HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Bill Simpson, Coker College's head tennis coach for the past three years, announced that he has accepted a new career opportunity as the Director of Junior Tennis at Starmount Forest Country Club, located in Greensboro, N.C. At Starmount, Simpson will supervise the tennis operations within the junior tennis program.
"It is hard to express how much the Coker family means to me, and how much Coker has added value to my life," said Simpson. "From meeting my wife, graduating with my bachelors and masters degree, receiving my first head coaching position, and all of the Coker tennis accomplishments along the way. Coker College has been a very important part of my life for almost a decade."
Simpson, a 2013 Coker graduate and former member of the Cobras tennis team, began his coaching career with the Navy and Gold as an assistant in 2013. Simpson wasted little time achieving success in his first coaching role as he assisted in leading the Cobras men's tennis team to the 2013 Conference Carolinas championship. In addition, Simpson guided the Coker women's tennis team to their third consecutive conference tournament appearance in 2013.
In January of 2015, Simpson was promoted to head coach of the Cobras tennis teams. During his first season at the helm, Simpson led the men's team to a six-win season and produced two All-SAC selections in William Marrafao and Mark Watt. On the women's side, Simpson steered the Navy and Gold to a South Atlantic Conference tournament berth in the program's first season with the conference. Bailey Palmer and Ragan Palmer earned 2015 All-SAC honors as a doubles team.
Simpson coached both the men's and women's teams to 6-5 records in 2016, as both teams made the South Atlantic Conference championships. Simpson coached Tom Sizeland, who was named South Atlantic Conference Player of the Week twice, and also named to the All-Conference first team for singles. He was also named South Atlantic Conference Man of the Year, along with being a member of the 2015-16 CoSIDA Academic All-District and All-America team. Sizeland, along with doubles partner Mark Watt, was selected to the All-SAC second team for doubles, while William Marrafao was named to the All-SAC singles second team.
In 2017, Simpson guided the men's team to eight wins, including a win over Division I opponent, The Citadel.
"Bill has been a part of Coker tennis for six years, as a player and as a coach, said Vice President of Athletics and Athletic Facilities Dr. Lynn Griffin. "While we will miss him running our program on a day -to -day basis, we know that he will always be a part of the Coker tennis program. This is an exciting opportunity for him and his family."
"I can never thank Dr. Wyatt and Dr. Griffin enough for believing in me all those years ago and continuing to believe in me today," stated Simpson. "I will forever be a Cobra and will forever hold the memories gained here close to my heart."