From The Paducah Sun
Former Murray State coach and administrator Margaret Simmons has been selected for the Ohio Valley Conference Hall of Fame. She will be inducted at the annual OVC Honors Brunch on May 30 at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Nashville, Tenn.
Simmons is the sixth woman elected to the OVC Hall of Fame. She became the first head coach of the women’s track and field team in 1968 and started the women’s cross country team three years later. During her 23-year tenure as head coach, she led the Racers to eight OVC titles and two runner-up finishes, was named OVC Coach of the Year six times and Kentucky Women’s Athletic Conference Coach of the Year on two occasions. Her cross country teams never finished lower than second in the OVC after the championship began in 1979.
She coached four OVC Outdoor Women’s Athletes of the Year, three OVC Indoor Women’s Athletes of the Year and two NCAA All-Americans in Stephanie Saleem (Indoor & Outdoor) and Heather Samuel (Outdoor). Samuel would go on to ultimately bring home five OVC Women’s Athlete of the Year recognitions and compete in the 1992 Olympics.
Simmons’ dedication to the sport has brought her several honors, including being inducted into the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Hall of Fame in 2003,. She was inducted into the Murray State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004 and into the Kentucky Track and Cross-Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2008.
The OVC Hall of Fame was organized in 1977 to honor coaches, administrators, faculty and staff who have been associated with the OVC at least five years and provided extensive and outstanding service to the conference. The membership will reach 73 with this year’s class.