Aces' coach looks better, feels better after big weight loss - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Aces' coach looks better, feels better after big weight loss

Marty Simmons Marty Simmons

By Joe Danneman - bio | email
Posted by Rich Miller - email

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - The best coaches in any sport are teachers.  They know there's more to sports than just blowing whistles and calling plays.

High school and college coaches also teach life lessons and although Marty Simmons might not know it, he taught his players a lesson in commitment when he made the choice to change his life.

The Aces'' basketball coach has transformed his body since last spring.  He won't say how much weight he lost, but he now looks a lot closer to the player who once suited up for Evansville in the 1980s.

"He looks good," said sophomore guard Troy Taylor.  "He looks real good."

Said senior center Pieter van Tongeren, "The fans are going to be blown away."

A side-by-side comparison of photographs from last year's team photo to this year's--taken just this week--shows how dramatic Simmons' weight loss was.  It's not something he talks a lot about and he won't say exactly how many pounds have come off but clearly he knew it was time to do something.

"You know, I feel better, I certainly look better. Not much to work with there, but I know I look better," he said with a smile.

Simmons calls it a lifestyle change.  He says family and friends encouraged him. 

"I'm proud of Coach Simmons," Taylor said.  "Because he always talks to us about being committed and staying with it, and (the weight loss) shows he's real committed with it and he's staying with it no matter how hard it is."

"What I'm most happy for is that he is healthy now," said van Tongeren.  "Because sometimes, you get scared. I mean, he's an intense guy and I'm just happy for coach that he took the step and that just tells you how committed this man is because it takes a big step to lose this weight and coach did it."

Simmons says he did it the same way he runs his basketball program: through hard work.  He started walking, eating better and is now running three miles each day.  The challenge, he says, is keeping those habits through the stress and demands of a basketball season.

"The tough thing for me is I've lived my whole life wanting to do my best and, obviously, I wasn't and I let myself go, but fortunately I had enough people around me and really I guess I'll pat myself on the back that I had the courage and commitment to something about it."

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