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January 15, 2013

Seminoles Finalize 2013 Coaching Staff, Add Napier, Sanders


Jimbo Fisher has put the final touches on his 2013 coaching staff just over three weeks before national signing day. 

Florida State had experienced quite a bit of coaching turnover since the end of their regular season. Starting with the departure of defensive coordinator Mark Stoops and DE Coach DJ Eliot to Kentucky, the Seminoles also lost RB Coach/Special Teams coordinator Eddie Gran to Cincinnati, LB Coach Greg Hudson to Purdue and QB Coach Dameyune Craig to Auburn.

That left several gaping holes for Jimbo Fisher and Florida State to fill with national signing day looming and other schools in the region looking to exploit the Seminoles' coaching uncertainty to their advantage.

Fisher acted quickly to fill key defensive roles, adding former Tennessee DC Sal Sunseri to coach defensive ends and former Alabama DB's Coach Jeremy Pruitt to coordinate his defense. But heading into the off-season, there were still several key roles that needed filling.

A few days ago Florida State announced the hiring of Charles Kelly as their new linebackers coach and special teams coordinator. After taking over the Georgia Tech defense mid-season last year, Kelly opted to leave the DC role at Tech and come coach linebackers for the Seminoles. 

"I'm very excited to have an opportunity to work for Coach Fisher and be a part of a championship program like Florida State," Kelly said at the time. "I know Coach Fisher's goal is to win a national championship and that's something I'm hoping to help the program accomplish."

That still left the offensive side of the football though, where only OL Coach Rick Trickett, TE Coach/Offensive Coordinator James Coley and WR Coach Lawrence Dawsey remained on staff. 

On Tuesday, Fisher and the Seminoles took care of the remaining vacancies.

James Coley has been switched from Tight Ends to Quarterback Coach, replacing Dameyune Craig, he will continue in his role as the offensive coordinator as well (though playcalling duties will still be Fisher's).

The Seminoles also added two new coaches to round out their 2013 staff. Billy Napier has been hired from Colorado State to serve as the Tight Ends coach and recruiting coordinator. He was also formerly at Clemson as the team's offensive coordinator in 2009-2010.

"Billy is one of the bright young coaches in the game," said Fisher. "He's coached some excellent tight ends. He's a big time recruiter who also has some coordinator experience. He has great understanding of the big picture of the game. We're very excited to have him on staff as well."

"When you get an opportunity to come to a program with the tradition and history of Florida State, you can't pass that up," added Napier. "Coaching for coach Fisher is really going to be a great opportunity for me to work with a great coach. The timing was right in terms of where this program is headed and it is a great opportunity. I am excited to be a part of the process of working with these players and continuing to build on the championships this group was a part of in 2012."

In addition to Napier, Randy Sanders has been hired to coach the running backs next season. Sanders comes from Kentucky where he has served as the offensive coordinator and QB Coach since 2009. 

"We're very excited to welcome Randy on board," said Fisher. "I've known him for a very long time. He's been one of the best coaches in the country for a while now. He's a tremendous running backs coach and also brings coordinator experience. He's a great recruiter and a great person and will be a tremendous addition to our staff."

"I am very excited to be at Florida State," Sanders via press release. "I have been coaching since 1989, the same year I got married. Right around that time I had a discussion with my wife on where I would like to coach and there were four schools on my list and Florida State was one of those schools. That was one of the first things she reminded me of when the opportunity came along. I have always wanted to coach here.

"I am getting the opportunity to coach with a group of guys, for the most part, that I have known a lot of them and that I have a lot of respect for. I get to work with some of the best players in the country at a school that has some of college football's greatest traditions. There's not a whole lot not to like."

With these final additions, Florida State's coaching staff is complete and can now focus on locking down another top ten recruiting class in the final weeks before national signing day. The Seminoles are still actively pursuing a number of highly touted players, their class is currently ranked 10th in the country by ESPN and could rise as FSU closes on several more targets in the coming weeks.

Here's a final glimpse of how the 'Noles coaching staff will look for the 2013 season:

Jimbo Fisher - Head Coach
James Coley - Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
Jeremy Pruitt - Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach
Rick Trickett - Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach
Lawrence Dawsey - Passing Game Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach
Odell Haggins - Defensive Line Coach
Charles Kelly - Linebackers Coach/Special Teams Coordinator
Billy Napier - Tight Ends Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Randy Sanders - Running Backs Coach
Sal Sunseri - Defensive Ends Coach
Vic Viloria - Strength and Conditioning Coach
Dan Gayton - Offensive Graduate Assistant
David Spurlock - Offensive Graduate Assistant
Addison Lynch - Defensive Graduate Assistant
Joe Scola - Defensive Graduate Assistant


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