Former Maryland standout Duane Simpkins is in his first year on
UNCG men’s basketball coach Wes Miller’s staff as an
“Duane Simpkins is a terrific addition to our staff with experience at multiple levels of basketball as a player and as a coach,” Miller said upon hiring Simpkins. “He has outstanding interpersonal skills, a winning mentality and a great understanding of the game. He will impact our staff immediately in recruiting and in the development of our guards, among many other areas. We welcome Duane, his wife, Kirsten, and his kids, Kai, Darian and Elijah, to our basketball family.”
Simpkins came to UNCG after a one-year stint as the coordinator of basketball operations under coach Pat Skerry at Towson.
“It feels great,” Simpkins said about joining the UNCG staff. “I’m really enthusiastic about it. I’m really enthusiastic to be working with Wes, especially because he’s coming from that coaching tree and great tradition of North Carolina basketball. He and I share a lot of similar basketball philosophies in terms of helping student-athletes get their degrees, skill development, game preparation, what needs to be done in practice and what needs to be done with the young men that are in our program, and we both share the vision of UNCG representing the SoCon in the NCAA tournament. I’m excited to be working with Mike Roberts, Jackie Manuel, JB Tanner and Kevin Oleksiak. This is a great part of the country. My wife is excited to be down here, my kids are excited to be down here, so it’s going to be a great time for us.”
Prior to joining the Towson staff, Simpkins was the head coach at St. Albans School in Washington, D.C., from 2007-11. For the two years prior to that, Simpkins was the head coach at Sidwell Friends School, also in Washington. He was an assistant coach at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Va., in 1999-2000.
Simpkins was an assistant compliance administrator at his alma mater in 2004-05 following a professional playing career that saw him play in China, Italy, the Dominican, France and Belgium, as well as in the United States. Simpkins, who concluded his professional career with the Shandong Tigers in Shandong, China, played in the USBL and the ABA in the U.S. from 2000-02. He also played with the Memphis Grizzlies in the Summer Pro League.
A McDonald’s High School All-American at DeMatha Catholic High School under legendary Hall of Fame coach Morgan Wootten, Simpkins was just the third freshman to make DeMatha’s varsity team.
Simpkins was a three-time honorable mention All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection at Maryland, helping the Terrapins to three NCAA appearances, including a pair of Sweet Sixteen showings. A three-year starter and captain under coach Gary Williams from 1992-96, Simpkins finished his career with 1,123 points over his 119-game career. He was a career 81.2 percent free throw shooter and his 483 career assists rank him seventh on the Terrapins’ all-time list.
The owner and director of “Power Through Sports” camps and clinics in Washington, Simpkins has also served as a basketball analyst for Comcast SportsNet.