With nearly 30 years of coaching experience, including 22 years as an assistant in the Southeastern Conference, Assistant Coach Larry Simcox brings a wealth of knowledge to the Tennessee program and a renowned track record of success. Named an assistant coach by Head Coach Dave Serrano in June 2015, Simcox will hold the responsibility of hitting instructor, coaching Tennessee's infielders and serving as third base coach for the Vols beginning next season.
Returning to Rocky Top for his second stint as an assistant coach, Simcox previously spent 17 seasons as an assistant on the Vols' coaching staff from 1991-2007. During his first term with UT, he proved to be an instrumental piece in Tennessee's postseason successes, including two SEC Championship titles (1994-95) and three appearances in the College World Series in 1995, 2001 and 2005.
"I am proud to announce that I am bringing Larry Simcox back to the Tennessee Baseball family," Serrano said. "Having coached alongside Larry during the 1995-96 years at Tennessee and having remained friends over the past 20 years, his proven success in SEC player development also led to this being a great decision. Every day, I see our signs on the outfield fence which signify Regional and World Series appearances. Larry Simcox was a part of those teams and I could not pass on what I believe he will bring back to our program."
Along with team successes, Simcox has also coached more than 100 players that have signed professional baseball contracts in his career, including former Vols Todd Helton, Joe Randa and Chris Burke. Four players, including current New York Yankee Chase Headley, won SEC batting titles under his tutelage, while 15 players have gone on to play in the Major Leagues. Over the course of 17 seasons, he coached nine first-round draft picks and 25 All-Americans for the Orange & White.
"I am excited to be back at Tennessee and to have the opportunity to coach with Dave again, as well as this staff," Simcox said. "I am ready to help this program get back to the success it has had in the past."
Since his departure from UT following the 2007 season, Simcox helped establish Knoxville's Diamond Baseball-Simcox Academy, providing professional instruction and facilities to teach fundamental baseball and softball skills for local youth athletes.
Prior to his first arrival at Tennessee in 1990, Simcox assisted former Ole Miss Rebels Head Coach Jake Gibbs from 1985-90. While at Ole Miss, he handled recruiting and coaching the Rebels infield, as well as being the first base coach and hitting instructor. He coached 22 Rebels who signed professional contracts, including six middle infielders and four future Major League players. As the recruiting coordinator, he also put together two nationally-ranked recruiting classes.
Simcox played collegiate baseball at Ole Miss, where he graduated in 1982 with a degree in marketing. As the Rebels' starting shortstop for two years after transferring from Cleveland State Community College, he was named All-Southeastern Conference as a senior, batting a team-high .374 and posting a fielding percentage of .940. During that same season, he set a NCAA record by striking out only one time in 194 plate appearances.
Simcox was selected by the Houston Astros in the ninth round of the 1981 Major League Draft and went on to play three seasons of professional baseball before suffering a career-ending knee injury. He played 232 career minor league games, reaching as high as Double A Columbus with the Astros in 1983.
A native of Chattanooga and a longtime resident of the Knoxville area, Simcox was inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2013, he was inducted into the Cleveland State Community College Hall of Fame and most-recently, he was recognized by East Ridge High School as its 2014 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee.
Simcox and his wife, Linda, make their home in Farragut, Tenn. Their daughter, Erin, is a 2014 graduate of the University of Tennessee, while their son, A.J., has started 150 career games as Tennessee's shortstop from 2013-15.