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Former Seminoles star Ernie Sims returns to Florida State as defensive analyst

Ex-FSU linebacker, first-round NFL Draft pick has spent last 6 seasons on staffs at FAU, USF, UCF
Ernie Sims, former Florida State Seminoles linebacker, joins team as defensive analyst
Posted at 1:46 PM, Apr 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-01 13:50:32-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Former Florida State linebacker and first-round NFL Draft pick Ernie Sims is coming home.

Florida State announced Monday that Sims, born and raised in Tallahassee, will join head coach Mike Norvell's staff as a defensive analyst.

"I am so happy to bring Ernie back home into this program," Norvell said in a statement. "He was a tremendous player at Florida State and in the NFL, and he has a wealth of football knowledge and experience as a player and coach. This is a wonderful opportunity to continue enhancing our football staff as we work to put our players and coaches in the best position to be successful."

Sims played for the Seminoles from 2003-05 and was an All-American as a sophomore in 2004. He left school early and became the No. 9 overall pick by the Detroit Lions in the 2006 draft.

Ernie Sims holds Detroit Lions jersey while posing for photo with head coach Rod Marinelli and team president and CEO Matt Millen, April 30, 2006
First-round draft pick Ernie Sims holds a Detroit Lions jersey while posing for a photograph with head coach Rod Marinelli, left, and team president and CEO Matt Millen, right, during a news conference on Sunday, April 30, 2006, in Allen Park, Mich.

After an eight-year NFL career with the Lions (2006-09), Philadelphia Eagles (2010), Indianapolis Colts (2011) and Dallas Cowboys (2012-13), Sims retired and began his college coaching career in his home state of Florida.

Sims spent two seasons under Lane Kiffin at Florida Atlantic, serving as the team's strength and conditioning coordinator in 2018 and then as director of football operations in 2019.

He then spent three seasons on the staff at South Florida, beginning as a defensive quality control analyst in 2020 before becoming linebackers coach in 2021. He served as the Bulls' defensive coordinator for the final three games of the 2022 season.

Sims spent the 2023 season coaching linebackers at Central Florida.

"I'm excited for this opportunity to return to Florida State," Sims said in a statement. "Tallahassee is my home, and Florida State University played a vital role in my development on and off the field. I've taken lessons that I learned here with me throughout my career, so the opportunity to come back and contribute again to the football program is incredibly meaningful to me."

Maryland Terrapins receiver Rich Parson wrapped up by Florida State Seminoles linebackers Buster Davis and Ernie Sims, Oct. 30, 2004
Maryland wide receiver Rich Parson pushes through Florida State linebackers Buster Davis (7) and linebacker Ernie Sims (34) during the first half Saturday, Oct. 30, 2004, in College Park, Md. The Terrapins upset Florida State 20-17.

The Seminoles are coming off a 13-1 campaign last season that ended in a 63-3 rout by Georgia in the Orange Bowl after being snubbed a spot in the four-team College Football Playoff.

"It's been rewarding to watch coach Norvell build this program back among the best in the nation," Sims added. "I'm grateful to be joining his staff and can't wait to see what the future has in store for Florida State."

Sims returned to Florida State after his NFL career and completed his bachelor's degree in social science in 2018.