Another Roy Simmons enters the lacrosse coaching arena
Another Roy Simmons is coaching lacrosse in Syracuse.
Roy Simmons IV is the new boys lacrosse coach at Manlius Pebble Hill school. The 24-year-old graduate of Fayetteville-Manlius High School and Hartwick College is the latest in a line of those with one of the most famous names in lacrosse to try his hand coaching the sport.
Simmons is the descendant of Syracuse University lacrosse royalty. His father, Roy III, played at SU and has been part of the men’s program for 27 years. He was a longtime assistant coach and is currently director of operations for the Orange.
His grandfather, Roy Jr., was an Orange All-American in the 1950s who coached the team to six national championships from 1971-98. His great-grandfather, the late Roy Sr., also was an All-American at SU and ran the Orange program from 1931-70. Both of them are in the national lacrosse Hall of Fame.
Simmons IV said the challenge at MPH, a small, private school that has little lacrosse tradition, is significant.
MPH plays an independent schedule and the current roster only includes 12 players.
“It’s definitely tough,” he said of numbers that don’t even allow for a second midfield line. “We’ll have to do some weird things with how we play.
“There are kids who are really involved in other extra-curricular things in the school, which is great, but it kind of limits what they can do with practice,” said the former attackman at Hartwick who the team in scoring his senior season.
“I went to F-M,” he said of the perennial Class A lacrosse power. “The whole atmosphere is a lot different. There’s a ton of community within this school. It’s very tight-knit.”
Simmons IV knows it will take some time to develop a program.
“I feel like I’m starting with a blank slate, which is great,” he said. “I can develop the players in a different way. I can already tell they have pride in their school team.”
A business major in college, Simmons has worked for Rhino Lax and coaches travel teams and helps run lacrosse clinics. He also works at a local pizza shop and is living at his parents’ home in Fayetteville.
Simmons, whose younger brother, Ryan, currently plays for SU, is never far from lacrosse knowledge. He said he talks to his father and grandfather frequently about coaching the sport he’s grown up with.
“This is really a good start for kind of seeing where this goes,” he said. “Who knows where this will take me.”