FC Wichita Announces Hire of Rafael Simmons
FC Wichita announces Rafael Simmons to it's coaching staff. The Brazilian born (Rio de Janiero), and Bristol England native brings a wealth of knowledge to the Wichita soccer community.
Simmons begins his duties with FC Wichita as USL Men's assistant coach and Director of Coaching for the U9-U12 age groups, after accepting the head coaching position at Barton County Community College. Simmons from Tulsa, Oklahoma, having spent the past two years with the Tulsa Soccer Club as the Director of the Elite Clubs National League ("ECNL") and coach of two elite teams. Simmons was also one of the assistant coaches for the semi-pro women’s team (Tulsa SC) of the Women’s Premier Soccer League ("WPSL") , capturing the 2021 WPSL Red River Conference North title with four players drafted into the NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League). Additionally, one of Simmons’ former youth players at Tulsa SC was recently called up into the United States U14 Youth National Team Camp.
A familiar face to the KJCCC and coaching against the Cougars, Simmons was the head coach at Neosho County Community College from 2015 through the 2019 season.
On the men’s side, Simmons led the Panthers to the 2017 Jayhawk East title and a No. 5 national ranking, compiling a 57-35-3 overall record and 28-21-1 conference mark.
Taking over the women’s program in 2016 struggling to field players, Simmons revitalized the Panthers to end a 37-match winless streak across to seasons in rising to the program’s first ever national ranking in just his third season. Overall Simmons’ Lady Panthers’ record finished at 11-36-1 in conference play and 22-48-2 overall.
At Neosho, Simmons guided 28 players to All-Conference selections, 13 players to All-Region honors, and 11 players received Scholar All-American honors.
Under Simmons’ leadership, over 30 players transferred to 4-year collegiate programs in his last 3 seasons. Coach Simmons recruited top student-athletes nation-wide including players from USSDA academies, ECNL clubs, and Gatorade Players of the Year.
While at Neosho, in 2017 Simmons served as the assistant Coach for Ozarks FC in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL).
Collegiately, Simmons was a two-time All-Region selection at Crowder College, moving on to earn All-Conference honors at NAIA powerhouse Ashford University where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education and Coaching.
Simmons began his coaching career as the head varsity coach at Prince of Peace College Preparatory in Clinton, Iowa, before moving on to Dakota Wesleyan University helping the Tigers to their first winning season in ten years. Working primarily with the defenders and goalkeepers, Simmons’ defense posted twelve shutouts and conference and national player of the week honors in his two seasons. While at DWU, Simmons completed his Master of Arts in Education and Policy while holding multiple other coaching positions at different levels including Head Coach of the Dakota Alliance Soccer Club and the Dakotas Olympic Development Program (ODP).
A United Soccer Coaches Premier Diploma certified, Simmons also holds a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) B License and is currently pursuing his USSF A-Senior License.
Before coming to the United States, Simmons spent time playing in the youth academy of Bristol City FC and with the English Southern League side Bristol Manor Farm FC. During that time Simmons had the opportunity to participate in the English F.A. Youth Cup, English F.A. Cup, and the English F.A. Vase.
Native of Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janiero, Brazil, Simmons moved to Bristol, England, at ten years old before entering the United States to compete collegiately and attain his education degrees.
Fluent in both English and Portuguese, Simmons and his wife Sarah, have two sets of twins, Mikael and Mylah (age 5) and younger duo Annika and Avery (age 3).