Gators hire Zach Azzanni as new WR coach

By Adam Silverstein
December 11, 2009

The Florida Gators have tabbed Central Michigan Chippewas wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni to fill the same position on their staff, according to numerous sources. Hired to replace Billy Gonzales, who has taken the “passing game coordinator” job with the LSU Tigers, Azzanni was picked as a graduate assistant by Florida head coach Urban Meyer when he accepted the Bowling Green Falcons coaching gig in 2001-02.

“He is a tireless worker, relentless recruiter, and a great teacher of fundamentals,” Meyer said. “He is also very familiar with our philosophy and will be a good fit with our players and staff.”

Meyer, a former WR coach himself with the Ohio State Buckeyes, Illinois State Red Birds, Colorado State Rams and Notre Dame Fighting Irish, spent less than 24 hours making his decision on who would replace Gonzales. Azzanni has coached WRs with the Valparaiso Crusaders (1999-2000), Falcons (2003-06) and Chippewas (2007-09), earning a promotion to assistant head coach at Central Michigan before the 2009 season.

“I’ve known Coach Meyer for a number of years and it will be great to be coaching with him again,” Azzanni said. “I’m excited to be joining the Florida football staff and becoming a part of the Gator Nation.”

This season, Azzanni’s top two receivers with the Chippewas are widely considered the best duo in the nation, combining for 49 touchdown receptions. Bryan Anderson (who has set an NCAA record with a catch in 53 straight games) and Antonio Brown (who has a streak of his own with 40 consecutive games with a catch) have topped 3,500 and 3,000 yards receiving in their respective Central Michigan careers. While with Bowling Green, Azzanni’s pass catchers broke almost every school receiving record with five going on to eventually sign NFL contracts.

OGGOA will update this story as more information is made available.


  1. Mr2Bits says:

    Lets see if this guy can show up Adazzio and get his sorry ass out of here. I am ecstatic to see what this guy brings. CMU has a nasty passing game which reminds me of the fun and gun days that seemed to resurface last year only to be buried and not seen again this year. His players will be catching balls from what could be one of the best arms in the country next year.

    Welcome to greatness Mr. Azzanni

  2. Aligator says:

    do you guys think that he still may bring in another offensive coordinator? maybe the RB coach will split …

  3. From what I hear, Meyer is far from done changing the staff. Obviously he still needs to find a defensive coordinator, but I heard one or two more positions may also change before he is done tweaking.

  4. Gatorfan33 says:

    If this guy can coach as well as his resume’ suggests, add that with Brantley’s passing ability and we may have a fun offense to watch next year.

  5. Aligator says:

    i think we will see a good mix of passes and run, more like the 07 and 08 teams … thank god!

  6. Aligator says:

    can anyone tell me who talks like this and what other coach also sounds like this?

    Coach: We’re proud of what we do. We’re getting better. I see improvement. All these things are correctable. We’ll get it going here. Just ignore the noise in the system.

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