July 16, 1999
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Billy Sexton has been a familiar sight on the sidelines of Florida
State football games since 1973. The Tallahassee native started his career
at FSU as a player for the Seminoles and went on to become a graduate
assistant coach and then a full-time coach in 1977. Only outside
linebackers coach Jim Gladden has logged more time on the Seminole coaching
staff than Sexton.
The 1999 season will be Sexton’s 17th as the Seminoles running backs
coach, where a slew of pros have learned and refined their skills under the
former FSU quarterback. Sexton’s pro proteges increased when Warrick Dunn
was drafted by Tampa Bay in 1997 and earned NFL Offensive Rookie of the
Year honors. Dunn became Florida State’s all-time leading rusher in 1996and
finished his career with 3,989 yards.
Sexton has seen nine of his pupils taken in the draft since 1988,
including first rounders Dunn, William Floyd (San Francisco 49ers, 1994),
Dexter Carter (San Francisco 49ers, 1990) and Sammie Smith (Miami Dolphins,
1989). Also among Sexton’s former pupils are All-American Greg Allen, who
broke 26 school records during his FSU career, and Edgar Bennett, of the
Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers and now the Chicago Bears.
Since 1983, Sexton’s running backs have become one of the most
effective components of the FSU offense, averaging nearly six yards per
carry and over 10 yards per catch during those 15 seasons. Florida State’s
backs have earned a reputation for being sure-handed receivers.
Sexton joined the Florida State staff as a graduate assistant in 1976,
Bobby Bowden’s first year as the FSU mentor. He became a member of the
full-time staff in 1977 and worked with the Seminole quarterbacks for five
seasons until 1982, when he became the head junior varsity coach and
handled scouting duties. He took over the running backs position the
A standout at Leon High School in Tallahassee, Sexton played his first
three years of college football at Alabama before transferring to Florida
State. He was the Seminoles’ starting quarterback for the opening half of
the 1973 season.
Sexton earned a bachelor’s degree in business from FSU and began his
coaching career as an assistant coach at Leon before returning to Florida
State as a coach.
He and his wife, Joy, have three children — Wyatt, Leslie and Taylor.