One of the most prolific all-around athletes in the history of Lynchburg women's athletics, Dawn Simmons became the head softball coach at her alma mater in 1999 and developed the program into a national power. Her Hornet softball teams have posted more than 30 wins in 11 of the last 16 years.
In 2018, Simmons coached the Hornets to a 30-14 record and an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament, where the team participated in the Atlanta Regional at Emory University.
Simmons won her 500th game on April 13 in a doubleheader sweep of Shenandoah University. Lynchburg finished the 2017 season 29-15, had 10-straight victories in the beginning of March, finishing the month at 13-8. The Hornets ended the season with a 12-8 in the conference while having the most success on the road, going 13-5 when away from Moon Field.
The Hornets finished 31-13 in 2015, including a 16-4 mark in conference play. Lynchburg went 31-16 in 2014, finishing second in the ODAC regular-season. The Hornets earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight year.
The 2013 season saw Lynchburg return to the NCAA Tournament after a 32-13 record. Simmons earned her 400th career win in a doubleheader sweep of Mary Washington and was named the ODAC Coach of the Year.
In 2012, Coach Simmons oversaw one of her youngest teams and finished with a 21-19 overall record, and a 12-6 mark in the ODAC, good enough to tie for third-place overall.
The 2010 and 2011 campaigns saw the Hornets combine for 45 wins and Lynchburg finished above .500 in each season. In 2009, the Hornets posted a record of 38-8-1, just one win shy of their record setting total. They also won their third straight ODAC Championship and advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
In 2008 the Hornets went 39-8, the best season in school history. Lynchburg won the ODAC regular-season and tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the second-straight year. Lynchburg won the Fayetteville Regional and advanced to the finals for the first time in program history. In 2007 Lynchburg won the ODAC Tournament and advanced into the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. The Hornets won three games in regional competition and finished the year 36-13.
Simmons' 2006 team finished 30-15 - and led the Hornets in 2005 to a 31-9 record. Lynchburg tied for first place in the conference, and she was named the ODAC Coach of the Year for the third-straight season.
During her tenure, the Gretna, Va., native has led the Hornets to an overall record of 536-271-2, including a 239-87 mark in the ODAC. In addition, Simmons has guided the Lynchburg women to the ODAC Tournament in each of her 18 seasons.
Simmons graduated from Lynchburg in 1997 with her bachelor's degree in health, movement science and recreation. The former three-sport athlete was inducted into the Lynchburg Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.