Former Maryland standout Duane Simpkins is in his third year on UNCG men’s basketball coach Wes Miller’s staff as an assistant coach. Simpkins is the Spartans' recruiting coordinator and played an instrumental role in the past three recruiting classes.
Simpkins helped the Spartans post their most wins in a single-season last year with 14 since the 2007-08 campaign. Also, UNCG picked up just its second victory all-time against an ACC opponent last year with a win at Virginia Tech, its first over the ACC since 2007.
Simpkins helped Miler's coaching staff be very active on the recruiting trail in his first full season as the Spartans bringing in seven newcomers for the 2013-14 season, the first full recruiting class under Miller’s tenure. The highly-touted class includes six freshmen and one transfer. The Spartans were aggressive in recruiting North Carolina where they signed three All-State selections, including Clay Byrd and Diante Baldwin.
Miller and his staff also built on their success recruiting from the Baltimore area as they signed the Maryland Player of the Year, Tevon Saddler, a year removed from signing another Baltimore area standout in top-returning scorer Kayel Locke.
Simpkins came to UNCG after a one-year stint as the coordinator of basketball operations under coach Pat Skerry at Towson.
Prior to joining the Towson staff, Simpkins was the head coach at St. Albans School in Washington, D.C., from 2007-11. For the two years prior to that, Simpkins was the head coach at Sidwell Friends School, also in Washington. He was an assistant coach at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Va., in 1999-2000.
Simpkins was an assistant compliance administrator at his alma mater in 2004-05 following a professional playing career that saw him play in China, Italy, the Dominican, France and Belgium, as well as in the United States. Simpkins, who concluded his professional career with the Shandong Tigers in Shandong, China, played in the USBL and the ABA in the U.S. from 2000-02. He also played with the Memphis Grizzlies in the Summer Pro League.
A McDonald’s High School All-American at DeMatha Catholic High School under legendary Hall of Fame coach Morgan Wootten, Simpkins was just the third freshman to make DeMatha’s varsity team.
Simpkins was a three-time honorable mention All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection at Maryland, helping the Terrapins to three NCAA appearances, including a pair of Sweet Sixteen showings. A three-year starter and captain under coach Gary Williams from 1992-96, Simpkins finished his career with 1,123 points over his 119-game career. He was a career 81.2 percent free throw shooter and his 483 career assists rank him seventh on the Terrapins’ all-time list.
The owner and director of “Power Through Sports” camps and clinics in Washington, Simpkins has also served as a basketball analyst for Comcast SportsNet.
Simpkins and his wife Kirsten have three kids - Kai, Darian and Elijah.