BY LANDON NEGRI
Ron Simmons has stepped down as Aquinas girls basketball coach after nine seasons, and assistant Xavier Gomez will replace him, Simmons confirmed Wednesday.
Simmons will continue his position as vice principal at Aquinas, he said. Gomez previously coached at Riverside Notre Dame for 17 years.
Aquinas went 25-2 this season, earned an Ambassador League co-championship and No. 1 seed in the Division 5AA playoffs but was upset in the quarterfinals by eventual Division V state finalist Sun Valley Village Christian.
Under Simmons, a former standout guard at Yucaipa in the late 1980s, the Falcons reached the Southern Section semifinals twice and reached the second round of the state tournament two years ago.
“I need to focus on some personal things – things I have been putting aside for a long time,” Simmons said. “I’ll miss it a lot. The team was a part of my family and that’s kind of the way we ran our program.”