Grambling State head coach Hue Jackson didn’t even leave the football facility to find its next offensive coordinator.
Jackson on Friday confirmed that John Simon would be elevated to the position after previously being named assistant head coach and wide receivers coach.
Simon takes over for Art Briles, who resigned from the staff on Monday amid widespread criticism of his hiring. Briles indicated in a statement that his decision was motivated in not being a distraction, though the ex-Baylor coach suggested in an interview on Thursday that internal influences within the program led to his departure.
Simon was previously the wide receivers coach at Memphis before leaving the program after being placed on administrative leave last February surrounding a Title IX and sexual misconduct complaint that was filed against him.
“Stepping away from the University of Memphis was one of the toughest decisions my family and I have had to make, but a necessary one for us all,” Simon said in a statement following his resignation. “In regard to my resignation, I deny all allegations made against me and will be moving forward in the best interest of my career.”
No action was taken against Simon, however, as Memphis’ Office for Institutional Equity, which completed an investigation into what were described as inappropriate text messages and in-person sexual advances, closed the case since he was no longer a school employee.
Before his stint at Memphis, Simon spent the two seasons as the associate head coach and running backs coach at Arizona State. Simon, a former NFL running back with the Tennessee Titans and Washington Commanders, also had stints in the college game at Louisiana-Lafayette and Southern Miss.
“I trust John wholeheartedly,” Jackson told the local press. “Obviously, I’ll be totally involved in the offense (and) looking forward to moving things forward. “We don’t flinch when things happen, we just kind of move on, circle the wagon and keep on moving.”