Simpson-Kirr, Negron Join Clemson Women’s Staff

  0 Wendy Mayer | April 29th, 2017 | ACC, College - Women's Indoor, College Coaching Changes

Newly minted Clemson head coach Michaela Franklin has wasted no time in assembling her coaching staff. On Monday, Jackie Simpson-Kirr was named associate head coach and recruiting coordinator, and on Tuesday, Efrain Negron joined the staff as assistant coach and defensive coordinator.

Simpson-Kirr comes to Clemson after spending the last two seasons as head coach at George Mason. One of the AVCA’s 30-under-30 award recipients in 2015, Simpson–Kirr led the Patriots to their best Atlantic 10 finish in program history and best overall record since 2010.

“I am thrilled to have Jackie and her family join us at Clemson,” said Franklin. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with her before, and what I enjoyed and appreciated most about her is that she has an intense work ethic, a passion for success and a creative mind that thinks outside the box. Jackie comes with elite level coaching and playing experience. Being an All-American setter in the B1G, I am counting on her to work with our setters and be our offensive coordinator.

“Most recently, Jackie was a head coach, and during that time I have seen her evolve as a recruiter. She has recruited on a national level and most recently has developed her international recruiting connections. I believe Clemson presents her with the opportunity to develop into one of the best recruiting coordinators in the country.”

Prior to her stint at George Mason, Simpson-Kirr made stops as an assistant coach at Iowa (2014), Marquette (2013-14), East Carolina (2010-13) and Winona State (2008-09)

“I am humbled and honored to become a part of the Clemson Volleyball Family,” Simpson-Kirr said in her hiring announcement. “There is a special energy when you walk through the Clemson campus. It is one of the most beautiful campuses I have seen, but I could tell from my initial interactions that the people are what makes it exceptional.

“I am beyond excited to work with Michaela again. I believe she is one of the best leaders in our sport. Her vision for a program built upon championship behaviors is inspiring and I can’t wait to get started helping make that vision a reality.”

As a player, Simpson-Kirr was a two-time AVCA All-American and two-time All-Big Ten honoree at Wisconsin. From 2004-07, the setter guided the Badgers to four NCAA Tournament appearances, including two Elite Eights. Simpson-Kirr boasts the second-highest assists tally in Wisconsin program history. The 2008 graduate earned her degree in Letters and Science – Sociology. She went on to finish a master’s degree in exercise and sports science – sports psychology from East Carolina in 2013.

For his part, Egron joins the Tiger staff after a year as an assistant coach at Bowling Green State, where he guided the Falcons to a Mid-American Conference best 17.67 digs per set average, which ranked ninth nationally.

He was responsible for the development of the team’s liberos and defensive specialists as well as team defense and serve receive training. That led to MAC Defensive Player of the Year and first team all-league honors for Medeline Garda, who led the nation in digs per set with 6.66.

“I met Efrain during a recruiting trip to Puerto Rico and he stuck out to me because of his dynamic and contagious personality. It doesn’t take long to recognize his passion for excellence, his ambition, and relentless work ethic,” Franklin said. “Efrain had a successful playing career as a libero and has deep knowledge for the defensive side of the game. He will be our defensive coordinator and work closely with our back row players. His experience with Data Volley and VolleyMetrics will also be extremely important for the success of our program. I look forward to working with Efrain and having him join the Clemson family.”

Prior to his time at BGSU, he spent one season as the volunteer assistant coach at Appalachian State, where the Mountaineers went 22-8 and finished as the runner-up at the Sun Belt Tournament in 2015. Appalachian State led the league in digs per set with 16.58.

“I am beyond excited and thankful to be a part of the Clemson family,” Negron said. “I would like thank Michaela Franklin, Stephanie Ellison and Dan Radakovich for this amazing opportunity to join such a prestigious university. I would also like to thank the other staff members with whom I spoke to during the interviewing process. I can’t wait to get to campus and get started. I look forward to contributing to the vision that Michaela has for Clemson volleyball and am thrilled to make a positive impact in the program.”

Negron, who played libero for the USA Men’s team at the 2012 Asian Pacific Volleyball Cup, was a three-time all-Conference Carolinas selection at Lees-McRae. A four-year starter at libero, he boasts the school record for digs, digs per set and reception percentage and ranks in the NCAA top 10 for career digs. Negron graduated from Lees-McRae with a degree in Sports Science in May of 2014.


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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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