TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State has hired Donte’ Pimpleton as the Seminoles’ new running backs coach and Raymond Woodie as the program’s linebackers coach, head coach Willie Taggart announced Wednesday.
“We are adding two great coaches who are also great mentors and great recruiters,” Coach Taggart said. “They understand the culture we are creating here at Florida State. Having them here will help make the transition happen much more quickly in the short term, and in the long term they will be fantastic supporters of our student-athletes as we develop them on and off the field at Florida State.”
Pimpleton and Woodie are each joining Coach Taggart’s staff for the fourth time. Pimpleton, who was college teammates with Taggart, first coached with him at Western Kentucky, where Pimpleton oversaw the wide receivers, before he joined Coach Taggart again at South Florida and Oregon, coaching running backs at both programs. Woodie coached defensive ends and linebackers at Western Kentucky before serving as linebackers coach, assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at South Florida and then outside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at Oregon.
“I am so excited to return to the state of Florida and coach for the best program in America,” Coach Woodie said. “I can’t wait to recruit and develop the highest caliber student-athletes in college football. My ultimate goal is to help Coach Taggart win multiple championships.”
Last season at Oregon, the Ducks ranked second in the Pac-12 and 13th in the NCAA with an average of 251.0 rushing yards per game, and the team’s 40 rushing touchdowns tied for seventh in the nation. Oregon’s rushing total was paced by six 300-yard games and 10 games of more than 200 yards on the ground. In the season opener, UO scored an FBS-high 77 points behind nine rushing touchdowns, the most in a game in 2017 by an FBS team.
“I am thrilled to join Coach Taggart’s staff at Florida State,” Coach Pimpleton said. “In high school, I was a huge fan of Charlie Ward and cheered for the Seminoles, so this is a fantastic opportunity professionally and personally. There is a great group of athletes in the running backs room, and I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to help develop them to reach their highest potential.”
Pimpleton coached Royce Freeman, a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award and the Doak Walker Award, to second-team All-Pac 12 honors after finishing with 1,475 yards on the ground for an average of 122.9 yards per game. His per-game average ranked 10th in the country, and his 16 rushing touchdowns tied for 14th in the nation. Freeman ended his career with a school-record 5,621 rushing yards, the sixth-highest total in NCAA history. He also broke UO career records with 60 rushing touchdowns, which ranked 10th in college football history, 31 100-yard rushing games, 6,435 all-purpose yards and 64 total touchdowns.
At South Florida, Pimpleton helped the Bulls to a program-best record of 11-2 in 2016 while completely rewriting the program’s rushing record book. USF set new school records with 3,709 rushing yards, 47 rushing touchdowns, an average of 6.50 yards per rush, an average of 285.7 rushing yards per game, 77 total touchdowns scored, 569 points scored, an average of 43.8 points per game, 300 total first downs and 164 rushing first downs. The Bulls ranked second in the nation in yards per rush, fifth in rushing yards per game and 11th in total offense.
His debut season at USF also made its mark on the record books as the team broke records for most rushing yards with 3,205, highest rushing average of 5.41 yards per carry and most rushing yards per game with 246.5. The team’s 28 rushing touchdowns in 2015 ranked second in team history at the time. Pimpleton tutored Marlon Mack for two seasons, helping the school’s all-time leading rusher earn first-team all-conference honors in each season and break 14 school records before being picked in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts.
Before becoming a member of the USF staff, Pimpleton spent two seasons at Kentucky Wesleyan. He was the Panthers’ wide receivers coach in 2013 before being elevated to offensive coordinator in 2014. That season, he directed an offense that broke 10 school records as a team while 13 different individual records fell. The 2014 squad also tied the school record for wins, matching a mark that had stood since 1999. He tutored Keelan Cole, who led Division II in receiving yards, receiving yards per game and receiving touchdowns in 2014 and in 2017 helped the Jacksonville Jaguars win their first division title since 1999.
In 2010, Pimpleton joined Coach Taggart’s first staff at Western Kentucky. He served two seasons as an offensive quality control assistant before being promoted to wide receivers coach in 2012 and helping the Hilltoppers reach the first bowl game in program history. His first collegiate coaching opportunity came in 2009 when he was hired as an offensive quality control assistant at Louisville.
Pimpleton began his coaching career in the high school ranks in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, serving as wide receivers and defensive backs coach for one season at Iroquois High School before handling both roles for two years at his alma mater, Fern Creek High School. Before joining the University of Louisville staff, he spent two seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Doss High School.
Pimpleton played quarterback and wide receiver at Western Kentucky following a prep career as an all-state quarterback at Louisville’s Fern Creek High School. At WKU, he gained 1,425 rushing yards with 18 touchdowns and caught 13 passes for 165 yards and four touchdowns in a run-heavy offense. He helped lead the Hilltoppers to the 2000 Ohio Valley Conference championship and earned honorable mention All-Gateway Conference honors in 2001. Following his collegiate career, he played three seasons in the Arena Football League and two more seasons in the American Indoor Football League.
Pimpleton earned a bachelor’s degree in business and communications from Western Kentucky in 2002. He and his wife, Nicole, have one daughter, Anistyn.
Woodie orchestrated a nearly perfect kicking game in 2017 as Oregon finished the season 63-of-63 on PAT attempts and 9-of-12 on field goals. Additionally, the team’s average of 22.73 yards per kickoff return ranked third in the Pac-12. Long snapper Tanner Carew earned first-team All-America honors from Phil Steele and was invited to the Senior Bowl, and freshman Brenden Schooler was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection as an all-purpose/special teams player. Kicker Adrian Schneider broke Oregon’s school record with 51 career made field goals.
On defense, Woodie’s outside linebackers made major contributions to a unit that ranked 23rd in the country with 25 turnovers forced, 22nd with an average of 7.2 tackles for loss per game and 24th in rushing defense by allowing 128.5 yards per game on the ground. The team’s total defense ranking soared from 126th in 2016 to 46th in 2017.
At South Florida, Woodie held the title of assistant head coach for two seasons and coordinated the Bulls’ defense during their record-breaking 2016 season. That year, USF won a school-record 11 games while the defense forced 26 turnovers to rank 18th in the country and returned three for touchdowns, tied for the 19th-highest total in the nation.
He also oversaw the linebackers at South Florida, coaching two to all-conference recognition. In 2014, Nigel Harris led the country and broke a school record with six forced fumbles. Woodie tutored the Houston Texans’ sixth-round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, Reshard Cliett, and also helped DeDe Lattimore and Harris reach the NFL.
In 2015, he was responsible for the Bulls’ special teams and coached the sixth-best kickoff return unit in the country as USF finished the year with a program-record average of 26.66 yards per return. Kickoff returner Rodney Adams was a second-team all-conference selection after leading the American Athletic Conference and ranking sixth in the NCAA with his average of 29.1 yards per return. Adams was selected in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings.
Woodie boasts an impressive resume on the recruiting trail, having earned AAC top recruiter recognition by Rivals in 2014 and the Sun Belt’s Recruiter of the Year by Scout/FoxSports.com in 2012. He was also ranked as the No. 1 recruiter in the Pac-12 and No. 13 nationally by 247Sports during the 2017 season. He helped Coach Taggart sign the AAC’s top classes in 2014 and 2015, directly recruiting nine of USF’s 10 all-conference selections in 2016, and the highest-ranked classes in the Sun Belt in 2010 and 2011.
While at Western Kentucky, he recruited Venice, Florida, native Forrest Lamp and Lakeland, Florida, native Andrew Jackson to Bowling Green. Lamp was a second-round pick by the Los Angeles Chargers in the 2017 NFL Draft and Jackson was selected in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. They are two of seven Hilltoppers recruited by Woodie to play in the NFL.
Before entering college coaching with Taggart at Western Kentucky, Woodie was a high school head coach in South Florida for 13 seasons. He was the head coach at Palmetto High School from 2007-09 and led the Tigers to a district title in 2008. From 1997-2006, Woodie was the head coach at Bayshore High School following one season as the team’s defensive coordinator and led the Bruins to the state playoffs seven times. When he took over as head coach he was only 23 years old, making him the youngest head coach in the state.
Woodie lettered as an outside linebacker and strong safety at Bethune-Cookman from 1992-95, where he earned GTE Academic All-America honors and was a I-AA All-American and first-team All-MEAC performer his final two seasons. As a junior, he broke the program’s single-season record with 14.5 sacks. Following his collegiate career, Woodie spent one season playing for the CFL’s British Columbia Lions.
A native of Palmetto, Florida, and graduate of Palmetto High School, Woodie graduated from Bethune-Cookman in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and earned his master’s degree in education from National Louis University.
Woodie and his wife, Stephanie, have three children, Raymond, Alanah and Kaden.
Donte’ Pimpleton Coaching History
2018- Florida State Running Backs Coach
2017 Oregon Running Backs Coach
2015-16 South Florida Running Backs Coach
2014 Kentucky Wesleyan Offensive Coordinator
2013 Kentucky Wesleyan Wide Receivers Coach
2012 Western Kentucky Wide Receivers Coach
2010-11 Western Kentucky Offensive Quality Control
2009 Louisville Offensive Quality Control
2007-08 Doss High School (Ky.) Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
2006-07 Fern Creek High School (Ky.) Wide Receivers/Defensive Backs Coach
2002 Iroquois High School (Ky.) Wide Receivers/Defensive Backs Coach
Raymond Woodie Coaching History
2018- Florida State Linebackers Coach
2017 Oregon Special Teams Coordinator/Outside Linebackers Coach
2016 South Florida Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator
2015 South Florida Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers Coach
2013-14 South Florida Linebackers Coach
2012 Western Kentucky Linebackers Coach
2010-11 Western Kentucky Defensive Ends Coach
2007-09 Palmetto High School (Fla.) Head Coach
1997-2006 Bayshore High School (Fla.) Head Coach
1996 Bayshore High School (Fla.) Defensive Coordinator