Report: Zach Azzanni new Vols receivers coach

Zach Azzanni is leaving Wisconsin to become receivers coach for Butch Jones at Tennessee, the Wisconsin State Journal reported Friday night.

Azzanni was Jones' receivers coach at Central Michigan from 2007-09 and his hiring would complete Jones' new staff at Tennessee.

Tennessee has not confirmed Azzanni's hiring yet. Jones was named Tennessee's new coach Dec. 7.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported that Azzanni was leaving for Tennessee, citing a source close to the Wisconsin program.

The newspaper said Azzanni will coach Wisconsin through the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 against Stanford.

Wisconsin beat writer Thomas Mulhern said, "Azzanni's energetic and hard-driving style was embraced by his players.''

Tennessee will be Azzanni's fifth school in five years.

Azzanni also has ties to Urban Meyer. He coached for Meyer at Bowling Green and rejoined Meyer as receivers coach and passing game coordinator at Florida in 2010.

When Meyer resigned citing health reasons, Azzanni went to Western Kentucky as offensive coordinator in 2011 and then to Wisconsin as receivers coach for Brad Bielema in 2012.

Bielema resigned last week to take over at Arkansas. Wisconsin has not hired a new coach.

Azzanni, from Utica, Mich., played receiver at Central Michigan from 1994-98. His career began as a walk-on.

After six years at Bowling Green, he returned to his alma mater to serve as Jones' receivers coach with the additional title of assistant head coach.

When Jones left Central Michigan for Cincinnati in 2010, Azzanni went to Florida.

Jones confirmed his UT staff Thursday, all but the receivers position. He first pursued former UT quarterback Tee Martin but Martin elected to stay at Southern Cal.

Azzanni becomes the fifth member of Jones' Central Michigan coaching staff to join him at Tennessee. The other four also coached for Jones at Cincinnati from 2010-12.

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Comments » 118

oldvoltimer62 writes:

Welcome to Rocky Top

snafu14u#241639 writes:

I like this hire. Good mentors, young, played the position, worked as a coordinator and a little SEC background. Since we can't get Peerless Price, Donta Stallworth or even Jerry Rice. Welcome aboard. Bonzaivol......just a little tongue in cheek on the wish list.

Enki_Amenra writes:

Welcome, Indeed... the resume highlights referenced in the article seem to reveal an experienced coach on several levels of FBS collegiate play and his stops all seem to be with teams who had success during his time with them.

Might be a great addition, considering the head-start he has from working previously on Coach Butch Jones' staff.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Sounds good to me..Welcome to the hill and happy recruiting.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

the OC experience is good to have on staff as well had Martinez's DC experience---butstange that Bielema didnt think enough of him apparantly to invite him to Arky as all these guys tend to so predominately bring their own

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

"When Meyer resigned citing health reasons, Azzanni went to Western Kentucky as offensive coordinator in 2011 and then to Wisconsin as receivers coach for Brad Bielema in 2012."

Who the hell is "BRAD Bielema"?

I wonder if he coached with Tarbon Meyers or Rick Saban.

VFL_Troll_Patrol writes:

New coaches and new leaders. The 2012 season wasn't great but we can still look back at some of the moments that took our breath away! A new leader, new attitude and a hopeful future! GBO

This video showcases all the good moments from the 2012 season, with head coach Butch Jones. Let me know what you guys think by visiting my youtube channel.

VIDEO: "A New Leader" A look at the past with the "Butcher" Butch Jones (2012 season)

LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4xteY...

*Im always watching*
Here's to a brighter future

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

"When Meyer resigned citing health reasons, Azzanni went to Western Kentucky as offensive coordinator in 2011 and then to Wisconsin as receivers coach for Brad Bielema in 2012."

Who the hell is "BRAD Bielema"?

I wonder if he coached with Tarbon Meyers or Rick Saban.

I think he coached with Johnny Johnson and Don Devine as well..

oldster writes:

Whew! There for a while I thought UT was going to run out of Italian-American coaches.

orange_eVOLution writes:

I'm liking the staff so let's get to work recruiting and then some Spring football.

GO VOLS!!

SeaBassHauling writes:

I don't like he's not gonna be hear until after the bowl...seriously needs to get on the recruits...! Recruits want to get to know there position coach...

RockyToptoNeyland writes:

solid hire, probably his best so far

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

Wow. I was expecting at least one negative comment by now. What? Nobody is going to say he must not be any good because he's now going to be at his 5th school in 5 years?

golfman1975 writes:

in response to VFL_Troll_Patrol:

New coaches and new leaders. The 2012 season wasn't great but we can still look back at some of the moments that took our breath away! A new leader, new attitude and a hopeful future! GBO

This video showcases all the good moments from the 2012 season, with head coach Butch Jones. Let me know what you guys think by visiting my youtube channel.

VIDEO: "A New Leader" A look at the past with the "Butcher" Butch Jones (2012 season)

LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4xteY...

*Im always watching*
Here's to a brighter future

I'll drink that!

nocleats writes:

Great coach, Great tireless recruiter, high energy guy, His former wide recievers loved him and excelled under him as well. He improves his players, develops, and makes them ready for the pros. He knows his stuff.

bigorangeyankees writes:

in response to VFL_Troll_Patrol:

New coaches and new leaders. The 2012 season wasn't great but we can still look back at some of the moments that took our breath away! A new leader, new attitude and a hopeful future! GBO

This video showcases all the good moments from the 2012 season, with head coach Butch Jones. Let me know what you guys think by visiting my youtube channel.

VIDEO: "A New Leader" A look at the past with the "Butcher" Butch Jones (2012 season)

LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4xteY...

*Im always watching*
Here's to a brighter future

youtube link does not exist per youtube. would love to see it.

GerryOP writes:

OK Coach Jones, you've filled your staff. Now, get your family settled in Knoxville, make sure the current team is working out, and go get a great 2013 recruiting class. In your spare time, start getting used to the good life in East Tennessee. You're not in Cincinnati any more! You 'da man!

TheFuj writes:

Time to start making some headway in recruiting.

rlengland4 writes:

If he wants the job, he needs to come to Knoxville now. I wonder if he's just waiting to see if the new Wisc. coach will keep him on. Very disappointed that Coach Jones didn't follow thru on bringing back some Tn guys ( Marion Hobby - Def Coord at Clemson, Kacy Rogers - DL coach at Dolphins, Dale Jones- Def Coord at Appy State, TD Woods Just to name a few that were never even contacted. Hope the MAC pedigree of the majority of the staff lives up to the best coaching staff in the country promise

voltrumpet writes:

So I guess the 'best coaching staff in the country' was at Cincinnati all along... wow, who knew

TNFaninFL writes:

in response to voltrumpet:

So I guess the 'best coaching staff in the country' was at Cincinnati all along... wow, who knew

Butch is bringing the coaches that know his system and he knows them, they may not be glamourous names but unlike Dooley, he had all new guys and barely knew any of them from prior stops.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

benvenuto, coach Azzanni. Glad UT made him an offer he couldn't refuse.

123forVOLS writes:

Give it time, give Coach Jones and the other coaches time. Good grief, all the "wish he'd have gotten...." statements remind of the head coach search and that fiasco. Let's trust him until he proves otherwise. He is getting the coaches he can, ones he knows, and has at least some level of confidence in. Some of those "wishers" might not be interested, or hardly interested, and some may not be affordable at this time. I am excited to see what this new beginning brings and where we are headed. My hope is back up the slope down which we have slid the past few years. GO VOLS!

Dalton writes:

in response to 10seVol85_Part_Deux:

Wow. I was expecting at least one negative comment by now. What? Nobody is going to say he must not be any good because he's now going to be at his 5th school in 5 years?

We were waiting for you...the trash bins were nice and warm...no one wanted to be the first to stick their heads out!

JonGrudensAgent writes:

in response to voltrumpet:

So I guess the 'best coaching staff in the country' was at Cincinnati all along... wow, who knew

Yeah, I think what Jones actually meant was sixth best in Ohio behind Ohio ST, Ohio, Kent ST, Bowling Green, and Toledo.

rab writes:

Time will tell on his coaching ability in the SEC, but I am impressed with his ability to immediately put together a coaching staff. He is already one up on Dooley.

volinlm writes:

in response to JonGrudensAgent:

Yeah, I think what Jones actually meant was sixth best in Ohio behind Ohio ST, Ohio, Kent ST, Bowling Green, and Toledo.

Starting already, huh?

forkball writes:

Better resume than Kiffin's guy.

laraccoon writes:

in response to oldster:

Whew! There for a while I thought UT was going to run out of Italian-American coaches.

comments like that are a good way to wake up with a horse head in your bed.

Shake_Bake writes:

in response to voltrumpet:

So I guess the 'best coaching staff in the country' was at Cincinnati all along... wow, who knew

"best coaching staff in the country"; Every once in a while we all say things that we really wish we could take back. I have a feeling that CBJ alreadys regrets this comment! I sincerely hope that all of this works out for our program, but he is going to learn fast that the SEC is no picnic!!

proudveteran writes:

Athletic Director Dave Hart deserves some appreciation for the manner and success in hiring Butch Davis as the Vol Nation new football coach. Hart did not waste $500,000 of UT money in retaining a search firm to accomplish the task either and had the new coach in place within two days of his prior announced intentions. Davis quickly put in place the rest of the coaching staff within budget with some "recruiters" to get the UT talent level competitive with the rest of the SEC. It is now time for the real Vol fans to get behind our coaching staff and support them. No more negative stuff that has hurt our recruiting program...those recruits read this "negative junk" too!

NorthwestVol writes:

in response to Shake_Bake:

"best coaching staff in the country"; Every once in a while we all say things that we really wish we could take back. I have a feeling that CBJ alreadys regrets this comment! I sincerely hope that all of this works out for our program, but he is going to learn fast that the SEC is no picnic!!

He did say "best coaching staff in the country" but he did not say this year...

cloudodust writes:

in response to Shake_Bake:

"best coaching staff in the country"; Every once in a while we all say things that we really wish we could take back. I have a feeling that CBJ alreadys regrets this comment! I sincerely hope that all of this works out for our program, but he is going to learn fast that the SEC is no picnic!!

I'd be willin' to bet a coach coming into the SEC from anywhere outside of it is probably aware of what they're facing. It's a career risk that has the potential to make or break a future for the men that step into the SEC arena coaching ranks. Some get health issues from the pressure to achieve greatness post-Tebow, leave and pop up again elsewhere, say Big 10 land, after their health issues are abated. Others drive their motorcycles off the middle age crazy cliff while many just simply, fade away...

atnvol#283282 writes:

in response to proudveteran:

Athletic Director Dave Hart deserves some appreciation for the manner and success in hiring Butch Davis as the Vol Nation new football coach. Hart did not waste $500,000 of UT money in retaining a search firm to accomplish the task either and had the new coach in place within two days of his prior announced intentions. Davis quickly put in place the rest of the coaching staff within budget with some "recruiters" to get the UT talent level competitive with the rest of the SEC. It is now time for the real Vol fans to get behind our coaching staff and support them. No more negative stuff that has hurt our recruiting program...those recruits read this "negative junk" too!

Senior moment?....Butch JONES

bigdisbig writes:

Statements made by Butch Jones seem similar to those of Dooley and that concerns me. When a guy comes in and begins to make statements to pump up the media and fans it sounds like a boxer bragging before a fight. Dooley said "You aren't gonna have Tennessee to kick around this year".....wow what a joke that was.
Jones said "I'm gonna build the best staff in the country". So.....the best coaches and recruiters in the NATION were mostly at Cincy? I tend to believe that he does NOT have the best coaching staff in the SEC, let alone the country.
I hope he wins and wins quickly however he sounds like a snake charmer thus far....much like Dooley.
Perhaps he needs to let his product on the field do the talking and keep his Dooley like statements to himself until he can back up what he says. If anyone truly feels he has assembed the best coaching staff in the nation then you are a candidate to help in the search for Bigfoot.

gc_scvol writes:

in response to JonGrudensAgent:

Yeah, I think what Jones actually meant was sixth best in Ohio behind Ohio ST, Ohio, Kent ST, Bowling Green, and Toledo.

Really, You drag your miserable arse out of bed this early to trash MY VOLS. What a pathetic loser. I had heard this a couple of days ago, so I checked first thing this AM to see what was going on And I find your useless babble. What a pitiful little girl you are.

mtnbikrtn writes:

in response to oldster:

Whew! There for a while I thought UT was going to run out of Italian-American coaches.

Bada bing, bada boom.

voloffaith writes:

in response to Shake_Bake:

"best coaching staff in the country"; Every once in a while we all say things that we really wish we could take back. I have a feeling that CBJ alreadys regrets this comment! I sincerely hope that all of this works out for our program, but he is going to learn fast that the SEC is no picnic!!

Didn't mean best at each position, but best for getting jobs done with his style/plan.....

SouthPaVol writes:

in response to NorthwestVol:

He did say "best coaching staff in the country" but he did not say this year...

The "best coaching staff" is defined by the one that wins, or in our case turns a losing program around. Our previous coaching staff could recruit and coach early season games. Individual coaching talents are important, but more important is the chemistry created by the coaching team formed--how they lead/teach/inspire the players after adversity.

We'll know more about this coaching staff watching the players respond after the two bloody fests at Oregon and Florida early next season--both likely preseason top 5 teams. Go Vols!

jtb01 writes:

Does anyone see the daylight and dark difference on how CBJ put his staff together and CDD from 3 years ago?. Its like CBJ has the pieces and just put them together whereas CDD first had to find all the pieces then try and piece together. That is the advantage of having successful head coaching experience. Developing relationships with other successful coaches over the years...something CDD just never had. I am very optimistic for 2013. I like the way CBJ has gone about his business and the subtle makeover at UT which i feel was needed to bring life into the program.

therightstuff writes:

in response to rlengland4:

If he wants the job, he needs to come to Knoxville now. I wonder if he's just waiting to see if the new Wisc. coach will keep him on. Very disappointed that Coach Jones didn't follow thru on bringing back some Tn guys ( Marion Hobby - Def Coord at Clemson, Kacy Rogers - DL coach at Dolphins, Dale Jones- Def Coord at Appy State, TD Woods Just to name a few that were never even contacted. Hope the MAC pedigree of the majority of the staff lives up to the best coaching staff in the country promise

Neither Johnny Majors or Phillip Fulmer had staffs with a lot of former Vols.....usually just one or two....

therightstuff writes:

in response to voltrumpet:

So I guess the 'best coaching staff in the country' was at Cincinnati all along... wow, who knew

95% of fans have no clue about who the assistant coaches are or their ability to coach....4% of the remaining 5% only think they know.

Pickwick-Vol writes:

in response to voltrumpet:

So I guess the 'best coaching staff in the country' was at Cincinnati all along... wow, who knew

That's funny

Razor784 writes:

I don't really care if he's not a big name hire, but the only thing i'd want to know about him, can he recruit?

punkin writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

"When Meyer resigned citing health reasons, Azzanni went to Western Kentucky as offensive coordinator in 2011 and then to Wisconsin as receivers coach for Brad Bielema in 2012."

Who the hell is "BRAD Bielema"?

I wonder if he coached with Tarbon Meyers or Rick Saban.

I still laugh at Meyer leaving for health reasons.

YORVOL writes:

in response to voltrumpet:

So I guess the 'best coaching staff in the country' was at Cincinnati all along... wow, who knew

My thoughts exactly. Coach Jones I will support you until you prove me wrong. I am disappointed that only 1 Tennessee Vol is on the staff when many were available. I am a Vol for life so get to it CBJ recruit us some talent and let's play some football.

OrangePride writes:

I like the SEC experience and I like the folks he's coached under.....not so certain about 5 stops in 5 years, but that appears more related to changes in the HC above him. We will all see next season when these new Vols will take the field, but in the meantime I will just get behind this staff and wish them the best. Some of those bitter Gruden folks would be best advised to do the same. Your guy didn't want to come and that sure isn't the fault of Tennessee. GO VOLS; GO CBJ!

lafollette37766 writes:

Azzani is a really good hire. The only problem is he doesn't seem to stay in one place more than a year. Maybe he will like Knoxville and want to stay longer.

PHAT_VOL writes:

So does this complete the best staff in America?

AllforTenn writes:

in response to SeaBassHauling:

I don't like he's not gonna be hear until after the bowl...seriously needs to get on the recruits...! Recruits want to get to know there position coach...

You need to learn how to spell instead of wasting your time here.

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