Simmons hired as new Warren County girls basketball coach
FRONT ROYAL — The decision to get back into coaching was an easy one for Christine Simmons.
The Warren County High School physical education teacher hadn’t coached in a number of years, but when the girls basketball head coach job came open she jumped at the opportunity. Warren County athletic director Ed Dike asked her if she was interested and she said it didn’t take long for her to make a decision.
“It wasn’t something I had at the top of my list or something that I was seeking out to begin with,” Simmons said in an interview at the school on Friday. “But when I was approached about it, I became excited about it almost right away. I told (Dike) let me think about it. But I didn’t really need a lot of time to think about it.”
Simmons was hired as the Warren County girls basketball coach at the last Warren County school board meeting.
She said that she talked it over with her family and they were very supportive of her taking the job.
Simmons said she coached girls basketball at King George High School, where she taught for 10 years before stepping down so she could start a family.
“I didn’t realize how excited I was actually going to be until I allowed myself to really think about it,” Simmons said. “It is exciting to jump back into it. I love basketball. I’ve always loved basketball. So it’s an easy one to jump back into.”
Simmons said that she played basketball in high school and ran cross country as well. She said that she ran cross country at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania as well.
Simmons is replacing John Kelly, who took over the Warren County boys basketball position in June.
Simmons is in her third year teaching at Warren County, and said it does help that she already knows the players.
“Being here and knowing how they are throughout the school, and through other sports, in the community that was a big deciding factor,” Simmons said. “Knowing the girls that I was going to be working with, that definitely helped.”
The Wildcats went 10-13 last season. Warren County played in the Bull Run District last season, but is playing in a 13-team Northwestern District this season.
Simmons said she has talked with some of the players and she believes they are excited about the upcoming season.
“It’s been good vibes,” Simmons said. “Very good vibes from players that have played before and also some potential players that might be out this year. It’s a very exciting time all around. The girls are excited. The coaching staff, I’ve met with them, they’re very excited there as well.”
Simmons said she has talked with her assistant coaches, and they all agree defense needs to be a focal point for the team.
“We all feel strongly that defense is something that is going to be the main focus throughout the entire year regardless,” Simmons said. “Obviously, you want to have a good offense, but if you don’t have a good defense your offense isn’t going to carry your team the whole way.”
Simmons said her relationships with her players are also important. Simmons said she wants to be able to push the players to get the most out of them and have them understand that she’s not doing it to be hard on them.
“I want to see each athlete grow to their full potential or grow toward their full potential,” Simmons said.