Frequent mover points: Which coaches are moving again?
Posted by: Josh Kendall on December 17, 2012
When Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez called the coaching carousel "a little bit gut wrenching just to watch" last week, Zach Azzanni's last four years are part of what he was talking about.
When the Rose Bowl is complete, Azzanni will officially leave Wisconsin to join the Tennessee staff as wide receivers coach. That will make five schools in five years for Azzanni.
He was the wide receivers coach / assistant head coach on Butch Jones' staff at Central Michigan in 2009. He left to take the wide receivers coach / passing game coordinator position under Urban Meyer at Florida in 2010. When Meyer resigned after the season, Azzanni went to Western Kentucky, where he was offensive coordinator / wide receivers coach for one season before taking a significant pay raise to become the Badgers wide receivers coach for the 2012 season. And now it's time to pack up the family station wagon again.
Jones said Sunday that Azzanni had "a tremendous amount of offers" for new jobs this season. Still, it's stressful for Azzanni's family, which includes his wife and two daughters, to keep criss-crossing the country.
And he's not the first or the last coach to do it. Rhett Lashlee has made a fast rise up the coaching ladder, but it has required a lot of mileage to get there. Lashlee was with Auburn as a graduate assistant when the Tigers won the national title in 2010 and took a full-time position at Samford in 2011 before rejoining Gus Malzahn at Arkansas State as the offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach in 2012.
Matt Canada, who recently rejoined Dave Doeren as N.C. State's offensive coordinator, also is making his third straight move. Like Azzanni, Canada was left looking by Bret Bielema's departure from Wisconsin. When his duties start with the Wolfpack, it will be his fourth job in four years, joining Indiana, Northern Illinois and Wisconsin.
Canada told ESPNWisconsin.com Sunday that he wasn't entirely pleased with Bielema's departure.
"There's some frustration with the way all this went down," he said. "There are a lot of people's lives that are affected by things like this, but it's our business. We chose this business. It's a great profession, and it's part of the business, but I think everybody probably deserved a little more time to celebrate the (Big Ten) championship. It is what it is and we'll all move forward."
Like Azzanni, Canada and Lashlee, many assistant coaches' moves are forced not by their own desires or job performances but by the decisions of head coaches. It makes more sense, under those circumstances, that assistant coaches are demanding higher salaries.
And take a look at these guys who are with their third school in three years:
Jeff Choate: Boise State, Washington State, UTEP
Paul Petrino: Illinois, Arkansas, Idaho
Ellis Johnson: South Carolina, Southern Miss, Auburn
Andy Buh: Nevada, Wisconsin, Cal
Randy Stewart: Fresno State, Eastern Michigan, Cal
Ryan Day: Boston College, Temple, Boston College
Kliff Kingsbury: Houston, Texas A&M, Texas Tech
Josh Kendall is a staff writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered the SEC for more than 15 years for papers such as the Athens Banner-Herald, Macon Telegraph, and The State. He’s the father of two boys who he’s hoping don’t inherit his wide receiver frame and offensive guard feet. Follow @EyeOnCoaches on twitter and send your feedback to email@example.com