Billy Atkins
refer to caption
Atkins in 1963
No. 29, 20, 2, 28
Position:Defensive back, punter
Personal information
Born:(1934-11-19)November 19, 1934
Millport, Alabama
Died:November 5, 1991(1991-11-05) (aged 56)
El Paso, Texas
Career information
NFL Draft:1958 / Round: 5 / Pick: 59
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:64
Player stats at · PFR

William Ellis Atkins (November 19, 1934 – November 5, 1991)[2] was an American football defensive back and punter from Auburn University who played for the San Francisco 49ers in the National Football League, and in the American Football League for the Buffalo Bills, the New York Titans/Jets, and the Denver Broncos. He was an AFL All-Star in 1961.

On January 8, 1966, Atkins was named the head coach of the Troy State Trojans football team. In 1968, he coached Troy State to an NAIA National Championship and was named the NAIA Coach of the Year. Atkins finished at Troy State with a 44–16–2 record before leaving in 1971. He is the second-most winningest coach in Troy history, only behind Larry Blakeney.

Atkins' son, author William Ellis "Ace" Atkins Jr., also played football at Auburn and was member of its 1993 undefeated team.[3][4]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Troy State Trojans (Alabama Collegiate Conference) (1966–1969)
1966 Troy State 5–5 1–2
1967 Troy State 8–2 3–0 1st
1968 Troy State 11–1 3–0 1st W NAIA Championship
1969 Troy State 8–1–1 3–0 1st
Troy State Trojans (Mid-South Athletic Conference / Gulf South Conference) (1970–1971)
1970 Troy State 6–4–1 3–2 3rd
1971 Troy State 6–3 5–1 T–1st
Troy State: 44–16–2 18–5
Total: 44–16–2
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth

See also


  1. ^ "Billy Atkins". Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 6, 2009.
  2. ^ "Billy Atkins". The Pro Football Archives. Archived from the original on June 6, 2014. Retrieved October 6, 2009.
  3. ^ Shearer, Jeff (September 20, 2020). "On the cover: From sacks to books, Auburn's Ace Atkins stands tall". Auburn Tigers. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  4. ^ Edgemon, Erin (January 13, 2019). "Alabama native, bestselling author Ace Atkins to be honored". Retrieved October 13, 2021.