Donte’ Pimpleton is in his second season as the Seminoles’ running backs coach in 2019.
Pimpleton, who was college teammates with head coach Willie Taggart, has joined his staff for the fourth time. Pimpleton first coached with Taggart 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.
Last year, his group accounted for 1,769 all-purpose yards and was led by Cam Akers’ team-high 866 all-purpose yards and eight touchdowns. Akers was a big-play threat and steady contributor for the Seminoles as his three runs of 50-plus yards, including an 85-yard rush that tied for the seventh-longest run in program history, tied for fourth in the ACC and he led the team in rushing in 10 of 12 games.
Akers recorded his fifth career 100-yard rushing game in the win vs. No. 22 Boston College as FSU produced a 300-yard passer, 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver in the same game for the first time in more than two years. Senior Jacques Patrick moved into 16th on the program’s all-time career rushing list in his one season under Pimpleton, rounding out his career with 1,790 yards to sit two spots ahead of Akers’ 1,730 career yards.
In 2017 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.
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. Freeman was selected in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos, marking the second straight year a Pimpleton-coached back was drafted.
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.
|2018-||Florida State||Running Backs|
|2015-16||South Florida||Running Backs|
|2014||Kentucky Wesleyan||Offensive Coordinator|
|2013||Kentucky Wesleyan||Wide Receivers|
|2012||Western Kentucky||Wide Receivers|
|2010-11||Western Kentucky||Offensive Quality Control|
|2009||Louisville||Offensive Quality Control|
|2007-08||Doss High School (Kentucky)||Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks|
|2006||Fern Creek High School (Kentucky)||Wide Receivers/Defensive Backs|
|2002||Iroquois High School (Kentucky)||Wide Receivers/Defensive Backs|