Justin Simon, a four-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs in the early 2000s, returned to Yale in 2011, and enters his sixth season as an Assistant Coach in the 2016-17 season. He is the only person to win an Ivy League Men’s Basketball Championship at Yale as both a player (2002) and a coach (2015, 2016).
During Simon’s tenure, the Bulldogs have posted a 50-20 (.714) Ivy League record, made three postseason appearances, including earning the first NCAA Tournament victory in school history in 2016, and won a pair of league championships.
Simon played a key role in a memorable 2015-16 season when Yale won 23 games, the most since 1906-07, captured a second straight Ivy League title with a 13-1 record, matching the 1961-62 team for the best in school history, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 54 years where the Bulldogs upset Baylor.
Simon’s primary responsibilities include recruiting, opponent scouting and post player development.
During his tenure at Yale, Simon has worked with All-Ivy post players Greg Mangano ’12 and two-time Ivy League Player of the Year Justin Sears ’16. Under his guidance, Yale has been one of the best teams in the nation in free throw rate and team defense. Additionally, Yale has finished No. 1 in offensive rebounding percentage in four of his five seasons.
His first five years coaching at Yale have coincided with one of the most successful stretches in school history. He has been intimately involved with every Yale postseason appearance in the modern era, including the 2016 NCAA Tournament victory over Baylor. Simon has also been present for all three of the 20-win seasons Yale has had during James Jones’ tenure – one as a player and two as an assistant coach.
Prior to returning to Yale, Simon spent time as science teacher and coach at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, as well as time working in the financial services industry.
As a player at Yale, Simon was a member of Jones’ first recruiting class, and in 2002, was a member of Yale’s first Ivy League championship team since 1963. He was also the recipient of the Senior Class and top free throw shooter awards during his tenure.
Simon and his wife Tricia have one daughter, Divera, and reside in Hamden, Connecticut.