Friday, December 11, 2009

Azzanni heads to Florda

It may not be on the same scale as a head coach leaving, but when opportunity knocked for Zach Azzanni, he had no choice but to answer.

With the Florida Gators losing a number of assistant coaches this week as Louisville hired Defensive Coordinator Charlie Strong to be their head coach, new openings became available for the Gators, including wide receivers coach.

Having worked with Azzanni in the past at Bowling Green, Florida coach Urban Meyer turned to his old cohort to offer the CMU wide receivers coach the same position with the Gators. Azzanni obviously had to accept.

"This is just a great opportunity for me to work with Coach Meyer and I was molded early in my coaching career by him and got a lot of my style from him," Azzanni said Friday.

Azzanni hates to leave Central Michigan and Mt. Pleasant due to all the history he has with the Chippewas, being a former player and now former coach with the university.

"It was an extremely emotional and tough decision for me," Azzanni said. "I came to school here, I asked my wife to marry me on the 50-yard line of Kelly/Shorts Stadium, my daughters were born here. It will be very tough to be away from this place, but all good things come to and end."

Azzanni urged the receivers he worked with at CMU to continue to do what he has taught them and continue to work hard to keep the Chippewas a winning program.

"This is a tremendous group of players here and it is a group that can obviously win a lot of games," Azzanni said. "Those guys just need to keep the same formula and keep working on the little things. They truly expected to win every game and that is the attitude they need to keep."

Now moving to the big state of Florida, Azzanni says that his time at CMU was perfect training to prepare for being part of the Gators' program.

"We never looked at ourselves as a small program at CMU, we always had that mentality that we were a big-time program," Azzanni said. "My time here definitely helped groom me for my next challenge and I know the pressures that come with this challenge and I am ready for them."

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2 Comments:

Blogger brian said...

hey i am gator what can i expect with this guy? good developer of talent? good recruiter? do you guys just recruit locally or does he have inroads to other areas?

December 12, 2009 at 8:28 AM 
Blogger Drew Ellis said...

Yes, Azzanni did a good job developing talent, he made Antonio Brown an elite receiver and helped bring along guys like Bryan Anderson and Kito Poblah. Anderson just set a new NCAA record for consecutive games with a reception and owns every Central Michigan career receiving record. Azzanni also recruits down south and will be a good fit for Florida.

December 12, 2009 at 12:50 PM 

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