MEMPHIS – After a successful five-year stint at Gardner Webb, Alex Simmons returns to her home state of Tennessee to lead the Memphis Tigers as the program’s 13th head women’s basketball coach.

” As soon as I answered the phone, I told them I’ve been waiting on this one,” said Simmons.

As a player, Simmons had plenty of success helping the Lady Vols’ win two NCAA National Championships, under legendary head coach Pat Summit, but as a coach she says she’s had to take a tougher route than most coaches would want to take.

” I started from the bottom, from going from playing to being a grad assistant, to being an assistant for five years, then being an assistant for another three years, and then finally becoming a head coach. So I really felt like I had to work to get to where I am,” said Simmons.

Simmons takes over a Memphis program that made it to the ‘Super 16’ in the WNIT. Simmons hoping to build on that momentum, after she led Gardner Webb to a Big South Championship and its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2011.

” The thought always is that the players need to prove something to you, but I think my staff and I, we have to prove to our players that they can trust us, and that we’re going to put in as much work as they do on the basketball court,” said Simmons.