Florida State has added another assistant as head coach Mike Norvell continues to put together an impressive roster. The former Charlotte Offensive Coordinator Alex Atkins will join as Florida State’s new offensive lineman coach.
The former all-conference guard brings leadership experience to FSU
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Alex Atkins has been named Florida State’s offensive line coach, head coach Mike Norvell announced Sunday. Atkins will begin his new role Jan. 2. With Atkins’ addition, deputy head coach Chris Thomsen will coach tight ends.
“I’m excited to announce our offensive line coach Alex Atkins to the Seminole family,” Norvell said. “Alex is one of the rising stars in college football. Coach Atkins has showcased his ability to recruit and develop talent on the offensive line at an elite level. This has allowed him to consistently rise in the coaching profession. The leadership in detail and organizational skills he has possessed as an assistant head coach and offensive coordinator shows he will be a tremendous asset to our program. He is a relentless recruiter as well as relationship builder with the majority of his career focused on the state of Georgia, which will allow us to continue to attract elite-level talent to FSU.”
Atkins served as Charlotte’s offensive coordinator and offensive line coach in 2019 after three years as assistant head coach and offensive line coach at Tulane. He also has Division I experience at Georgia Southern, Chattanooga, Marshall and UT-Martin.
“I’m honored to have such an incredible opportunity to coach at one of the premier programs in college football,” Atkins said. “This is the type of job you work your whole life to be offered. I’m excited for the future with Coach Norvell and looking forward to impacting current and future Florida State student-athletes.”
In 2019, Atkins coordinated an offense that led Charlotte to its first bowl game in program history as the team won seven games and was selected for the Bahamas Bowl. The 49ers allowed 1.62 sacks per game, tied for the 32nd-lowest average in the country, had their conference’s top rushing attack and ranked 32nd in FBS with an average of 203.0 yards per game, scored on 88.4 percent of their red zone possessions to tie for 35th in the nation, ranked 17th with an average of 14.10 yards per completion and ranked 24th with a time of possession average of 31:59 per game.
Atkins, whose offensive line was one of 24 to be included on the Joe Moore Award Midseason Honor Roll, tutored first-team all-conference performers Cam Clark and Benny LeMay as well as all-freshman offensive lineman Dejan Rasuo. Clark anchored an offensive line that produced 10 100-yard rushing games compiled by three different athletes in 2019. LeMay led the way with a school-record seven 100-yard rushing games, ranking 23rd in the nation with his average of 98.4 rushing yards per game while his 120.4 all-purpose yards per game ranked 34th in the nation.
From 2016-18, Atkins was Tulane’s assistant head coach and offensive line coach. He also added running game coordinator responsibilities his final season in New Orleans. In his first season with the Green Wave, he helped direct a remarkable turnaround from the 118th rushing team in the country in 2015 at 115.8 yards per game to the NCAA’s 26th-best rushing attack in 2016 with an average of 228.1 yards per game. The improvement continued in 2017 as Tulane averaged 231.5 rushing yards per game, 20th in FBS. In his last year at Tulane, the Green Wave won seven games and the Cure Bowl behind an offense that posted the 23rd-highest rushing average in the country at 218.2 yards per game.
Prior to Tulane, Atkins coached the offensive line at Georgia Southern for two seasons and helped lead the Eagles to back-to-back nine-win seasons. In 2014, as Georgia Southern was transitioning into FBS, the team finished 9-3 and averaged a Division I-best 381.1 rushing yards per game. The next season, the Eagles finished 9-4 after winning the first bowl appearance in program history and led all FBS schools with an average of 363.0 rushing yards per game.
Atkins arrived at Georgia Southern following two years as offensive line coach at Chattanooga. In 2012, with FSU defensive coordinator Adam Fuller serving the same role for the Mocs, Chattanooga won six games behind an effective offense that ranked second in FCS with only nine turnovers and converted 61.5 percent of its fourth-down attempts. The next season, the Mocs finished 8-4 including a program-record six conference victories.
Atkins began his coaching career at UT-Martin, his alma mater, serving as a graduate assistant in 2007 and coaching tight ends in 2008. He was then a graduate assistant at Marshall in 2009. His first full-time coaching stop was at Itawamba Community College in Mississippi. As the offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator, he helped produce an offense that was top-25 in the country in both 2010 and 2011.
A four-year starter at offensive guard for UT-Martin, Atkins twice earned all-conference honors. His senior year he helped lead the Skyhawks to an OVC championship and the program’s first FCS playoff appearance. He blocked for two 1,000-yard rushers that season as the Skyhawks finished 9-3 and ranked 12th in the country.
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.
Alex Atkins Coaching History
2020- 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
The news comes shortly after it was announced that former TCU offensive line coach Chris Thomsen would assume the role of Florida State’s deputy head coach and offensive assistant.
The Nolecast recently highlighted Alex Atkins as a “rising star” in coaching circles:
One rising star in the coaching biz is Alex Atkins, OC/OL at Charlotte (play in Bahamas bowl tomorrow). Offense had a big year. Coached in Miss JUCO circuit (Norvell recruits area heavily) and also coached same staff with new FSU DC Fuller in 2012.— The Nolecast (@Nolecast) December 19, 2019