By TOM LEA
MADISON – Wisconsin’s new wide receiver coach Zach Azzanni has witnessed games from both the sideline and the press box throughout his time as an assistant coach.
A year ago, working as the offensive coordinator at Western Kentucky, the energetic Azzanni was obviously taking in his team’s performance from a birds-eye view. He also said he spent his first few seasons at Bowling Green coaching from the box.
But as he prepares to open his first season at Wisconsin, Azzanni has decided to move closer to the action. The first-year receivers coach will manage his positional group from the Badgers sideline.
“Not being a coordinator right now,” Azzanni said earlier this week. “I’d rather be on the field. I get to look my guys in the eye. I’m a feel guy. I can kind of gauge how guys are doing. I can kind of get a feel for whether they’re ready to play or if they’re not. Do they have that foggy look or do they have that fire look?
“You can’t do that in the box. It’s like a video game up there.”
The coaches that will most likely be situated in the box during games this fall are offensive coordinator Matt Canada and defensive coordinator Chris Ash.
The rest of the coaches – Ben Strickland (secondary), Andy Buh (linebackers), Charlie Partridge (defensive line), Eddie Faulkner (tight ends), Mike Markuson (offensive line), Thomas Hammock (running backs) and Azzanni – will likely be on the sideline.
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