TALLAHASSEE – Florida State has hired NFL veteran and long-time South Florida high school coach Patrick Surtain Sr. from the Miami Dolphins to coach the Seminoles’ defensive backs, head coach Mike Norvell announced Wednesday.
“I’m incredibly excited to have Patrick Surtain joining the Nole Family,” Norvell said. “He brings a wealth of playing and coaching experience at the highest levels and has prioritized genuine relationships and developing players on and off the field. Patrick was an elite NFL player for more than a decade and then earned remarkable success as a high school coach in South Florida before continuing his development as an NFL coach. I’m happy for our student-athletes who will receive top-notch skills instruction while also learning life lessons from Coach Surtain.”
Surtain joins the Florida State football program after serving as a defensive assistant for the Miami Dolphins in 2022. He spent the previous nine seasons, including six as head coach, at American Heritage High School in Plantation, Florida, and was named the 2020 High School Football America National Coach of the Year. He led the Patriots to three state championships in his six seasons as head coach while developing numerous Division I players and NFL Draft picks, including Brian Burns who was the 16th overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft after a three-year career at Florida State.
During the 2021 NFL Draft alone, six former Surtain pupils from American Heritage were selected. Cornerback Patrick Surtain II was the ninth overall pick by the Denver Broncos and earned a selection to the Pro Bowl following the 2022 season. Cornerbacks Tyson Campbell and Marco Wilson were taken in the second and fourth rounds, respectively, wide receiver Anthony Schwartz was a third-round selection, defensive tackle Tedarrell Slaton was taken in the fifth round and running back Khalil Herbert was picked in the sixth round.
“It’s an honor to be joining the Florida State football family,” Surtain said. “When my NFL career finished, I knew I wanted to make an impact on the next generation, and that’s why I began coaching. Through my time coaching high school and in the NFL I’ve experienced how to maximize student-athletes’ potential coming into college and prepare them to be impactful at the next level. I appreciate the opportunity to continue building on the DBU legacy here at Florida State. I’m excited to hit the ground running with our current team and to start meeting future Seminoles.”
Surtain played 11 seasons in the NFL, spending seven years with the Dolphins after they drafted him in the second round of the 1998 NFL Draft and four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. He was a two-time All-Pro and was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 2002, 2003 and 2004 seasons. Additionally, he was named the 2002 NFL Alumni Association’s Defensive Back of the Year. For his career, he appeared in 163 games with 131 starts and recorded 547 tackles, including 435 solo stops, with 26.0 tackles for loss, 37 interceptions, eight forced fumbles and eight fumble recoveries. His 29 interceptions with the Dolphins are tied for fourth in franchise history.
Surtain, who played four years at Southern Miss, was a second-team All-American and the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year in 1997 and a first-team all-conference selection in 1996 and 1997. His 16 interceptions and 31 pass breakups rank third and fourth, respectively, on the school’s career lists. He was a 2011 inductee into the Southern Miss Hall of Fame, was named to the Senior Bowl Hall of Fame in 2021 and will be inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2023.
Originally from New Orleans, Surtain earned his bachelor’s degree in coaching and sports administration from Southern Miss in 1998. He and his wife, Michelle, have three children, Patrick II, Paris and Parker.