAC history to surpass the 4,000-yard mark with a school record total of 4,409.

In 2015, Anthone Taylor (829) and Jordan Johnson (811) became the first running back tandem in UB’s FBS era to go over 800 yards rushing in the same season.  In 2014, Anthone Taylor rushed for 1,403 yards - the second-highest single-season total in school history - and earned second-team All-MAC honors.

In 2013, the Bulls rushed for 2,176 yards - the third most in school history for a single season. Buffalo ranked in the top three in the MAC in scoring (32.3), total offense (438.2), and rushing offense (178.6) in 2014 and was fifth in scoring (30.2) and total offense (394.7) in 2013 when the Bulls went 8-5 and earned a second place finish in the MAC East Division.

Simon began his coaching career at the University of Washington, serving under head coach Don James from 1981-92, a tenure that was highlighted when the Huskies claimed a share of the national championship in 1991. He coached three All-Americans at UW, including running backs Greg Lewis and Napoleon Kaufman.

He then served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at New Mexico from 1992-94 where his offenses ranked 18th and 10th nationally in his two seasons and averagd 30.5 points per game.

He was then named head coach at the University of North Texas, where he coached four seasons and in his first year led the Mean Green to the Southland Conference title and an NCAA I-AA playoff berth. He was named the Southland Conference and AFCA Region 4 Coach of the Year.

After one season with the Denver Broncos in 1998, Simon was named running backs coach with the Baltimore Ravens, where he contributed to tremendous success by the franchise, including helping the Ravens earn a Super Bowl title in 2000.

He also helped lead Baltimore to playoff berths in 2001 and 2003, when the Ravens claimed their first AFC North title. With Baltimore he coached Pro Bowler Jamal Lewis, who in 2003 under Simon’s tutelage, posted the second-highest rushing total in NFL history when he rushed for 2,066 yards and 14 touchdowns.

His success with running backs continued when he spent the 2007-08 seasons with the San Diego Chargers. He helped lead LaDainian Tomlinson to his second NFL rushing title and also tutored Pro Bowl fullback Lorenzo Neal and Darren Sproles.

He also spent time as a professional football consultant and head coach at Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills, Ohio. He has worked with several players to prepare them for the Senior Bowl, NFL Combine and NFL Draft, including Detroit Lions 2010 first-round selection Jahvid Best.

Born in Akron, Ohio and a native of Baltimore, Simon earned four letters as a linebacker at Eastern New Mexico University and was later inducted into the school’s Hall of Honors. He served as a graduate assistant at his alma mater for one season, coached in the high school ranks for a year, and then moved on to his first full-time position at UTEP.

While at Washington, he served as running backs and placekickers coach and helped the Huskies go to 9 bowl games in a 10-season span under head coach Don James, helping the squad share the national championship with Miami in 1991. Simon later was inducted into the UW Hall of Fame.

Simon and his wife, Lisa Wells Simon, have four children - Micah, Matthew, Morgan, and Madison.

Matthew Simon
Born: December 6, 1953 in Akron, Ohio
Hometown: Baltimore, Md.
Playing Career: Linebacker at Eastern New Mexico (1972-75)
Degree: Eastern New Mexico ‘76 (History & Physical Education); Master’s in Physical Education
Family: Wife, Lisa Wells Simon; children Micah, Matthew, Morgan, Madison

Coaching Timeline
1977 - Eastern New Mexico University (GA)
1978 - Borger (Tex.) High School (Assistant)
1979-1981 - University of Texas-El Paso (TE/LB)
1982-1991 - University of Washington (RB/K)
1992-1993 - University New Mexico (OC/QB)
1994-1997 - North Texas State University (Head Coach/QB - 18-26-1; 1994 NCAA I-AA 1st Round)
1998 - NFL Denver Broncos (AC)
1999-2005 - NFL Baltimore Ravens (RB)
2007-2008 - NFL San Diego Chargers (RB)
2009-2010 - Gilmour Academy (Gates Mills, Ohio) (Head Coach)
2011-2016 - University at Buffalo (RB/Special Teams)

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