COACHES
Devin Fitzsimmons
Special Teams Assistant

Biography

Devin Fitzsimmons re-joined the NFL coaching realm in 2014 as the Lions’ assistant special teams coach and returns for his fifth year with the team in 2018. Fitzsimmons has helped establish Detroit as one of the most consistent and efficient special teams units in the NFL since 2014, with valuable contributions coming from the kicking and punting coverage teams. He earned his NFL start in 2011 while with the Indianapolis Colts as the team’s offensive quality control coach.

Devin Fitzsimmons re-joined the NFL coaching realm in 2014 as the Lions’ assistant special teams coach and returns for his fifth year with the team in 2018. Fitzsimmons has helped establish Detroit as one of the most consistent and efficient special teams units in the NFL since 2014, with valuable contributions coming from the kicking and punting coverage teams. He earned his NFL start in 2011 while with the Indianapolis Colts as the team’s offensive quality control coach.

LIONS COACHING HIGHLIGHTS

2017: The Lions’ 2017 special teams unit continued to impact the team’s success as the reliable trio of K Matt Prater, P Sam Martin and LS Don Muhlbach were aided by rookie return man and Associated Press First Team All-Pro CB Jamal Agnew.

  • In the third quarter at New Orleans (10/15), Agnew returned a Saints punt 74 yards for a touchdown, his second of the season. He joined Hall of Fame CB Jack Christiansen (4 in 1951) as the only rookies in Lions history to return 2+ punts for TDs. The Lions' fifth-round draft pick out of San Diego went on the lead the NFL last season in both punt return touchdowns (2) and punt return average (15.4).
  • On the season, Prater finished with 130 points and became the second player in team history, along with K Jason Hanson (1993, 1995, 2012), to score 130+ points in a season. Prater scored 130 points in a season for the third time in his career (133 in 2012, 150 in 2013), and his 130 points in 2017 tie for the third-most in team history.
  • With 30 field goals in 2017, Prater became the first player in team history to make 30+ field goals in back-to- back seasons and also joined Hanson (34 in 1993 and 32 in 2012) as the only players in team history to make 30+ field goals twice in their careers.
  • With seven 50+-yard field goals in 2016 and 2017, Prater joined K Phil Dawson (7 in 2011 and 7 in 2012) as the only kickers in NFL history to make at least seven 50+-yard field goals in consecutive seasons.
  • By playing against the Panthers in Week 5, Muhlbach played in his 201st career game and passed LB Wayne Walker (200) for sole possession of third place on the Lions' all-time list for career games played. His current total stands at 212, and he trails C Dominic Raiola (219) for second place.

2016: Highlighting the Lions’ 2016 special teams success was Prater, who earned his second career trip to the Pro Bowl after connecting on a career-high 31 field goals (T-7th in NFL). His 31 field goals made rank third all-time in Lions single-season history behind only K Jason Hanson.

  • P Sam Martin capped off 2016 with one of the best stretches of any punter as his 44.2 net punting average ranks third all-time in NFL history (2nd in NFL in 2016). His gross punting average of 48.5 also ranked third in the NFL in 2016.
  • Martin punted the ball 62 times in 2016, with 31 of them traveling 50 yards or more (50.0), which led all punters in the NFL.
  • WR Andre Roberts was one of three players in the NFL to return two punts for a touchdown during the 2016 season.

2015: Following coaching staff changes in Week 8 of the 2015 season, Fitzsimmons was promoted to the Lions’ tight ends coach for the remainder of the season.  After taking over the tight end room, Fitzsimmons saw TEs Eric Ebron, Brandon Pettigrew and Tim Wright combine for 32 catches, 316 yards and four touchdowns in the final nine games of the 2015 season.

  • The Lions were one of only 10 teams in the NFL to have three tight ends with at least one touchdown reception.
  • In his second NFL season, Ebron nearly doubled his production from 2014 in both receptions (47) and receiving yards (537) and finished with five touchdowns.
  • Prater’s highlight came in Week 17, where he buried a franchise record 59-yarder in the swirling wind at Soldier Field against Chicago as time expired in the first half.
  • S Don Carey finished tied for fourth in the NFL in special teams tackles in 2015 (16), and finished first in solo special teams tackles (14).

2014: Martin finished the 2014 season ranking in the Top-10 for net punting average for the second-consecutive season, ranking ninth (40.1).

  • On kickoffs, Martin was among the NFL’s best in preventing opponent returns with touchbacks as he finished the 2014 season tied for fifth in percentage of touchbacks on kickoffs (71.6-percent).
  • Fitzsimmons and the Lions special teams unit displayed their knack for play-calling in Week 10 of 2014 vs. Miami (11/9) as Martin completed two passes out of punt formation in the game, one of which went for 24 yards to FB Jed Collins for a first down.

Before joining the Lions, Fitzsimmons spent the 2013 season coaching special teams and tight ends at Delaware. As a unit, the Blue Hens special teams group ranked second in the nation in net punting average (41.47) and ninth in blocked kicks (six). Doubling as the team’s tight ends coach, two players received All-CAA honors under Fitzsimmons’ guidance in PR/WR Rob Jones (First Team) and TE Nick Boyle (Second Team). P Eric Enderson was also named a Freshman All-American by The Sporting News under Fitzsimmons.

Prior to his time at Delaware, Fitzsimmons was an offensive assistant at Rutgers in 2012 and got his first taste of the NFL as an offensive quality control coach with the Indianapolis Colts in 2011. His previous coaching stops include assistant positions at Richmond (2010), Virginia (2009), Kansas State (2007-08), Bucknell (2006) and Shaw University (2005).

A native of Folsom, La., Fitzsimmons played quarterback and wide receiver at Bucknell and earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the school in 2005. Fitzsimmons is married to his wife, Katie, and together they have a son, Liam.

 

FITZSIMMONS’ COACHING BACKGROUND

Detroit Lions................................................................................................. 2014-

      Assistant Special Teams................................................................ 2016-

      Assistant Special Teams/Tight Ends......................................... 2015

      Assistant Special Teams................................................................ 2014

Delaware......................................................................................................... 2013

      Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends.................................... 2013

Rutgers............................................................................................................ 2012

      Offensive Assistant........................................................................... 2012

Indianapolis Colts..................................................................................... 2011

      Offensive Quality Control................................................................ 2011

Richmond........................................................................................................ 2010

      Tight Ends.............................................................................................. 2010

Virginia............................................................................................................ 2009

      Graduate Assistant............................................................................ 2009

Kansas State................................................................................................ 2007-08

      Coordinator of Football Operations........................................... 2008

      Graduate Assistant............................................................................ 2007

Bucknell........................................................................................................... 2006

      Assistant Wide Receivers............................................................... 2006

Shaw University.......................................................................................... 2005

      Quarterbacks....................................................................................... 2005

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