Central Michigan's Zach Azzanni to replace Billy Gonzales
Zach Azzanni, a veteran wide receivers coach who is currently at Central Michigan, has been hired to replace recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales.
“Zach and I worked together when I was the head coach at Bowling
Green,” UF coach Urban Meyer said in a statement. “He is a tireless worker, relentless recruiter and a great teacher of fundamentals. He is also very familiar with our philosophy and will be a good fit with our players and staff.”
Gonzales, who has been with Urban Meyer since 2001, is leaving the staff to become the passing coordinator at rival LSU.
Gonzales is the second Gators' coach to leave the staff this week. Defensive coordinator Charlie Strong was hired as the Louisville head coach on Wednesday.
Gonzales has been with Meyer since his days at Bowling Green. It is unclear whether he will remain with the Gators through the Jan. 1 Sugar Bowl. Strong will coach the defense in that game.
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.
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.
“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.”