MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Middle Tennessee head football coach Derek Mason announced today the hiring of Kendall Simmons as the program’s offensive line coach. Simmons is an eight-year NFL veteran as an offensive lineman.
“Kendall understands the technical proficiency and level of detail associated with how to play along the offensive line at a high level,” said Mason. “Speaking to coaches like Hugh Freeze and Will Friend who have seen him firsthand, they all acknowledge his teaching ability. He is a special coach, a great relationship builder, understands the game, and fits exactly what we want in the development of our student-athletes.”
A two-time First Team All-SEC and All-American offensive lineman at Auburn, Simmons spent the previous five seasons with the Tigers as an offensive analyst from 2019 to 2022 before becoming the offensive line coach in 2023.
“I am very excited about being a part of Blue Raider nation because of the respect I have for Coach Mason and the program I know he is going to build here,” said Simmons. “He is a developer of young men both on and off the field and that fits with how I am as well. Coach Mason saw how I worked at Auburn, and he is giving me my first opportunity. You better believe I am going to make the most of it and help him build the culture and get this place rocking.”
The 2001 SEC Jacobs Blocking Trophy winner, Simmons started 36 games for Auburn from 1997-2001 and was a member of a pair of SEC Western Division Championship teams in 1997 and 2000 and a co-championship team in 2001.
Following his collegiate career, Simmons was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 30th overall pick in the first round of the 2002 NFL Draft and went on to play seven seasons in the yellow and black. He was named the team’s Rookie of the Year in 2002 and won Super Bowls XL and XLIII with the organization during the 2005 and 2008 seasons. Simmons retired after playing the 2009 season for Buffalo and New England.
Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2003, Simmons has played an active role in the diabetes community and has served as a motivational speaker for children and adults with diabetes across the country.
Simmons, voted one of the top 100 players in the NFL in 2002, is a current member of the NFL Legends/Alumni group, the Retired NFLPA, the American Diabetes Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
A native of Ripley, Mississippi, Simmons graduated from Auburn with a degree in graphic design in 2001. He married the former Celesta Henry in the summer of 2002, and the couple has four children, Kensley, Laila, Olivia Pearl and Tyce.