Chris Simmons is in his third year as the athletic trainer for the University of Memphis men's basketball program. In 2006, Simmons made a return to the university where he earned his bachelor's degree in Exercise and Sport Science in 2002.
In his role with the Tigers, Simmons is responsible for injury prevention and rehabilitation and serves as the liaison between team doctors and the coaching staff.
Simmons has been a member of the Tiger staff that helped direct Memphis to consecutive record-setting seasons. Last year, Memphis won an NCAA record 38 games (38-2 record) and reached the NCAA Tournament championship game.
En route to the NCAA title contest, Simmons' quick work on Derrick Rose's cut above his eye suffered in the South Region semifinal game against Michigan State aided the Tigers' postseason run. Rose finished the Michigan State game and had a tremendous performance against Texas in the regional final to claim the NCAA South Region MVP honor.
The Tigers also swept the Conference USA regular season and tournament titles, and were ranked No. 1 in both national polls for a school-record, five-straight weeks in 2007-08.
In his first year on staff in 2006-07, Memphis posted a 33-4 overall record, won the Conference USA regular season and tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. In fact, Simmons' around-the-clock aid on Chris Douglas-Roberts' sprained ankle in between the NCAA Tournament second round and the region semifinal got the Tiger guard ready for action with only a three-day turnaround.
Simmons, a McComb, Miss., native, came to the Memphis athletics department after working the 2005-06 year as the head trainer for the Arkansas RimRockers of the NBDL. In that position, he was responsible for coordinating all athletic training, team equipment and medical billing and assisted the team with travel administration.
Prior to accepting the RimRockers' post in summer of 2005, Simmons was a graduate assistant athletic trainer at the University of Arkansas, where he earned a master's degree in Education with a concentration in Sports Management in December of 2004. While pursuing his master's, Simmons worked with the Razorback football team from 2002-04.
As an undergraduate at Memphis, he was a student athletic trainer for the Tigers' football, men's basketball and baseball teams.
Simmons also completed two internships while in school. He was an athletic training intern for the National Football League's Cleveland Browns at summer training camps in 2000 and 2001. He was an intern for the NBA's Houston Rockets in the summer of 2006.
Simmons is a certified member of the National Athletic Trainers' Association and National Society of Black Athletic Trainers.
In the summer of 2008, Simmons also served as the trainer for the Conference USA All-Star team that played a three-game exhibition tour against the Chinese National Team in China.