Curtis Modkins
Running Backs


Curtis Modkins enters his eighth year in the NFL and third with the Detroit Lions. Prior to Detroit, Modkins was the offensive coordinator/running backs coach for the Buffalo Bills for three seasons (2010-12).


Modkins led the Lions run game to new heights in his first season with the team in 2013, utilizing a versatile backfield combination led by RB Joique Bell to chew up yards between the tackles and create mismatches in the open field, and continued the position group’s success with the addition of RB Theo Riddick into the offense’s game plan in 2014.
  • Bell recorded a career-high 860 yards on the ground to go along with seven rushing touchdowns, as well as 34 receptions for 322 yards and one touchdown in 2014.
  • In the Lions’ NFC Wild Card game at Dallas (1/4), Bush scored the team’s second touchdown of the game on an 18-yard dash in the first quarter that capped off a 14-play, 99-yard drive. This was the first 99-yard drive by any team in the postseason since January 13, 2002 when Baltimore completed a 99-yard touchdown drive at Miami.
  • Riddick tied WR Golden Tate for third on the team in receiving touchdowns with four as he proved himself to be a versatile weapon for the Lions offense in both the running and passing games. Arguably Riddick’s biggest catches came against Atlanta in London (10/26) when he caught a one-handed pass across the middle to keep the game-winning drive alive, and also against Miami (11/9) when he caught the game-winning pass from QB Matthew Stafford with only 3:13 left to play.
  • Detroit ranked third in the NFL in total yards gained by running backs with 2,769 yards last season (1,690 rushing, 1,079 receiving) as the Lions were the only team to feature backs who combined for 1,600+-rushing yards and 1,000+-receiving yards.
  • Detroit and San Diego were the only teams who featured running back units who finished in the Top-8 (8th) in rushing yards and Top-5 in receiving yards (2nd).
  • Under Modkins’ guidance, Bush (1,006 rushing, 506 receiving) and Bell (651 rushing, 547 receiving) became the first running back tandem in NFL history to both register 500+-rushing yards and 500+-receiving yards in the same season.
  • Bush’s 1,006 rushing yards and 506 receiving yards made him the first Lions running back with 1,500 total yards since RB Barry Sanders registered 1,780 total yards in 1998.
  • Bush also became the first Lions rusher to reach 1,000 yards since RB Kevin Jones had 1,133 in 2004. It was the second 1,000-yard season for Bush in the last three seasons.
  • In total yards, Bush finished the season ranked fifth in the NFL with 108.0 yards per game. In the 14 games he played, he tallied 1,512 total yards.
  • Bell finished sixth in the NFL in receiving yards by running backs (547) and was also tied for 11th in rushing touchdowns with eight.

In 2012, Modkins coordinated the Bills offense that ranked fourth in rushing average (5.0) and sixth in rushing yards (2,217). 

Three years ago (2011), Buffalo was fourth in the NFL (led AFC) with a 4.9-yard average, also the fourth-best in Bills history and highest since 1975. RB Fred Jackson (5.5 avg., 1st in AFC) and RB C.J. Spiller (5.2 avg., 5th in AFC) both finished the year with an average of 5.0-plus yards.

In 2010, Buffalo was one of five AFC teams with a 3,000-yard passer and two players with 1,000 scrimmage yards (WR Stevie Johnson and Jackson). 

Prior to joining the Bills, Modkins was the running backs coach for the Arizona Cardinals in 2009, and he entered the NFL as the running backs coach for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008.

From 2002-07, he worked at Georgia Tech, first as the school’s defensive backs coach in 2002 and then as running backs coach from 2003-07. Modkins enjoyed a successful four-year tenure at New Mexico from 1998-2001 as the cornerbacks coach. He started his coaching career at his alma mater, Texas Christian University, where he served as a graduate assistant in 1995, secondary coach in 1996 and tight ends coach in 1997.

Modkins was a three-time intern through the NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship program. He worked with the following teams: Philadelphia Eagles (Head Coach Ray Rhodes) in 1997, Dallas Cowboys (Head Coach Chan Gailey) in 1999 and Pittsburgh Steelers (Head Coach Bill Cowher) in 2005. 

Modkins was a three-year starter for TCU and a led the Horned Frogs in rushing from 1990-92. He finished his career third on the school’s all-time rushing list with 2,763 yards and was twice named Second Team All-Southwest Conference. He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 1993 and earned his M.L.A. degree in 1997.

Modkins was born November 15, 1970. He and his wife, Kristi, have four children, Ciera, Jett, Mariah and Dash.


Detroit Lions 2013-

  • Running Backs/Run Game Coordinator 2013-

    Buffalo Bills 2010-12

    • Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs 2010-12

    Arizona Cardinals 2009

    • Running Backs 2009

    Kansas City Chiefs 2008

    • Running Backs 2008

    Georgia Tech 2002-07

    • Running Backs 2003-07
    • Defensive Backs 2002

    New Mexico 1998-2001

    • Cornerbacks 1998-2001

    Texas Christian University 1995-97

    • Tight Ends 1997
    • Secondary 1996

    Recent Videos

    • Curtis Modkins on Theo Riddick

      Posted Apr 27, 2013

      Running backs coach Curtis Modkins on the selection of RB Theo Riddick in the 6th round (199th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft