Alex Atkins enters his second season as Florida State’s offensive coordinator and fourth on staff in 2023.
Atkins, who also served as offensive coordinator at Charlotte in 2019, was the offensive line coach on Mike Norvell’s first Florida State staff in 2020 and has continued coaching that position group with his elevation to the Seminoles’ offensive coordinator. His FSU offensive line has featured 18 different starting combinations in 34 games, but has blocked for 18 games with at least 200 rushing yards, including a school-record-tying seven consecutive 200-yard rushing games in 2022. The group has produced six all-conference performers and two Freshman All-Americans under Atkins.
In 2022, Atkins coordinated one of the most explosive offenses in the nation while helping lead FSU to a 10-3 record and a final ranking of No. 10 in the Coaches Poll and No. 11 in the AP poll. Florida State led the nation with its average of 7.46 plays of 20-plus yards per game, the program’s highest season average since the 2013 national championship, and was third in the country with an explosive play rate of 17.15 percent. The Seminoles were one of two teams nationally to average at least 270 passing yards and at least 210 rushing yards per game in 2022. FSU also tied for the national lead with eight touchdown drives of 90-plus yards, and its 16 touchdown drives of 80-plus yards were third-most in the country.
The Seminoles led the ACC in third-down offense, yards gained per pass, yards gained per play, yards gained per rush, total offense per game, yards per completion, rushing offense per game and scoring offense per game. Florida State was the first team to lead the ACC in scoring offense and total in the same season since 2019 and was one of two teams nationally to lead its conference in yards per rush, yards per pass and yards per play in 2022.
In Atkins’ first season coordinating FSU’s offense, the Seminoles showed remarkable improvement in all areas. Florida State’s 36.1 points per game average was an increase of 8.5 points per game from 2021, while the 270.2 passing yards were an increase of 68.6 yards per game and the 214.1 rushing yards increased 36.4 yards per game for a total offense increase of 104.9 yards per game to an average of 484.2. FSU also increased its third-down percentage by 16.6 percent to 51.2, a mark that ranked fourth in the country. The Seminoles’ ranked 10th nationally in total offense and yards per completion.
He oversaw the development of eight All-ACC honorees on offense in 2022, including first-team offensive lineman Dillan Gibbons and second-team selections quarterback Jordan Travis, offensive lineman Robert Scott Jr., running back Trey Benson and wide receiver Johnny Wilson. Florida State was the only school in the conference with at least one first- or second-team selection at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and offensive line. Gibbons also became the ACC’s first winner of the Wuerffel Trophy, was chosen as captain of the AFCA Good Works Team and earned the Jim Tatum Award as the ACC’s top senior scholar-athlete.
Florida State was led by Travis, who was PFF’s highest-graded quarterback and the highest-graded offensive player in the ACC. Travis continued to showcase his development under Norvell, ranking first in the ACC in yards per play, yards per pass attempt, yards per completion and pass efficiency rating. He had a school-record six straight games accounting for at least three touchdowns and became the first player in program history with at least 20 passing touchdowns and seven rushing touchdowns in one season. The redshirt junior saved his best performance for last, accounting for an FSU bowl-record 468 yards of total offense in the Cheez-It Bowl victory over Oklahoma that included a career-high 418 passing yards and 50 rushing yards, making him only the fifth player nationally with at least 400 passing yards and 50 rushing yards in a bowl game since 2000.
Benson led the ACC with his average of 6.43 yards per carry and broke PFF College’s single-season record by forcing 0.51 missed tackles per rush. Wilson led the ACC and ranked third nationally with 22 catches of at least 20 yards, and his average of 20.86 yards per catch was second in the conference and fifth in the country.
Atkins’ 2021 line was highlighted by honorable mention All-ACC guards Gibbons and Devontay Love-Taylor. The duo helped lead an offensive line that blocked as FSU converted 32 consecutive red zone trips into points, the longest active streak in the nation entering the 2022 season, while leading the ACC and ranking seventh nationally by scoring touchdowns on 73.8 percent of red zone trips in 2021.
In his first season with the Seminoles, Atkins led a young group that blocked for a top-20 rushing offense while featuring nine different starters making up six different starting lineups in nine games. Robert Scott, Jr., and Maurice Smith were both recognized among the best freshmen in the country as Scott earned True Freshman All-America honors from 247Sports and Smith was named a Freshman All-American by Rivals.
Florida State averaged 199.9 rushing yards per game, the program’s highest since 2016 and 20th nationally among teams that played at least nine games in 2020, and 5.11 yards per rush, 16th in the nation among teams with at least 350 carries and FSU’s most in a season since 2015. The Seminoles topped 400 yards of total offense in five of the last seven games, including more than 500 yards of total offense twice, and produced FSU’s first game with at least 250 yards rushing and passing since 2016.
In the season finale, a 56-35 win over Duke, Florida State rushed for six touchdowns, the most in the ACC and tied for the seventh-highest single-game total nationally in 2020. That also was only the second time in FSU history the Seminoles rushed for six touchdowns in a conference game. At North Carolina State, Florida State started four freshmen offensive lineman for the first time since 2011. That group blocked as FSU had five successful fourth-down conversions, which was the second-highest single-game total in program history, the most by an ACC program in 2020 and the second-highest total nationally in 2020.
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.
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, a fourth-round selection by the New York Jets in the 2020 NFL Draft, 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.
|2022-||Florida State||Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line|
|2020-21||Florida State||Offensive Line|
|2019||Charlotte||Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line|
|2018||Tulane||Assistant Head Coach/Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line|
|2016-17||Tulane||Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line|
|2014-15||Georgia Southern||Offensive Line|
|2010-11||Itawamba Community College||Offensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator|