Our search was extensive and it produced several top-flight candidates. That made the decision-making process very difficult because we had so many quality candidates. I am very pleased with how the process unfolded."
"I'm excited to get back into college coaching and to work for Coach Erickson at Arizona State University," says Mazzone. "I have a great respect for him and what he has been able to accomplish in his career. I'm excited to join the staff at a premier institution like ASU and to put together an exciting offense.
I grew up in the West and I know the Pacific-10 Conference is at the top of the college football world. I want to play the game fast, get the ball out of the quarterback's hands and spread the field. We will play a lot of no huddle and we will play at different tempos."
Mazzone (pronounced Muh-ZONE-ee), who played quarterback at the University of New Mexico, played against the Sun Devils in 1975 and 1976. "My first touchdown pass in college was in Sun Devil Stadium, to Preston Dennard over Mike Haynes. That was a thrill for me."
Mazzone comes to ASU after having served as wide receivers coach for the New York Jets from 2006-2008 and working as a personnel consultant for the Jets in 2009. There, he coached wideouts Jericho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles, who set a Jets record for combined yardage and receptions.
Before his time with the Jets, Mazzone coached in college football for more than two decades. He has coached quarterbacks, running backs, receivers and tight ends, while also serving as offensive coordinator at three other schools (Ole Miss, Auburn and North Carolina State).
He began his coaching career at Colorado State in 1982, coaching quarterbacks and receivers for five years. He mentored Kelly Stouffer, who was the sixth overall selection in the 1986 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. He then served as quarterbacks coach at Texas Christian from 1987-1991 and at Minnesota from 1992-94.
At TCU, Mazzone coached quarterback Matt Vogler (690 yards), who set the school's single-game passing record. He recruited and coached the quarterback/receiver combination in 1991, which was voted tops in the nation by The Sporting News.
Mazzone then became the offensive coordinator/quarterback coach under Tommy Tuberville at Ole Miss in 1994. Ole Miss won the 1997 Motor City Bowl while the offense produced the school's first 1,000-yard rusher since 1950, Deuce McAllister who would later star for the New Orleans Saints. Mazzone coached quarterback Stu Patridge, who set an NCAA record in passing efficiency.
He remained at Ole Miss through 1998, and then he followed Tuberville to Auburn and served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 1999-2001. At Auburn, he recruited and coached the 2000 SEC Player of the Year, Rudi Johnson, a future Pro Bowler with the Cincinnati Bengals. He also tutored All-SEC quarterback Ben Leard, who set an NCAA record in pass efficiency, current Washington Redskin quarterback Jason Campbell, Tampa Bay Buccaneer running back Carnell Williams and Miami Dolphin running back Ronnie Brown. Auburn won the SEC West Championship under his watch and set the Citrus Bowl passing record.
Mazzone then spent less than one season on Erickson's staff at Oregon State as the running backs and special teams coach in 2002, before going to North Carolina State as offensive coordinator and tight ends coach from 2003-2004. At OSU, Mazzone coached running back Stephen Jackson, now of the St. Louis Rams and the Beavers played in the Insight.Com Bowl.
At NC State, Mazzone coached All-American quarterback Philip Rivers, who went on to become the fourth overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, and Cotchery a wide receiver. The Wolfpack offense led the ACC in six offensive categories and led the NCAA in pass efficiency. It ranked third in the NCAA in passing offense and was eighth in scoring offense. While there, NC State set the Gator Bowl passing and total offense record.
After returning to Ole Miss in 2005 as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Mazzone headed to the NFL and spent three years as wide receivers coach on Eric Mangini's staff with the Jets.
Mazzone began his coaching career in 1980-81 as a graduate assistant coach at the University of New Mexico. He was an assistant coach at Boulder High School in Boulder, Colorado, in 1981.
A native of Raton, N.M., Mazzone graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1980. He also played quarterback for the Lobos, leading the team in passing in 1976 and 1977.
Mazzone's references include Chuck Amato, Kevin Sumlin, Norm Chow, Bill Callahan, Tommy Tuberville, Mark Whipple and Chuck Pagano.
All hires are pending approval by ASU's Human Resources Department.