David DeSimone, head women’s and men’s tennis coach at Augustana College, is adding fundraising and booster engagement to his schedule. He will continue to coach and recruit full-time but will spend time deepening engagement and philanthropic support for Vikings athletics and the Viking Club.
“When I saw the position become available, I was intrigued but wasn’t sure if it would be possible to coach and work in fundraising,” said DeSimone. “But the administration approached the idea with an open mind, and now I will be able to combine my two passions — tennis and fundraising.” DeSimone’s official role will be athletic fundraising and engagement specialist and coordinator of the Viking Club. The club has over 500 members and raised nearly $190,000 last year to support Viking athletics. The club organizes fundraising and engagement efforts for supporters of Viking athletics.
“David is an excellent coach and is already experiencing success on the court during his tenure at Augustana, and I have no doubt he’ll have success inspiring more and larger gifts in support of Viking athletics,” said Mike Zapolski, director of athletics. “It’s extremely helpful to have someone in the position who can discuss first-hand the needs of the athletic department and how philanthropic support positively impacts the student-athlete experience at Augustana.”
During the academic year, DeSimone will work part-time within the annual giving program, which is led by Erin Williams, director of annual giving. He will work full-time in college advancement in the summer.
“We were immediately impressed with David’s experience in fundraising,” said Kent Barnds, executive vice president for external relations. “Prior to coming to Augustana, he worked at an NAIA school where fundraising was critically important to the success of the program he led. And, while earning his master’s degree, he worked for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, so he’s seen how important fundraising is at a big-time, Big Ten university.”
DeSimone grew up in Bettendorf and graduated from Kalamazoo College in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in German. He returned to the Quad Cities, where he served as the Junior Development Pathway Director for the Quad City Tennis Club. During that time, he also worked as an assistant coach for the Augustana men’s tennis team. He has an M.A. in Business with a specialization in Intercollegiate Athletics Administration from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. He was named Augustana’s head tennis coach in July 2021.