WKU OC Azzanni to take WR job at Wisconsin

Offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni was hired prior to last season. After helping direct an offense that averaged 22.9 points and 348.9 offensive yards per game in 2011, Azzanni has accepted a job to be wide receivers coach at Wisconsin.

Brad Stephens

WKU will soon be in the market for an offensive coordinator.

Zach Azzanni, who served as the Toppers’ offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach in 2011, will be named wide receivers coach at Wisconsin in the coming days, a source confirmed to the Herald Thursday.

He’ll join the staff of a Badger team coming off its second consecutive Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl appearance.

Azzanni is filling the role of DelVaughn Alexander, who earlier in the month left Wisconsin after five seasons to become wide receivers coach at Arizona State under new Sun Devil coach Todd Graham.

Azzanni’s WKU offense steadily improved throughout his only season in Bowling Green.

Though Head Coach Willie Taggart retained primary play calling duties, Azzanni was largely responsible for constructing offensive game plans as well as working directly with the Toppers’ wide receivers.

WKU averaged 22.9 points and 348.9 offensive yards per game in 2011.

The total offensive figure was more than 30 yards higher than the Toppers’ 318.1 yards per game in 2010.

Under Azzanni’s watch, senior running back Bobby Rainey broke the school’s single-season rushing record in 2011 with 1,695 yards.

WKU went 7-5 in 2011, finishing second in the Sun Belt Conference and narrowly missing the program’s first Football Bowl Subdivision bowl berth.

Azzanni coached the Toppers after one season as wide receivers coach at Florida.

Prior to his time in Gainesville, he served from 2007-2009 as assistant head coach/wide receivers coach at Central Michigan, his alma mater.

He’s also made coaching stops at Valparaiso and Bowling Green State.

Azzanni is so far the only WKU assistant to depart during the current offseason.

Comparitively, WKU saw four assistants (Mike Sanford Jr., A.J. Pratt, Clayton White and Clint Bowen) depart during the last offseason.

The Toppers’ remaining offensive assistants include running backs coach Terry Obee, tackles/tight ends coach Stu Holt and centers and guards coach/running game coordinator Walt Wells.

Azzanni made $70,008 with the Toppers in 2011. It has yet to be announced what his salary will be at Wisconsin.