Nov. 6, 2000
STILLWATER, Okla. -- Head Football Coach Bob Simmons announced today he will resign his position at Oklahoma State University at the end of the season.
"I have informed Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips that I am resigning as head football coach, effective at the end of this season," Simmons said. "This has been a very difficult decision, and it was reached only after considerable thought and prayer."
"I truly believe we have accomplished a number of positive things, and I am proud of those accomplishments," he said. "I am confident that the Oklahoma State football program is in much better shape right now than when I came here six years ago."
"We have successfully recruited a high-caliber student-athlete, and I am proud of both the graduation rate and retention rate of those student-athletes. While I am certainly not happy with the won-lost record of the past six years, I know we won substantially more games than in the six years prior to 1995."
"I recognize the expectations of our fans rose dramatically with some of the early successes we enjoyed," he said. "I also recognize that you reach a point where there is a perception that those expectations are not being met. I disagree with the basis of that perception, but I understand the reality of the situation."
"I want to thank my coaching staff for their tireless effort. I also want to thank the players who have worn this uniform over the past six seasons. It has truly been a pleasure to coach them and I am proud of the things we have accomplished together. I want to thank the people of the State of Oklahoma who have resonded so favorably to me and my family. Most of all, however, I want to thank my family for standing beside me through the past six years."
Terry Don Phillips, OSU's Director of Athletics, accepted Coach Simmons' resignation and will forward it to OSU President James Halligan. Phillips said Coach Simmons' contract would be honored. Phillips also acknowledged the improvement in OSU's football program over the past six years.
"We have made significant improvement since Coach Simmons arrived," Phillips said. "His efforts have undoubtedly resulted in the overall foundation of this program being stronger now than they were six years ago."
"I also recognize the won-lost record of the past six seasons has far exceeded the record of the comparable six years before Coach Simmons came to OSU," Phillips said. "He had three victories over an in-state rival in the first four years and took us to a bowl game in the third year. All of that results in dramatically higher expectations that have not been met."
Phillips said the process to find a new head coach will begin immediately.
"I again want to emphasize to our fans and supporters that I know we can have a consistent football program that will be strongly competitive in the Big 12 Conference. We will exhaust every avenue in the search to find a coach to lead this program. I am sensitive to the fact we are already in an important recruiting window, and we will complete the process as quickly as possible."
Phillips did acknowledge he had contracted the services of Chuck Neinas to help evaluate all issues relating to the OSU football program.
Coach Simmons was hired at OSU in December of 1994. His first OSU team finished 4-8 but won two of its last three, including a 12-0 win over Oklahoma. Simmons' second OSU squad finished 5-6 with narrow losses to Missouri and Oklahoma.
In 1997, the Cowboys won their first six games and achieved a No. 12 national ranking. The Cowboys would finish the season with an 8-4 record after losing to Purdue in the Alamo Bowl.
Oklahoma State finished 5-6 in both 1998 and 1999. The Cowboys currently have an overall record of 2-6.