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 fourth year with the team in 2017. 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, punting and 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 fourth year with the team in 2017. 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, punting and coverage teams. He earned his NFL start in 2011 while with the Indianapolis Colts as the team’s offensive quality control coach.

FITZSIMMONS’ COACHING HIGHLIGHTS

2016: Highlighting the Lions’ 2016 special teams success was K Matt 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.

  • Prater, with a 54-yard field goal in the season finale vs. Green Bay (1/1), recorded his seventh 50-yard field goal of the season, marking the second-most by a Lions kicker in franchise history (Hanson, 8 in 2008).
  • With 124 points scored, Prater led the Lions in scoring in 2016. He reached 120+ points for the eighth time in team history and became the first player to accomplish this since Hanson’s franchise single-season record of 134 points in 2012. Prater’s 124 points rank as the sixth-highest single-season total in team history.
  • 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.
  • In his 13th NFL season, veteran LS Don Muhlbach played in all 16 games in 2016, moving his total career games played with the Lions to 196. He now ranks fourth on the franchise’s all-time list for career games played and trails Wayne Walker (200) for third place.

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-

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

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

      Special Teams Assistant..........................................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...........................................................2006

Recent Videos

  • Tori, Mike & Tim: Bye week review

    Posted 18 hours ago

    Tori Petry, Tim Twentyman and Mike O'Hara break down the Lions' first six games of the season and assess where the team is at during their bye.

  • Top 10 Defensive Plays

    Posted Oct 20, 2017

    Watch the Lions' top 10 defensive plays through the first 6 weeks of the season

  • Bye week comes at right time

    Posted Oct 20, 2017

    Tori Petry recaps the highlights of the week in sixty seconds on 0 to 60 presented by Comerica Bank.

  • Top 10 Offensive Plays

    Posted Oct 19, 2017

    Watch the Lions' top 10 offensive plays through the first 6 weeks of the season

  • Inside look at player workouts and recovery

    Posted Oct 18, 2017

    Head strength and conditioning coach Harold Nash Jr. and team performance dietician Sarah Snyder take Tori Petry through a day in the life of post-game day recovery, presented by Kroger.

Photos