Driscoll and Simms

Leo Driscoll and Daisy Simms during a game last season. Driscoll has been named the NIACC men's soccer coach. Simms will coach the NIACC women's program. 

NIACC Sports Information photo

MASON CITY | After six seasons, Jonathan Platt is stepping down as the NIACC men's soccer coach and director of soccer operations.

Platt, who took over for Mike Regan in the fall of 2012, will be replaced by Leo Driscoll, who was the NIACC women's coach in 2017.

Daisy Simms, who was Driscoll's assistant for the women's team in 2017, will take over as the head women's soccer coach.

"It's really a case of beginning to focus on family time," Platt said of his decision to step down. "I'll still be involved with the game at the youth level. When I started coaching, we had a 2-year old. Now we have an 11-year old and an 8-year old. I need to give more support to my wife."

Also in his time in Mason City, Platt coached the Mason City boys soccer team and was heavily involved with youth soccer. The last couple of seasons, the NIACC soccer program conducted a fall league for youth in the North Iowa area.

He also played a part in re-starting the NIACC women's soccer program in the 2017 season.

"I'm pleased with the transition," said Platt, whose 2017 squad was 8-8 overall and 5-4 in the ICCAC. "Leo was one of my first recruits.

"He's come full-circle. He started out here as a player, left (played at Missouri Valley College) and came back as a coach. That's nice to see."

NIACC fielded a women's soccer from 2001-04 and decided to bring the sport back for the 2017 season.

"That was a big part of this year," said Platt, who was 38-62-4 in six seasons. "We wanted to get that launched the right way and we did that."

Platt, who coached 27 all-region players in his six seasons as head coach, said he will miss coaching the Trojans next fall.

"For sure," he said. "There's nothing like that feeling.

"I'll miss in August when the players show up on campus. You've spent a lot of time recruiting them and then when they're finally here there's a buzz that first week. I'll miss playing the games like Iowa Lakes under the lights. You can't replace that feeling."

Driscoll, who is a Huddersfield, U.K., native, will be the fifth men's soccer coach in program history since the college started soccer in the fall of 2001.

"The men's side has a strong group of returners that I'm really looking forward to implementing my style and ethics upon," Driscoll said. "I was the men's assistant this year so I know the guys and know the quality we have in that locker room.

"It is very important that the change doesn't halt the progress the program has been making over the last few years. I'm here to continue the hard work set in place by Coach Platt and really looking to push on further to challenge those ranked schools."

Driscoll said he's already learned plenty in his time as a player (2012-13), men's assistant coach (2016-17) and head women's coach (2017).

"I owe a lot to Coach Platt because of the opportunities and the trust he has given and showed me," Driscoll said. "I loved every minute of coaching the ladies, through the ups and downs.

"As a coach, I was learning every single day alongside Daisy, who will now step into a position I know she is ready for and we can continue to grow as coaches side by side."

Simms, who will be the fourth women's coach in program history, is excited taking over the women's soccer program.

Simms, a native of Portsmouth, England, came to the United States in 2012.

"I'm absolutely delighted to have been given the opportunity to be the head coach of the women's team," Simms said. "It's something I've set my sights on since beginning my soccer journey in America and to be here at NIACC is very exciting.

Simms said a season spent as Driscoll's assistant during the 2017 season was beneficial. The Lady Trojans were 4-9 last season and had two players earn all-region honors.

"It taught us both a lot about the team and what we know we are capable of achieving with this group of women," Simms said. "I couldn't have asked for a better partner in our first year of college coaching.

"Our goals will be realistic. Right now, we want to improve on last year's record but we have all spring season to prepare ourselves and get even better. We have an advantage that we will have a lot of returners so they will be able to take the freshmen under their wing and show them the ropes of college soccer."

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