ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Cliff Keen Wrestling Club has added former U.S. World Team member Nick Simmons to its coaching staff, the club announced Friday (July 20). Simmons, who also brings eight years of collegiate coaching experience, will work with both CKWC senior-level and Michigan RTC athletes.
“Nick brings a lot to the table,” said University of Michigan head coach Sean Bormet. “He’s a former U.S. world team member, so he brings world-class freestyle experience. He has a unique skill set both collegiately and internationally, a strong body of work in coaching, deep Michigan ties, and he loves to train hands on. He is passionate about coaching every age level; he is just as excited to coach cadets and juniors in Fargo as he is coaching senior-level athletes. He loves wrestling and loves coaching, and I appreciate his enthusiasm.”
“I’m excited to be working with the CKWC,” said Simmons. “It’s going to be a blast. I love working with and helping their athletes; it’s even better with my brother training there. I’m looking forward to working with Sean, Josh, Kellen and Dave. I get along well with all of them and have the same mentality and goals for our athletes. I hope to bring a different kind of excitement around these guys — and the state of Michigan — and help get them some world medals and championships.”
Simmons is the co-founder and owner of the Simmons Academy of Wrestling (SAW), a wrestling gym geared toward youth and high school wrestlers located near Lansing, Michigan. Simmons opened SAW in July 2017 after serving five years as an assistant coach at Indiana (2013-17), including four as associate head coach. Simmons also spent three seasons on staff at Oregon State (2010-12).
Among the most decorated wrestlers in Michigan State history, Simmons was a four-time NCAA All-American (2003, ’05-07) and three-time Big Ten champion at 125 and 133 pounds. He placed top four at NCAAs in each of his last three seasons. He ranks second in MSU program history with 138 career wins and holds the school’s career pins record with 47. A three-time team captain, Simmons was named the 2005 Michigan State Male Athlete of the Year.
Simmons was a seven-year U.S. National Freestyle Team member and represented the United States at the 2011 World Championships, where he earned fifth place at 55kg/121 pounds. He was a two-time Olympic alternate, taking runner-up at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials and placing third in 2008. He was the 55kg champion at the 2009 U.S. Open and won a Pan-American gold medal in 2005.
His freestyle success extended across multiple age levels. He made three University World teams, placing fifth in 2005, and was a three-time Fargo junior champion and four-time finalist.