Southern tops Berea

A familiar face will not be on the sideline when the Madison Southern Lady Eagles return to the basketball court next fall. After nine seasons leading the Lady Eagles, Summer Simmons stepped down last week.

During her tenure as coach, Simmons guided her squad to nine straight trips to the 11th Region Tournament and captured two 44th District titles along the way.

“I told the team on Tuesday,” Simmons said. “I want to be able to spend more time with my family, especially while my daughters are little. I will miss coaching these girls, for sure. I am thankful for all my assistant coaches and player, both past and present.”

Simmons took over the Lady Eagles program during the 2010-2011 season. Over her nine seasons, she compiled a 126-142 record, including a 63-58 record versus region foes and a 35-14 mark against district competition. In 2015, her team posted a 21-8 record, winning the district tournament and advancing to the second round of the region tournament after knocking off Lexington Catholic in the program’s first-ever region tournament victory.

This past season, the Lady Eagles finished with a 16-14 record and won the 44th District championship.

Madison Southern Athletics Director Robert Hammonds said Simmons left tough shoes to fill.

“Summer has been an absolute asset, not only to the basketball program but our school,” he said. “She is a tremendous role model for our girls, and she cares for all the girls. It shows in her passion for the game and the team. She is stepping away right now to give more time to her young kids and husband, Jay, which is understandable.”

Though no longer coaching, Simmons will continue in her role as a special education teacher at Madison Southern.

As for the future leader of the program, Hammonds said he posted the job on the Kentucky High School Athletic Association website.

“We’re going to give some time for the dust to settle, and then we will see who all is interested and talk with the vested parties and go from there,” he said.