Wednesday, 06 December 2017 01:10

UCLA Announes Hiring Azzinaro and Pellum

Written by  UCLA Official Press Release

UCLA Announces Hiring of Azzinaro, Pellum

Fireworks 350LOS ANGELES – UCLA Head Football Coach Chip Kelly announced today the hiring of Jerry Azzinaro as the team’s defensive coordinator and Don Pellum as linebackers coach. 

"Jerry and Don are two of the top defensive coaches in the business, bringing more than 60 seasons of combined football experience to our staff," said Kelly. "The success Jerry has had and expertise he has gained in more than three decades at both the college and professional levels have provided him with a supreme knowledge of the game. Don has an uncanny ability to relate to and develop student-athletes. I’m looking forward to seeing the impact they will make here."

Azzinaro has coached for 36 seasons at the collegiate and professional levels, including most recently as the defensive line coach at California for the 2017 season.

The four previous seasons he coached in the NFL with Philadelphia (2013-15) and San Francisco (2016). He served on staffs under Coach Kelly at the University of Oregon from 2009-12 and again with the Eagles and 49ers.

"I'm excited to be joining the coaching staff at UCLA," Azzinaro said. “I know Coach Kelly will put together a tremendous group that will have the expertise and knowledge to capitalize on an opportunity to build one of the top programs in the Pac-12 and the nation."

This past season at California, the Golden Bears’ defense improved across the board in the Pac-12 team rankings from the previous season. The margin in scoring defense was lowered by over 14 points, almost 100 yards per game was sliced off the total defense and rushing defense averages, the turnover margin increased and the red zone defense percentage shrunk by over 10 percent.

Azzinaro has coached four first-round NFL Draft picks during his career - Arik Armstead (San Francisco, 2015), DeForest Buckner (San Francisco, 2016), Dwight Freeney (Indianapolis, 2002) and Dion Jordan (Miami, 2013).Azzinaro's three years in Philadelphia began with a playoff season, an NFC East title and a 10-6 regular-season record that was a six-game turnaround from 2012. The Eagles tied for third in the NFL with 31 takeaways.

During his four years at Oregon, the Ducks played in BCS bowls each season and in the BCS National Championship Game following the 2010 campaign. Oregon also won conference titles in each of his first three seasons and posted an overall record of 46-7.Oregon led the conference in sacks twice (2009, '11) and tackles for loss once (2010) during Azzinaro's tenure that began in 2009 when the Ducks paced the Pac-10 and ranked tied for 14th nationally in sacks (36.0, 2.77 spg).

In 2010, the Ducks won their first 12 games before falling to Auburn in the BCS National Championship Game. Oregon led the Pac-10 and ranked seventh nationally in tackles for loss (97.0, 7.46 tflpg) while finishing second in the conference and 12th nationally in scoring defense (18.7 ppg).

Oregon led the Pac-12 and ranked fifth nationally in sacks (45.0, 3.21 spg) in 2011 when the Ducks finished 12-2 overall and defeated Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.His final season at Oregon in 2012 ended with a Fiesta Bowl victory and a 12-1 record as the Ducks led the nation in takeaways (40) and turnover margin (1.62).

Azzinaro also had three stints as a defensive coordinator at Duke (2004-06), Massachusetts (1994, 1997) and American International College (1987-91). He began his career as a graduate assistant on defense at his alma mater American International College (1982-84) and has also had stops at Westfield State (1985), Western New England (1986), Massachusetts (1992-93), Boston College (1995-96), Maine (1998) and Syracuse (1999-2003).

Azzinaro played linebacker at American International College (1978-81) and led his team in tackles as a 1981 senior. He received his bachelor's degree from the school in psychology in 1982 and his master's in educational psychology in 1985. Azzinaro (pronounced: as-an-arrow) is married to Alison Rourke.

*Season: Team – Position (Champions, Postseason)
1982: American International College – Graduate Assistant, Defense
1983: American International College – Graduate Assistant, Defense
1984: American International College – Graduate Assistant, Defense
1985: Westfield State – Linebackers/Running Backs
1986: Western New England – Head Coach
1987: American International College – Defensive Coordinator
1988: American International College – Defensive Coordinator
1989: American International College – Defensive Coordinator
1990: American International College – Defensive Coordinator
1991: American International College – Defensive Coordinator
1992: Massachusetts – Linebackers/Recruiting Coordinator
1993: Massachusetts – Linebackers/Recruiting Coordinator
1994: Massachusetts – Defensive Coordinator
1995: Boston College – Defensive Line
1996: Boston College – Defensive Line
1997: Massachusetts – Defensive Coordinator (Colonial Athletic Association New England Division Champions)
1998: Maine – Defensive Line
1999: Syracuse – Defensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator (Music City Bowl)
2000: Syracuse – Defensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator
2001: Syracuse – Defensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator ( Bowl)
2002: Syracuse – Defensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator
2003: Syracuse – Defensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator
2004: Duke – Defensive Coordinator
2005: Duke – Defensive Coordinator
2006: Duke – Defensive Coordinator
2007: New Hampshire – Defensive Line (FCS Playoffs)
2008: Marshall – Defensive Line
2009: Oregon – Defensive Line (Pac-10 Champion, Rose Bowl)
2010: Oregon – Defensive Line (Pac-10 Champion, BCS National Championship Game)
2011: Oregon – Defensive Line (Pac-12 Champion, Rose Bowl)
2012: Oregon – Defensive Line (Fiesta Bowl)
2013: Philadelphia (NFL) – Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line (NFC East Champion, NFL Wild Card Round)
2014: Philadelphia (NFL) – Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line
2015: Philadelphia (NFL) – Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line
2016: San Francisco (NFL) – Defensive Line
2017: California – Defensive Line

*Season in which postseason games were played


Don Pellum joins the Bruins staff after accumulating more than 30 seasons with his alma mater, the University of Oregon, as a player, administrator and assistant coach.During his four years on Chip Kelly’s staff at Oregon, the Ducks played in BCS bowls each season and in the BCS National Championship Game following the 2010 campaign.

Oregon also won conference titles in each of the first three seasons and posted an overall record of 46-7. In 2015, his first season as defensive coordinator, Oregon once again advanced to the BCS National Championship Game. 

Pellum, who served 24 years as a Ducks’ full-time assistant, spent time overseeing virtually all phases of the program’s defensive side of the ball, tutoring its linebackers for 18 years (2000-2015; 1997-98), as well as its outside linebackers (1993-95),safeties (1996) and defensive line (1999).

Pellum’s teams played in bowl games 20 times during that period, including four Rose Bowl games and a couple of BCS Championship contests, while winning or tying for seven league championships.

Possessing 37 years of expertise in the realm of collegiate athletics, Pellum completed his playing career with the Ducks in 1984. The former starting linebacker continued his association with his alma mater through the 2016 season, with the exception of a one-year stint as defensive line coach, strength coach and academic coordinator at Willamette University (1987) and three years coordinating the recruiting efforts and serving as assistant athletics director for student services at the University of California (1990-92).

In 2014, the Ducks boasted one of the nation’s top defensive units in his first year as a defensive coordinator, ranking 30th in the country in scoring defense (23.6), allowing more than 20 points in only one of the last six contests prior to their CFP National Championship appearance.

In addition, Pellum continued the program’s emphasis on making “big plays” as the Ducks led the country in turnover margin that season (+23). No team was better against the run in conference games during the Ducks’ 2009 Rose Bowl run, thanks in part to an outstanding group of linebackers.

Pac-10 foes averaged just 118.6 rushing yards per contest in addition to Oregon’s league-best mark in total defense in Pac-10 play (316.0 avg.). His linebackers keyed many of Oregon’s post-season successes as witnessed by Kiko Alonso and Michael Clay being voted as the Defensive MVP in the 2012 Rose and 2013 Fiesta Bowls, respectively.

In 2012, his group was instrumental in Oregon ranking 12th in the country in scoring defense (18.69 ppg) during its BCS National Championship Game run, as well as 13th nationally (20.5) in the 2013 season. Yet few of his accomplishments could be any more rewarding than in 2005 when he transformed a unit which included only one returnee with any significant playing experience at the major college level. What resulted was a group that helped Oregon top the Pac-10 Conference in total defense and pass defense, in addition to finishing third in scoring defense. While his trio of 2005 starters began the season accumulating only 89 tackles during their Oregon careers, they tallied 207 among them that year alone.

In all, Pellum has seen his players earn 27 Conference all-league honors in his last 22 seasons.After returning to coaching on a full-time basis in 1993 following six years as a recruiting coordinator in the Pac-10, Pellum was responsible for assembling outstanding recruiting classes with both Oregon and California and has been credited with directing some of the Ducks’ best recruiting efforts over the years.

In 2007, his recruiting talents helped land him on the list among the nation’s top 25 recruiters by after Oregon’s 2007 recruiting class was ranked 11th in the country. He was also named the 2011Sporting News Recruiting Coordinator of the Year. 

The 55-year-old Banning, Calif., native double-majored in rhetoric and communication and telecommunication and film, and also minored in sociology. He also earned a master’s in speech while he was a graduate assistant at Oregon. Pellum also has completed work toward his Ph.D.

*Season: Team – Position (Champions, Postseason)

1985: Oregon - Graduate Assistant
1986: Oregon – Graduate Assistant
1987: Willamette – Defensive Line, Strength coach, Acad. Coordinator
1988: Oregon – Recruiting Coordinator
1989: Oregon – Recruiting Coordinator
1990: California – Recruiting Coordinator, Asst. AD Student Services
1991: California – Recruiting Coordinator, Asst. AD Student Services
1992: California – Recruiting Coordinator, Asst. AD Student Services
1993: Oregon – Linebackers
1994: Oregon – Linebackers (Rose Bowl)
1995: Oregon – Linebackers (Cotton Bowl)
1996: Oregon – Safeties
1997: Oregon – Linebackers (Las Vegas Bowl)
1998: Oregon – Linebackers (Aloha Bowl)
1999: Oregon – Defensive Line (Sun Bowl)
2000: Oregon – Linebackers (Pac-10 Champion, Holiday Bowl)
2001: Oregon – Linebackers (Pac-12 Champion, Fiesta Bowl)
2002: Oregon – Linebackers (Seattle Bowl)
2003: Oregon – Linebackers (Sun Bowl)
2004: Oregon – Linebackers
2005: Oregon – Linebackers (Holiday Bowl)
2006: Oregon – Linebackers (Las Vegas Bowl)
2007: Oregon – Linebackers (Sun Bowl)
2008: Oregon – Linebackers (Holiday Bowl)
2009: Oregon – Linebackers
(Pac-10 Champion, Rose Bowl)
2010: Oregon – Linebackers
(Pac-10 Champion, BCS National Championship Game)
2011: Oregon – Linebackers
(Pac-12 Champion, Rose Bowl)
2012: Oregon – Linebackers
(Fiesta Bowl)
2013: Oregon – Linebackers (Alamo Bowl)
2014: Oregon – Defensive Coord./ Linebackers (Pac-12 Champion, Rose Bowl, BCS National Championship Game)
2015: Oregon – Defensive Coord./ Linebackers (Alamo Bowl)
2016: Oregon - Linebackers

Read 717 times Last modified on Wednesday, 06 December 2017 01:24
Login to post comments