Simon honored by SIAC Conference for Division II ADA Award
In the short time that Patric Simon has served as Director of Athletics at Tuskegee University, he has already received major recognition by the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Last Tuesday, Simon was notified on behalf of SIAC Commissioner Gregory Moore that the Department of Athletics at Tuskegee University was chosen for the 2013 NCAA Division Athletic Directors’ Association annual award given out by the SIAC.
Additionally, Simon will be attending the 2013 National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics annual conference in Orlando, Fla. this summer as the conference representative for the SIAC. From June 10-15, Simon will be in South Florida representing Tuskegee Athletics in one of the highest honors that a director of athletics at the Division II level in the NCAA can receive.
“I am pleased to be recognized by the SIAC of this honor,” Simon said. “It gives me great pleasure to know that we are working to get this department to a higher level, and our work has only just begun. We have already undertaken some changes in the Department of Athletics, and even bigger changes are set upon the horizon in the next couple of months that will move Tuskegee University forward for the better.”
In the short period of time that Simon has been Director of Athletics at Tuskegee University, Simon has put his mark on the athletic department, with a tremendous emphasis on academics. Coach Simon, also affectionately known as ‘Pop,’ has increased the academic advising staff from one person to four different counselors. He has also increased the Study Hall hours from eight to 12 hours per week, and mandatory Study Hall for freshman and transfers.
The athletic football facility, Cleve L. Abbott Stadium, has undertaken some small renovations that have given it a huge facelift. Rotting debris and dying trees were removed from the facility, and the dressing rooms at the end zone near the scoreboard have been reconstructed with a solid wood exterior, and new layers of paint to match the school’s colors of crimson and gold. Additionally, other safety hazards that were around the stadium were also destroyed and removed, such as the old shed that was located approximately 100 feet behind the student section of the stadium.
The Daniel ‘Chappie’ James Center (home to TU Basketball) also underwent some major renovations as well. A new weight room was developed underneath the building to accommodate both basketball teams (along with other Olympic sports in the TU athletic profile), and thorough cleaning was also given to some of the more abandoned areas around the facility as well.
Simon oversaw the return of excellence for Tuskegee Football, as the Golden Tigers had a 10-2 record while earning the 2012 SIAC Conference Championship – the 26th outright conference football title in school history. During this run, the Golden Tigers claimed victories over Simon’s collegiate alma mater (Johnson C. Smith University) in the inaugural Inner City Classic, two victories over Fort Valley State University (the East Division Champion, with one of the wins in the SIAC Championship Game), and a victory over archrival Alabama State University in the inaugural game played inside the New ASU Stadium in Montgomery, Ala. during the 2012 Turkey Day Classic on Thanksgiving Day. Tuskegee Football also earned conference honors with the player of the year, coach of the year, and a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy, which is often considered the equivalent of the Heisman Trophy in NCAA Division II.
Improvements have come along in other sports as well, with the volleyball team earning a winning record for the first time in recent memory. The women’s basketball team also looks to be a threat once again for the SIAC Championship, going undefeated midway through the conference schedule after reaching the SIAC Championship Game in Atlanta one year ago. The men’s basketball team, SIAC Champions of the regular season one year ago, is also looking the serve as a threat in the tournament after playing a brutal non-conference schedule that has allowed them to gain strong footing in conference play. The baseball team is currently undergoing renovations at their home stadium on-campus, so all games in the 2013 season will be played at Patterson Field in Montgomery.
© 2013 Tuskegee University