Longtime Erie head baseball and softball coach Harold Simmons has been dismissed from the team, sources confirmed on Monday morning.
Several other team coaches have also decided to step away from the program in the wake of the situation, those sources also confirmed.
In three separate letters to baseball families between March 12 and March 24, obtained by the Daily Camera, Erie principal Matt Buchler details at first a temporary leave of absence for Simmons from his coaching position as well as his position as a physical education teacher at the school and ultimately concludes with a statement that said he is no longer a part of the baseball program.
The letters also confirm former Niwot coach Craig McBride will take over for the rest of the season, along with Mike Newton as an assistant coach. Eddie Toledo, a well-known name around the area, also will be added to the staff.
The St. Vrain Valley School District would not comment as to the reasons Simmons is no longer associated with the team, citing the situation as a ‘personnel matter’.
Simmons could not be reached for comment Monday morning.
Currently, the program is void of coaches for the JV and C team, as those coaches that were in place opted to ‘pursue other opportunities’.
Several current and former team members took to Twitter this past weekend to support Simmons, who has coached baseball at Erie for the past 11 years and softball for four.
“Happy I got to play for (Simmons) and his staff for years,” wrote Connor Leach. “I wouldn’t be where I am without all of them and am blessed to have been a part of that portion of the Erie baseball program. Grateful for all of you!”
“Thank you coaches,” current player Nash Phillips wrote. “Thank you for building the program many of us grew up in. Creating young men that can play the game at any level. You will be missed and never forgotten by past and present players and families.”
Both baseball and softball programs have seen a lot of success over the years, more notably in softball where Simmons succeeded Bob Bledsoe in 2015 and has accumulated an 81-18 record. The Tigers went to the state championship game in 2016.
In baseball, Simmons’ tenure has been highlighted by 130 wins (an average of 13 per season) and just 85 losses, a spot in the Class 4A Final Four in 2016 and in the final eight in 2015.
The Tigers were sitting at 2-4 for the 2019 slate. They do not take the field for a game until Thursday against Thomas Jefferson.