Heggins to Coach Offensive Line

Jimmy Heggins, the offensive line coach the previous 11 seasons at Florida State University, has joined the University of Kentucky staff and will coach the Wildcat O-Line, Coach Rich Brooks has announced.

"The players that Jimmy coached at Florida State speak to the type of coach he is. When you have that many All-Americans and National Football League players, you know you have someone who can coach sound, fundamental football," Brooks said. "I'm excited to get an offensive line coach with the experience and reputation that Jimmy has earned."

Heggins was on the Florida State staff for 19 seasons, coaching nose guards (1986-89), tight ends (1990-91), and tackles and tight ends (1992-93) before taking over all of the offensive line in 1994. In his 19 years at FSU, the Seminoles went 195-38-2, won The Associated Press national championship in 1993 and 1999, and went to 19 consecutive bowl games, including six Sugar Bowls, five Orange Bowls, three Fiesta Bowls, two Gator Bowls, and one All-America Bowl, Blockbuster Bowl, and Cotton Bowl. Since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1992, the Seminoles have won 11 league championships.

After Heggins was named offensive line coach in 1994, Florida State O-Linemen earned All-America honors 12 times, including eight first-team All-America choices. His offensive linemen garnered 18 first-team All-ACC selections and 12 second-team All-ACC picks.

Heggins coached eight Seminole offensive linemen who were selected in the National Football League draft, with two more expected to boost that number this year. Seattle selected Walter Jones with the No. 6 overall pick in 1997 and he started for the Seahawks as a rookie. Tra Thomas was selected with the 11th pick of the 1999 draft by Philadelphia. Both have become All-Pros. In fact, FSU's 1996 offensive line produced three NFL players with Clay Shiver starting at center for the Dallas Cowboys in 1997 and Todd Fordham, who is now with the Carolina Panthers. Most recently Brett Williams, who was twice named the ACC's top blocker, was selected by Kansas City in the 2003 draft along with Todd Williams (Tennessee Titans). Milford Brown was taken in a supplemental draft following the 2002 season. In addition to his offensive line protégés, Heggins coached a pair of tight ends who enjoyed NFL careers in Reggie Johnson and Lonnie Johnson.

A native of Salisbury, N. C., Heggins went to Florida State in 1974 as a running back. After two seasons in the offensive backfield, he moved to nose guard in 1976, Coach Bobby Bowden's first year at FSU, and was named the team's outstanding defensive player.

After graduation, Heggins became an assistant football coach and head track and field coach at South Miami (Fla.) High School. He began his collegiate coaching career as a graduate assistant coach at East Carolina and Florida State. He coached the running backs at Western Illinois and Eastern Michigan, and the defensive ends at Southwestern Louisiana, before returning to his alma mater.

"I'm excited to be at Kentucky,"Heggins said. "I was ready for a change and talking to Coach Brooks got me excited about what he has going on and what he wants to accomplish here."

Heggins has two daughters, Andrea and Lauren.


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