Brian Niemuth, who has led the women’s basketball team at Simpson College to unparalleled success, has been chosen to guide the entire athletic department.
Simpson President Jay Simmons has named Niemuth the College’s athletic director, a position Niemuth had held on an interim basis since January.
“This is one of my first acts as Simpson’s president, and I couldn’t be more excited about it,” Simmons said. “Brian Niemuth is the right person to build on Simpson’s tradition of athletic success and student-athlete development and to move us forward. He’ll do a great job. He already has.”
Niemuth replaces John Sirianni, who held the job for 29 years. He is now a special assistant to the college president, focusing on special projects, including a $6 million, comprehensive renovation of the college’s fitness complex.
“I’d like to thank Jay Simmons and John Sirianni for this opportunity,” Niemuth said. “I’m excited about the future of Simpson athletics. As a veteran of the staff here, I know what we are capable of and I’m excited about the new leadership in the president’s role.”
Niemuth will continue to coach the women’s basketball team, as he has for the past 26 seasons. This past season was one of the most successful in school history, as the Storm reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championship.
It was also a momentous season for Niemuth, who became the 20th coach in NCAA Division III history to reach 500 wins. He already was the most successful women’s basketball coach in Simpson College history, winning 11 Iowa Conference Championships and leading the team to 11 trips to the NCAA tournament.
A seven-time Iowa Conference Coach of the Year, Niemuth hopes to build on the recent improvements made to the athletic department.
“We have great momentum right now, and I want to help us grow the progress we’ve already made,” he said.
Before arriving at Simpson, Niemuth served as an assistant basketball coach at Park College in Kansas City, Mo., for two years; one with the men’s team and one with the women’s team. He was an assistant coach at Dallas Center-Grimes (Iowa) High School.
He also served as an assistant baseball coach for Simpson from 1991-97.
Niemuth grew up in Kansas City, and was an all-conference player and team co-captain at Park for two years. He also earned All-American honors in baseball for Park.
He received his bachelor’s degree in 1988 from Grand View College in Des Moines and earned his master’s degree in sports management at Iowa State University during the summer of 1997. He is a member of Simpson’s faculty and teaches physical education classes.
He and his wife, Beth, have a daughter, Brooke. They live in Altoona, Iowa.