Zach Azzanni begins his first season on the WKU coaching staff in 2011. He will serve as the Hilltoppers' offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.
Azzanni comes to the Hill from the University of Florida, where he spent the 2010 season coaching the Gator wide receivers. Prior to going to Gainesville, he spent three seasons as the assistant head coach and receivers coach at his alma mater, Central Michigan.
Azzanni's 2009 wide receiver unit was one of the most prolific in the college football. Bryan Anderson established an NCAA mark with a catch in 53 consecutive games, while teammate Antonio Brown has a streak of 40 straight games with a catch. Anderson and Brown combined for 49 career touchdown receptions, tied for the top active duo in the country for scoring receptions. Anderson has totaled more than 3,500 yards receiving in his career and Brown eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the second time and surpassed 3,000-yard receiving for his career. Two of his receivers at CMU went on to sign NFL contracts, including Antonio Brown who started for the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.
Prior to joining the Central Michigan Staff, Azzanni spent the previous six seasons at Bowling Green. He coached the wide receivers from 2003-06, leading a group that broke nearly every school receiving record. He coached Charles Sharon; the school's all-time leader in receptions (232), receiving yards (3,450) and touchdown catches (34). In 2004 he coached a group that produced four receivers with 1,000 yards receiving. Five of his receivers at Bowling Green went on to sign professional contracts.
Known for developing talent, Azzanni's 2004 receiving corp at Bowling Green was ranked third best in the nation by Athlon Sports. His 2009 group was ranked ninth in the nation by the same publication, and helped him to be named college football's wide receiver coach of the year.
No stranger to success on the field as both a player and a coach, Azzanni has been part of nine that have either won conference championships or played in bowl games. As a player, he was part of the 1994 Central Michigan squad that won the Mid American Conference championship and played in the Las Vegas Bowl. He also coached in the 2003 Motor City Bowl and 2004 GMAC Bowl at Bowling Green. He coached in two more Motor City Bowls at CMU in 2007 and 2008, and was part of the staffs at Florida for the 2010 Allstate Sugar Bowl and 2011 Outback Bowl. Additionally, he coached conference championship teams at Valparaiso, BGSU and CMU.
He graduated with a degree in Sports Management in 1999 from Central Michigan. Azzanni and his wife, Julia, have two daughters: Ava and Lyla.
The Azzanni File Hometown: Utica, MichiganCollege: Central Michigan, 1999Wife: JuliaChildren: Ava; LylaCoaching Career1999-2000: Valparaiso (Wide Receivers)2001-02: Bowling Green State (Graduate Assistant, Offense)2003-06: Bowling Green State (Wide Receivers)2007-09: Central Michigan (Assistant Head Coach / Wide Receivers)2010: Florida (Wide Receivers/Passing Game Coordinator)2011-present: WKU (Offensive Coordinator / Wide Receivers)Playing Experience1994-98: Central Michigan (Wide Receiver)