The Rogers State men's soccer team and coach Derek Larkin recently announced Jake Simpson as the assistant coach for the program.
"We're excited to have an assistant coach who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that Jake has from playing in the academy setup in England as well as at a high level in Division II," Larkin said. "It's even more important to have an RSU graduate and someone who has been through the men's soccer program."
The Cambridge, England, native was promoted to the top assistant position after originally joining the coaching staff as a volunteer in January.
Simpson moved into the coaching ranks for the navy and red after wrapping up one of the best seasons Rogers State Athletics as ever seen on the pitch last fall before graduating in December.
"I would like to thank Derek Larkin for the opportunity to step into a coaching role," Simpson said. "Coach Larkin has been way more than a head coach to me during my time in Claremore and I am extremely appreciative of the opportunity to continue to learn from him."
In 2019, Simpson led the Hillcats to the GAC/MIAA Conference Championship and was recognized on the national scale several times. The honors include United Soccer Coaches All-America Third Team, CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team, CoSIDA Academic All-District Team, United Soccer Coaches All-Central Region First Team, and D2CCA All-Central Region First Team.
"Jake helped elevate our program to where it is today," Larkin said. "Jake is a Hillcat all the way through and that brings an extra level of excitement and enthusiasm into our program."
Simpson broke two school records in his senior season. He would put 37 shots on goal and finished with 36 points for the season, averaging 1.8 points per game.
Simpson also received several conference honors including All-GAC/MIAA First Team, GAC/MIAA All-Tournament Team, GAC/MIAA Distinguished Scholar Student-Athlete, and Three-time GAC/MIAA Offensive Player of the Week.
Simpson's past honors include All-Heartland Conference Third Team, Selected CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team, United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-West Region honors in 2017. In 2016 he was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) NCAA Division II Men's All-South Central Region Second Team and All-Heartland Conference First Team.
Simpson played in 59 games for the Hillcats and started in 57 games. He would total 4,729 minutes of playing time on the pitch. He scored 27 goals in his career on the Hill, with 14 of those goals coming in his final season.
Simpson graduated from Rogers State in the fall of 2019 with a bachelor's degree in sports management with a fitness emphasis.
"I am excited to be involved with our guys from a coaching standpoint," Simpson said. "It's a dream come true and I am excited about what the future of our program looks like."