Simoes returns to the men’s football coaching staff
HUNTINGTON, West Virginia – Marshall Men’s Football Head Coach Chris Grassi announced the addition of Rafa Simoes to the technical staff on Tuesday.
Simoes returns to Huntington after working with the herd in 2018-19.
“I want to thank the coach Chris Grassi for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to work with the best soccer program in the country,” said Simoes. “Marshall is a place I’m proud to call home. I always knew I would come back to Huntington, an amazing place that helped me become a coach. The Herd community is my motivation to do a great job for this top program. It’s great to be back. Go herd!”
Simoes joins Marshall after coaching at Nova Southeastern (2021-22) and Ohio University (2019-20), both as an assistant coach for women’s programs.
“I am very happy to welcome Rafa back to our team,” said coach Grassie. “Rafa played for me and also coached for me in 2018. Since then he has followed a coaching journey, working hard and learning, and seizing opportunities that have taken him across the country. Rafa is an incredible human being, and I know our players will learn a lot from him on the pitch and from him as a man. With the departure of Kyle (Sniatecki), we had some big shoes to fill, so I thought to myself “Who would be awesome? Rafa was my first and only phone call, so I know we have the right person who can help us grow our program.”
In 2021 with Nova Southeastern, Simoes helped lead the Sharks to an 8-7-1, 6-4 overall record in the Sunshine State Conference (Division II). The season included a 1-0 conference win over No. 17 Florida Tech on Oct. 2. The Sharks had two players named All-Conference in Louise Matsgard and Chama Silva. Matsgard also earned D2CCA All-South Region honors.
In 2019 at Ohio, the Bobcats finished the season 11-9-1, including starting on a 6-game winning streak. The year ended with the semifinals of the Mid-American conference tournament. That year, four players received All-MAC accolades. Alivia Milesky and Abby Townsend were named to the first team, Victoria Breeden earned second team honors and Maddie Young was selected to the All-Freshman team. Ohio scored 38 goals in 2019 with Milesky leading with a career-high 10. Milesky also earned all-region honors.
In the 2018 season during Simoes’ first stint with Marshall, the Herd finished 8-9-3 in Coach Grassie’s second year at the helm of the program. The Herd defeated FIU in the first round of the Conference USA tournament before falling to third-seeded Kentucky, who won the tournament. Marshall had five players who received All-C-USA honors and two named to the All-Tournament Team.
In addition to coaching at the collegiate level, Simoes coached River Valley Soccer Club, West Virginia Olympic Development Program-Youth Soccer where he won State Cup titles in 2019 and 2021, West Virginia Football Club-Youth Soccer, Charleston Football Club- Youth Soccer and Tetra Brazil/Challenger Sports in 2015. He was named River Valley Soccer Club Coach of the Year in 2019 and 2020.
Simoes played in his native Brazil, including being the SP State League’s top scorer with 26 goals in 2009 and being named First Team All-State SP League that same year.
Simoes played at the University of Charleston from 2014 to 2017, with his first three seasons under Coach Grassie. Simoes was a member of the Division II National Finalist in 2014, a Final Four team in 2015, another National Finalist in 2016, and finally Division II National Champions in 2017. During his time with the Golden Eagles , Charleston finished with an 82-8-5 overall record.
Simoes holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and two master’s degrees in physical education and coaching, as well as sports science. He holds a National C license from the USSF.
Simoes is married to his wife, Rebecca.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
Aaron Rodgers, Ohio University Football Head Coach (2021 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year)
“I had the pleasure of working with Rafa as part of our team here at Ohio University. Rafa no doubt has a huge passion for the game and shares that passion with others. He carries a great attention to detail when he plans sessions and evaluates his performance of the team as well as the opponents. The players he works with feed on his love of playing and teaching. I know Rafa will continue to have a positive impact on college and youth football.
For all the latest news on the Marshall Men’s Soccer Team, follow the herd on Twitter @HerdMSoccerFacebook at Marshall University Soccer and at www.herdzone.com.