TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Adam Fuller has been named Florida State’s defensive coordinator, head coach Mike Norvell announced Thursday.
“We are so very excited about the addition of Adam Fuller to the Florida State football family,” Norvell said. “Adam is one of the top defensive minds in college football and has been a part of developing some of the most productive defensive units in the nation throughout his career. Coach Fuller will bring an aggressive and detailed approach to our Seminole defense. It will put our great student-athletes in a position to showcase all their skills and talents while being developed at the highest level. Adam has recruited the state of Florida, specifically the Tampa area, throughout his career, which will assist in fostering relationships throughout the state. I am excited to see him elevate our Florida State defense back to one of the nation’s elite.”
Fuller spent the 2019 season as Norvell’s defensive coordinator at Memphis, helping lead the Tigers to a program-record 12 wins, including the school’s first outright conference championship since 1969, and a berth in the New Year’s Six Cotton Bowl. His defense, which featured five all-conference performers, ranked 20th in FBS with a team passing efficiency defense rating of 115.36 and ranked 25th in the nation with an average of 7.0 tackles for loss per game. The Tigers forced 18 turnovers and returned two for touchdowns as Memphis became one of only six teams in the country with multiple defensive touchdowns each season from 2016-19.
In the regular season finale that clinched a third straight berth in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game, Memphis recorded 15 tackles for loss, the fifth-highest single-game total in the nation in 2019 and one shy of the program record. One week earlier the Tigers held USF to five first downs and forced five straight three-and-outs to close out a 49-10 victory.
“My family and I are very excited to join the Seminole program,” Fuller said. “The history and tradition of Florida State’s defense brings a major responsibility. I look forward to embracing the pride that comes along with that.”
Fuller arrived in Memphis following six years on the defensive staff at Marshall, including serving as defensive coordinator in 2018. That year, the Thundering Herd ranked seventh in FBS with an average of 3.23 sacks per game and eighth in rushing defense, allowing 104.2 yards per game. Fuller coordinated one of only three defenses in the country that did not allow a 100-yard rusher that season. The defense allowed a third-down conversion percentage of only .317, 13th-lowest in the nation, and also ranked 12th with 12 fumble recoveries, 17th with three defensive touchdowns and 20th with 24 total turnovers forced.
From 2013-17, Fuller served as Marshall’s assistant head coach and linebacker coach along with overseeing special teams. In his first season with the Thundering Herd, the defense allowed 22.9 points per game one season after giving up 43.1 points per game, a turnaround that helped win the division crown and the Military Bowl.
In 2014, the improvement continued as Marshall finished 13-1 with a victory in the Boca Raton Bowl and was ranked No. 22 in the final AP poll. All three of Fuller’s specialists earned first-team all-conference honors, and linebacker Neville Hewitt was the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year. Fuller made it two straight Defensive Player of the Year honors courtesy of linebacker Evan McKelvey, and the Thundering Herd finished the 2015 season 10-3 after a victory in the St. Petersburg Bowl. In 2017, Marshall ranked 17th in the country with a scoring defense average of 19.9 points per game and ranked 10th in red zone defense, allowing points on only 73.2 percent of opponents’ drives into the red zone. The Thundering Herd also had the conference’s top rushing defense, ranking 19th in the nation with an average of 121.2 yards allowed per game.
Prior to his time at Marshall, Fuller was the defensive coordinator at Chattanooga from 2009-12. In his first season, his defense was the most improved in FCS. The Mocs allowed 25.7 points per game and 307.7 yards of total offense one season after giving up 37.9 points and 442.5 yards per game. The defensive strides helped Chattanooga go from one win in 2008 to six victories in 2009.
Fuller spent the 2008 season as the head coach at Assumption College, a Division II program in Worcester, Massachusetts. He was hired to the head chair after three seasons at Richmond, where he helped the Spiders win two conference championships and advance to the national semifinal round of the FCS playoffs in 2007 and the quarterfinals in 2005. He helped develop three NFL Draft picks at Richmond.
From 1999-2004 Fuller coached at Wagner, starting as linebackers coach for two seasons before taking over the defensive backs and adding special teams coordinator duties. His final season he was the co-defensive coordinator. His first coaching job was overseeing linebackers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Fuller was a four-year letterwinner at Sacred Heart University, where he earned All-America honors from his linebacker position in 1996 and served as a team captain in 1997. He earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in sociology from Sacred Heart in 1998 and a master’s degree in secondary education from Wagner in 2001.
Fuller and his wife, Hope, have two sons, Jack and Aidan.
|Dec. 2019-||Florida State||Defensive Coordinator|
|2017||Marshall||Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers|
|2013-16||Marshall||Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers|
|2008||Assumption College||Head Coach|
|2006-07||Richmond||Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers|
|2004||Wagner College||co-Defensive Coordinator|
|2001-03||Wagner College||Special Teams Coordinator/Defensive Backs|
|1998||Worcester Polytechnic Institute||Linebackers|