Florida State football: FSU hires Patrick Surtain as new defensive backs coach

Florida State has reportedly found its new defensive backs coach.

It didn’t take long for FSU to replace Marcus Woodson, now co-defensive coordinator for the Arkansas Razorbacks, as ESPN’s Pete Thamel and Matt Fortuna from Athleticism both report that the Seminoles have hired Patrick Surtain.

Mike Norvell really wanted to add a coach with strong ties to South Florida, and they don’t get much stronger than Surtain.

A defensive analyst for the Miami Dolphins this season, Surtain had spent the previous five years of his career as the head coach of South Florida powerhouse American Heritage. Surtain spent 11 years in the NFL, seven with the Miami Dolphins and four with the Kansas City Chiefs.

A highly respected name in South Florida, this is a rental with plenty of benefits for FSU.

Excerpt from his biography on dolphins:

Patrick Surtain (pronounced sir-TAN) joined the Miami Dolphins as a defensive assistant in 2022 after a stellar playing career nearly two decades ago.

A member of the franchise’s 50th season all-time team, Surtain had a seven-year career (1998-2004) as a cornerback for the Dolphins.

Surtain spent nine years (2013-21) coaching at American Heritage High School in Plantation, Florida. He began his tenure as an assistant coach in 2013 before being promoted to head coach in 2016.

During his six seasons (2016-21) as head coach of American Heritage, the Patriots won three state championships (2016, 2017 and 2020). In addition to building a successful team, Surtain also helped develop several players who earned Division I scholarships and became NFL draft picks.

In the 2021 NFL Draft, six players were selected to play for Surtain at American Heritage. They include cornerback Patrick Surtain II (first round, ninth overall, Denver), cornerback Tyson Campbell (second round, 33rd overall, Jacksonville), wide receiver Anthony Schwartz (third round, 91st overall, Cleveland), cornerback Marco Wilson (fourth round, 136th overall, Arizona), defensive tackle Tedarrell Slaton (fifth round, 173rd overall, Green Bay) and running back Khalil Herbert (sixth round, 217th overall , Chicago). Defensive end Brian Burns (first round, 16th overall, Carolina) was selected in the 2019 NFL Draft after playing high school football for Surtain at American Heritage.

Surtain played 11 seasons in the NFL, including seven for Miami (1998-2004) and four for Kansas City (2005-08). He appeared in 163 games with 131 starts, totaling 534 career tackles (425 solo), 7.5 sacks, 37 interceptions, 114 passes defended, six forced fumbles and eight fumble recoveries.

Surtain is tied for fourth in Dolphins history with 29 interceptions. He earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2002 and second-team All-Pro honors in 2003. Surtain was also a three-time Pro Bowl selection from 2002 to 2004. In 2002, he was named Defensive Back of the Year by the NFL Alumni Association.

Surtain served four years (1994-97) in southern Mississippi and was named Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year in 1997. He earned first-team All-CUSA honors as a junior in 1996 and senior in 1997.

Originally from New Orleans, Surtain and his wife, Michelle, have three children, Patrick II, Paris and Parker. Patrick II plays cornerback for the Denver Broncos and was the ninth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

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