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Atkins elevated to FSU’s offensive coordinator

A day after Alex Atkins cleaned up on the recruiting trail by signing five high school prospects, the offensive line coach also has a new title: Florida State’s offensive coordinator.

Kenny Dillingham departed for Oregon on Wednesday morning, and coach Mike Norvell made Atkins’ promotion official on Thursday.

“I’m fired up to have Coach Atkins as our offensive coordinator,” Norvell said in a statement. “He left an offensive coordinator position to come here, and that experience will be vital for us as we continue to build upon the foundation we have established in our first two seasons. Coach Atkins has displayed tremendous leadership not only with our offensive linemen but with everyone in our program. Our offensive linemen have developed on and off the field through his honest feedback, ability to teach the game and his passion to truly challenge them to reach their full potential, and I’m happy to see his responsibilities grow.”

Atkins, who also served as offensive coordinator at Charlotte in 2019, enters his third season on FSU’s staff in 2022 and will continue coaching the Seminoles’ offensive line. FSU’s offensive line has featured 14 starting combinations in 21 games, but the group has blocked for 10 games with at least 200 rushing yards, including six in 2021.

While the Seminoles were inexperienced and growing in year 2 under Mike Norvell, it was clear Norvell, Dillingham and Atkins had found an identity by running the ball. And the Seminoles ran for 177.67 yards behind a line that was constantly in flux due to injury.

The 37-year-old Atkins has been key in the development of a large group of young offensive linemen, including tackles Darius Washington and Robert Scott as well as center Maurice Smith. Atkins has also helped FSU land a group of graduate transfers like Devontay Love-Taylor and Dillan Gibbons as well as commitments from Kayden Lykes (Wisconsin) and Bless Harris (Lamar).

“I am thankful and excited for this opportunity,” Atkins said in a statement. “I understand these opportunities are rare for a person in my position, and I am grateful for the experiences I have had throughout my career that have prepared me for this role. I’m appreciative to Coach Norvell for developing his staff and creating opportunities to grow both professionally and personally. My focus will continue to be on providing an unmatched experience for our players by cultivating relationships in a way that permits open communication while developing them as football players and young men.”

Since Atkins joined the staff for the 2020 season, Florida State’s offense has improved its rushing, Red Zone efficiency and pass protection. The Seminoles’ 2021 offense featured an improvement of 37.1 rushing yards per game from 2019, a jump of 8.0 percentage points in Red Zone conversion rate and 0.69 fewer sacks per game allowed.

His 2021 line was highlighted by honorable mention All-ACC guards Dillan Gibbons and Devontay Love-Taylor. The duo helped lead an offensive line that blocked as FSU converted 32 consecutive Red Zone trips into points, the longest active streak in the nation entering the 2022 season, while leading the ACC and ranking seventh nationally by scoring touchdowns on 73.8 percent of Red Zone trips in 2021.

Atkins, a native of Chicago, earned his bachelor’s degree in history from UT-Martin in 2007. He is married to the former Brittany Mitchell.

This is the second staff change in the last few weeks for Norvell. He also promoted senior defensive analyst Randy Shannon to linebackers coach / co-defensive coordinator.

Alex Atkins Coaching History
2022-         Florida State Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach

2020-21      Florida State Offensive Line Coach
2019          Charlotte Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach
2018          Tulane Assistant Head Coach/Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach
2016-17      Tulane Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach
2014-15      Georgia Southern Offensive Line Coach
2012-13      Chattanooga Offensive Line Coach
2010-11      Itawamba Community College Offensive Line Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
2009          Marshall Graduate Assistant
2008          UT-Martin Tight Ends Coach
2007          UT-Martin Graduate Assistant