Monday, July 18, 2016

Simmons has Prairie View A&M on rise

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Better sooner than later.

Willie Simmons didn’t put a time frame when he’d turn Prairie View A&M into a serious SWAC contender, but did so in his first season as head coach as he led the Panthers to an 8-2 record.

“The thing I told the team in our first-team meeting was that we’ll be successful when everyone buys in,” Simmons said Friday at SWAC media day. “I said, ‘I don’t know when that will be. It might this year. It might be next year. It might be five years down the road,’ but I said when everyone in this room buys in to what we’re trying to build here, we’ll be successful. They bought in last year.”

Now the former Clemson quarterback looks to lead Prairie View to its first conference title since 2009. Riding a six-game winning streak that includes a win over two-time defending SWAC champion Alcorn State, the Panthers have been picked to win the SWAC West this season.

Prairie View was picked to finish fourth last year, but went 8-1 in conference play with loss coming to SWAC West champion Grambling. The Panthers haven’t lost since under the 35-year old Simmons.


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