January 12, 2012
Let the coaching carousel begin.
WKU offensive coordinator Zach Azzanni is headed to the University of Wisconsin where he will likely serve as the team's wide receivers coach. He leaves the Hilltoppers after spending just one season on the Hill.
I am surprised it took this long for someone from WKU's coaching staff to leave for "greener pastures". After the 2010 season, four coaches left Bowling Green for other jobs. And that was after WKU posted a 2-10 record.
I don't think Azzanni's departure is a huge loss. The Hilltoppers ranked seventh out of nine in the Sun Belt in total offense in 2011 and eighth in passing. Plus, coach Taggart was the one calling offensive plays during the second half of the season.
The big negative in losing Azzanni is the lack of continuity for quarterback Kawaun Jakes. Should WKU hire a new offensive coordinator (more on that in a moment), Jakes will have four different offensive coordinators in four years. While the Tops will still run the west coast offense (at least there is no reason to believe they won't) that is hard on a quarterback and his progression.
I think there is a good chance WKU will hire from within. The job will go to the guy who called the plays throughout the 2010 season. Of course I am referring to coach Taggart. As I said earlier, Taggart was calling the shots on offense the second half of this season. That's also when the Tops were winning. Clearly, he did not believe Azzanni was up to the task on game day. And Taggart probably thinks he is the best and most qualified person for the job. He might be right.
The question now is will anybody else on WKU's staff leave?