The 2020 season is Devin Fitzsimmons’ second second on the Vanderbilt coaching staff. He serves as special teams coordinator and tight ends coach for Derek Mason’s Commodore program.
Prior to Vanderbilt, Fitzsimmons spent the previous five years in the National Football League, serving as assistant special teams coach for Detroit, helped the Lions establish one of the most consistent and efficient special teams units in the NFL.
He mentored one of the NFL’s top kickers in Matt Prater, who converted on 132 of 153 field goal attempts (86.3 percent) during Fitzsimmons’ five-year tenure. Lions’ punter Sam Martin also averaged at least 43 yards each year during Fitzsimmons’ service, topped by an average of 48.5 yards in 2016.
In 2018, the Lions’ kickoff coverage units ranked among the NFL’s best. The unit tied for second in the league, holding opponents to an average drive start at the 22.4-yard line. Detroit long snapper Don Muhlbach also participated in the 2019 Pro Bowl.
In 2017, Lions rookie Jamal Agnew earned All-Pro recognition as a punt returner with a 15.4-yard average. He also returned two punts for touchdowns that year.
In 2015, Fitzsimmons served as the Lions’ tight end coach for the final eight games of the regular season. In that span, Detroit tight ends Eric Ebron, Brandon Pettigrew and Tim Wright combined for 32 catches, 316 yards and four touchdowns. That season, Lions’ defender Don Carey topped the NFL with 14 solo tackles on special teams.
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, he helped PR/WR Rob Jones and tight end Nick Boyle earn all-conference honors and punter Eric Enderson claim freshman All-America recognition by The Sporting News.
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. He also had previous coaching staffs at the Richmond (2010), Virginia (2009), Kansas State (2007-08), Bucknell (2006) and Shaw (2005).
Fitzsimmons played quarterback and wide receiver at Bucknell, earning a bachelor’s degree in history in 2005.
Fitzsimmons and his wife, Katie, are the parents of a son, Liam, and a daughter, Nora.
The Fitzsimmons File
2019 – Vanderbilt – Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends Coach
2014-18 – Detroit (NFL) – Special Teams Assistant
2013 – Delaware – Special Teams/Tight Ends
2012 – Rutgers – Offensive Assistant
2011 – Indianapolis (NFL) – Offensive Quality Control
2010 – Richmond
2009 – Virginia
2007-08 – Kansas State
2006 – Bucknell
2005 – Shaw