BREAKING: Florida State has hired its next Defensive Backs Coach – Sports Illustrated Florida State Seminoles News, Analysis and More


Florida State has been in the market for a new defensive backs coach for about a week after Arkansas hired Marcus Woodson in the same role with the additional title of co-defensive coordinator.

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The search didn’t take long as the Seminoles are set to hire Patrick Surtain Sr. as Woodson’s replacement, per a report from ESPN’s Pete Thamel. Surtain Sr. spent the 2022 season as a defensive assistant with the Miami Dolphins. He will likely hold the title of Passing Game Coordinator as well at FSU.

The Dolphins will face the Buffalo Bills in the NFL’s Wild Card round on Sunday afternoon. Cornerback Xavien Howard, coached by Surtain Sr., was named a starter for the AFC Team in the 2023 Pro Bowl last month. Six different defensive backs on Miami’s roster created a turnover during the regular season.

Prior to earning coaching experience at the professional level, Surtain Sr. was the head coach at south Florida power American Heritage from 2016-21, guiding the program to three state titles (2016, 2017, 2020). He’s coached players such as Marvin Jones Jr., Damari Brown, Patrick Surtain III., Brandon Inniss, and a host of other talented recruits that now play across the country at the collegiate level.

The New Orleans native has ties across the state of Florida and in Louisiana, two prized recruiting areas for the Seminoles. 

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Head coach Mike Norvell seemingly confirmed the hire shortly after the report went public.

Surtain Sr. played his college ball at Southern Miss from 1994-97 as a cornerback. He was selected by the Miami Dolphins in the second round of the 1998 NFL Draft. Surtain Sr. played for the Dolphins from 1998-2004 and developed into a three-time NFL Pro Bowler (2002, 2003, 2004) and First-Team All-Pro selection (2002). He appeared in 108 games, with 82 starts in Miami, totaling 353 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, 77 pass deflections, four forced fumbles, 29 interceptions, and two defensive touchdowns. He was traded to Kansas City in 2005 and played in 55 games, with 49 starts for the Chiefs. 

Across his 11-year NFL career, he appeared in 163 games, with 131 starts, totaling 547 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, 105 pass deflections, eight forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries, 37 interceptions, and two defensive touchdowns.

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