Jan. 5, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State Head Coach Bobby Bowden announced Friday that former Seminole All-America wide receiver Lawrence Dawsey will join the football coaching staff. Dawsey, who was a first team Associated Press All-America selection in 1990 and Sports Illustrated’s 1991 NFL Rookie of the Year, takes over Jeff Bowden’s duties as wide receivers coach.
“Lawrence was a great football player for us at Florida State, but he was equally important to our program because of his leadership skills and his work ethic,” said Bowden. “He used those qualities to become a successful assistant coach at both LSU and USF after his NFL career was over. He knows both the pro game and the college game and it won’t take long at all for his experience and personality to impact our players and staff.”
Dawsey comes to Florida State after serving as wide receivers coach at USF for the past three seasons. The Bulls finished 9-4 this year capping the season with a 24-7 win over East Carolina in the Papajohns.com Bowl in Birmingham, Ala. USF was 4-7 in Dawsey’s first season in 2004 and 6-6 in 2005.
“It’s hard to leave USF and the Tampa area, but it would also be hard not to come back home,” said Dawsey. “I am so excited to be coming back to Florida State and helping Coach Bowden in every way I can. I’m excited about the potential of FSU next year. I’ve not seen Florida State play in person, but I’ve either recruited or seen tape on a lot of the FSU players. I had a great experience playing for Coach Bowden and I can only say that it’s an answer to a lot of prayers for me to be able to come back to Florida State.”
Prior to joining the USF staff, Dawsey was a graduate assistant coach under Nick Saban at LSU during the Tigers’ 2003 National Championship season.
In addition to his outstanding playing career at Florida State, Dawsey enjoyed an eight year NFL career, mostly with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who drafted him in the third round of the 1991 NFL Draft. He went on to be named Sports Illustrated Rookie of the Year and was also named to the Pro Football Weekly 1991 All-Rookie Team. He led the Buccaneers in receiving that year with 55 catches for 818 yards (a Buccaneer rookie record) and three touchdowns. He led the team for a second-straight season in 1992 with 60 catches for 776 yards and one touchdown.
After missing most of the 1993 season, Dawsey again led the Bucs in 1994 with 46 catches for 673 yards and one touchdown. In 1995, his final season with the Bucs, he had 30 catches for 372 yards and no touchdowns. His 206 career receptions are 10th most on the Bucs’ all-time list, while his 2,842 yards stand eighth.
Dawsey would go on to play for the New York Giants in 1996, the Miami Dolphins in 1997 and the New Orleans Saints in 1999.
At Florida State, Dawsey earned All-America honors in his 1990 senior season when he led the Seminoles with 65 receptions for 999 yards and seven touchdowns. He had also led the team as a junior with 38 catches for 683 yards and four touchdowns. He had 128 career receptions for 2,129 yards, both of which currently rank eighth in school history.
His career highs in receptions (13) and yards (172) came against Florida State’s top rivals Miami and Florida, respectively, each in his senior season. He had a career-long 93-yard touchdown reception in his 1988 sophomore season against Southern Mississippi.
Dawsey began his coaching career prior to signing with the Saints in 1999 after a year away from the NFL. His coaching experience came at Tampa Catholic High School in 1998. He has also coached at Tampa’s Blake High School in 2002, and he was a training camp assistant with the St. Louis Rams in 2001.
Dawsey, and his wife, Chantel, have a son, Lawrence, Jr.
Dawsey’s base salary at Florida State will be $125,000.