Santa Monica College (SMC) has filled two key positions in its athletic department.

Gregg Simmons, who has more than 15 years of experience in coaching and athletic management, has been named the interim athletic director. In addition, Jerome Jenkins, head basketball coach at Sacramento State University, has been selected as the new SMC men’s basketball coach.

Simmons began his new position September 9th and will serve until June 30th next year, while Jenkins will start his new job Monday, September 15th.

“We’re extremely pleased to be able to bring these two men on our SMC team,” said Mike Tuitasi, vice president of student affairs. “Both have extensive athletics experience and I look forward to working with them here at SMC.”

Tuitasi said a national search for a permanent athletic director will begin this semester.

Simmons, who is responsible for 16 SMC intercollegiate athletic teams, the coaching staff and several other employees, replaces Rhonda Hyatt, who left last month to take a position at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita. Most recently, he served as executive director for the San Diego Sports Institute for five years.

Before that, Simmons served as an athletics counselor and in head coach cross-country and track and field at San Diego City College. He has also coached at L.A. Southwest College and San Diego State University.

“Gregg Simmons has extensive knowledge of the bylaws and requirements of the California Community Colleges Commission on Athletics, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics,” Tuitasi said.

Simmons received his Bachelor of Science in business management from the University of Redlands and his master’s degree in education with an emphasis in counseling from San Diego State University.

Jenkins replaces Jesse Teplitzky, who left SMC this summer to take the head men’s basketball coaching position at Cerritos College. Jenkins has been head men’s basketball coach at Sacramento State for eight years, the third-longest-tenured men’s basketball coach in the 60-year history of the Hornet program. He also served one year as assistant coach for the Hornets.

After Sacramento State failed to reach the Big Sky Tournament during the team’s first six years in the league, Jenkins guided the program to four straight post-season appearances, from 2002 to 2006. That stretch included a pair of semifinal appearances in 2003 and 2006.

Altogether, Jenkins has 15 years of coaching experience, including two years at Eastern Washington University and four years at Diablo Valley Community College in the San Francisco Bay area. During his tenure, Diablo Valley captured three league titles.

A Los Angeles native, Jenkins attended Fairfax High School and played on the city championship basketball team in 1985. He also played with Los Angeles City College and Southwestern Oregon Community College.

Jenkins received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Regis University in Denver, where he was an all-conference player for two years.

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