Bill Atkins

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For other people named Bill Atkins, see Bill Atkins (disambiguation).
Bill Atkins
No. 29, 20, 2, 28
Defensive back/punter
Personal information
Date of birth: (1934-11-19)November 19, 1934
Place of birth: Millport, Alabama
Date of death: November 5, 1991(1991-11-05) (aged 56)
Place of death: El Paso, Texas
Career information
College: Auburn
NFL Draft: 1958 / Round: 5 / Pick: 59
Debuted in 1958
Last played in 1964
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Stats at

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, William Ellis Atkins, Jr., better known as Ace, also played football at Auburn University on its 1993 undefeated team. Today, Ace Atkins is a New York Times-bestselling author of more than a dozen novels.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Billy Atkins". Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 6, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Billy Atkins". The Pro Football Archives. Retrieved October 6, 2009.