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SUU officially hires UNLV interim coach Todd Simon as head basketball coach

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Southern Utah University has hired UNLV interim men's basketball coach Todd Simon as the Thunderbirds' basketball coach, the school officially announced Tuesday afternoon.

"As we entered this process, we were focused on identifying a leader that could elevate this program into a consistent winner and Big Sky Championship contender," SUU athletic director Jason Butikofer said in a statement. "After conducting the search, I felt that Todd was the perfect fit to get us there."

Simon took over the reins at UNLV after the school fired former BYU assistant coach Dave Rice on Jan. 10. He compiled a 9-8 record for the foundering program.

Simon, who was with UNLV's coaching staff for two different stints coached basketball power Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nevada) for seven years.

"My family and I are thankful for the opportunity to become the newest members of the SUU family. We are eager to get ingrained into the SUU and Cedar City community. I could not be more excited for the opportunity ahead and look forward to bringing an exciting brand of basketball to the Centrum," Simon said in a statement.

Despite being founded in 2006, the basketball program — under Simon's guidance — won three ESPN National High School Invitationals and produced several NBA players including Anthony Bennett, Avery Bradley, Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson.

The school will hold a press conference Thursday at 10 a.m. at the SUU Hunter Conference Center, where Butikofer and Simon will first be made available for comment.

Email: amorton@deseretnews.com

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