Long time coach Kirk Doll joins Panthers

Peter Holland Jr./ Staff Writer

FIU Head Coach Ron Turner announced on Thursday, Feb. 18, that he has hired longtime assistant coach Kirk Doll as the special team’s coordinator. Doll brings in 36 years of coaching experience in the collegiate level. He has been in eight football programs that been in the total of 17 bowl games and two professional teams in the American Football Conference that been in the playoffs.

“I’m excited about Kirk joining our staff as the special team’s coordinator, he brings a lot of experience to the table,” said Turner. “He’s coached offense, defense and special teams. He’s been in the NFL as well as with a lot of different colleges, working alongside some really strong people. He’ll bring some new ideas, some fresh thoughts, and some expertise to our staff.”

Before coming to FIU, Doll spent his last four years at East Carolina University as the special team’s coordinator and running backs coach. ECU rushed for 2,000 yards for the first time since 2009 when Doll was coaching. His special team’s unit also received some recognition nationally while he was the special team’s coordinator.

This was not the first time Turner has worked with Doll. Both coached together at Texas A&M University.

“I’m excited about reconnecting with Coach Turner,” Doll said. “We coached together at Texas A&M a few years back and I’ve always had a lot of respect for Coach Turner and his wife, Wendy. It’s good to know someone when you come into a new situation. I have been around Coach (Steve) Shankweiler and his son, Kort, as well as Coach (Ron) Cooper. There are some guys I have some familiarity with and am looking forward to working with them. My focus now is to study the players and see how we can get them in the right places to be successful.”

In 2015, Doll, who is from Wichita, Kan., was honored by his hometown by being inducted into the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame and Museum on April 18.

In 1973, he earned his bachelor’s degree at ECU. Four years later he earned another undergraduate degree at Wichita State. While at WSU, he began his coaching career as a graduate assistant. He then later coached full time at University of Tulsa as an offensive line coach (1980-1984), outside linebacker’s coach at Arizona State University (1985-1987) and linebackers coach at TAMU (1988-1993). He spent seven years coaching multiple positions at University of Notre Dame, including assistant head coach.

Doll also coached two seasons at Louisiana State University as an assistant head coach and linebackers coach in 2002-2003, working under Nick Saban as the head coach, and Jimbo Fisher and Will Muschamp as coordinators. At that time, they were 13-1 overall, and were BCS national champs, defeating University of Oklahoma 21-14. He left LSU with a 21-6 record.

His college football résumé didn’t go unnoticed in the pro leagues. In 2004-2006, he served as the special team’s coach for the Denver Broncos. He was there when they had a winning record and played in the AFC Championship game in 2005.

He would then go back to coaching in college and would return to TAMU for two more seasons (2008-2009) as a tight ends coach and special teams coach. He would also experience coaching one year at the United Football League (UFL) as the special team’s coach for the Omaha Nighthawks in 2010 before joining the coaching staff for San Jose State University for the same position and running backs coach.

While serving for the Spartans before going back to ECU, the kicking game was well known nationally. It was led by kicker Jens Alvemik, who finished second nationally in field goals per game, and punter Harrison Waid, who ranked 26th in the FBS with a 42.79 average.

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