INDIANOLA, Iowa — Simpson College President Jay Simmons announced Wednesday that Bob Nutgrass, a long-time staff member and current assistant athletic director, will become the college’s next Athletic Director.
He replaces Brian Niemuth, who has held the role for the past five years in addition to serving as the head women’s basketball coach.
A veteran staff member of 28 years, Nutgrass will serve as Athletic Director in a full-time capacity with no dual responsibility. Niemuth will remain on staff as the head women’s basketball coach, where he enters his 31st season in 2018-19.
“First off, I would like to thank Brian for his service to the college in holding this dual role for the past five years,” Simmons said. “The collegiality and professionalism Brian has brought to the position has been an inspiration to all of us.
“Bob has held numerous roles at the College spanning nearly three decades and we are indeed fortunate that he is willing to share his expertise and leadership as Athletic Director.”
Nutgrass has been a member of the faculty since coming to Simpson in 1990, maintaining various roles in the Physical Education department, including department chair. He served as an assistant men’s basketball coach from 1990-96 and was the head men’s and women’s tennis coach for a combined 20 years. He is the winningest tennis coach in school history.
Most recently, Nutgrass served as an Assistant Athletic Director and the program’s NCAA Compliance Coordinator.
“First of all, I would like to thank President Simmons and the administration for the opportunity to be the next Athletic Director of the Simpson athletic department,” Nutgrass said. “I would like to thank Brian for his years of leadership and for being such a great mentor in athletic administration. I have watched and been able to serve with two excellent leaders in their roles as ADs [Niemuth and John Sirianni], and I am humbled and excited to carry on their work and continue with my vision for Storm athletics.”
Niemuth began his tenure as Athletic Director in July 2013 following the retirement of John Sirianni, who held the role for 29 years. Niemuth’s efforts led to successful results in recruiting new head coaches in football, women’s soccer, men’s basketball, men’s tennis, men’s golf, baseball, and softball. He also grew the department with the addition of a full-time assistant wrestling coach and graduate assistant positions in baseball and softball.
Under Niemuth, the coaching staff has built team rosters that encompass more than 40 percent of all Simpson College students. He also has overseen athletic fundraising activities that generate more than $200,000 annually in support of athletics programs.
“I would like to thank President Simmons and the administration for their support throughout my five years as Athletic Director,” Niemuth said. “This is a win-win situation for the department. I have the opportunity to once again follow my passion for coaching basketball, and the department gets an Athletic Director who will be allowed to focus solely on the advancement of its programs.”
The changes announced today will go into effect on July 1, 2018.