President John R. Loyack and Director of Athletics Bill Stiles named Steve Azzanesi as Alvernia University’s next head coach of the Golden Wolves football program during a virtual press conference Monday afternoon.
Azzanesi joins the Alvernia staff after most recently serving as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for NCAA Division I (FCS) Delaware State University, where he spent two seasons with the Hornets.
Prior to his time at Delaware State, Azzanesi enjoyed a highly successful 18-year career as an assistant coach at Wesley College – one of the top programs in NCAA Division III history.
“Steve’s energy, enthusiasm are contagious,” said Stiles. “He is committed to developing the whole student-athlete, understands the importance of integrating the football program into the athletic department and university and knows what it takes to win at the Division III level.”
President Loyack spoke highly of Azzanesi’s commitment to building his student-athletes into successful men on and off the field.
“Steve’s long and excellent track record as a recruiter, team builder and molder of young men, combined with his dedication to producing well-rounded student-athletes, will enhance the football program and the university as a whole,” said Loyack. “We look forward to the tremendous impact Coach Azzanesi will have on our campus community and throughout the region.”
Azzanesi helped lead the Hornents to a steady increase in success in his two seasons with the program. With the Hornets competing in a modified schedule that had them competing in the spring of 2021, Delaware State had its first opening-day win since 2012 and its first road win since 2014. The Hornets also were ranked in the HBCU Division I Coaches poll for the first time since 2012.
“I am very fortunate to be the next head football coach of the Golden Wolves,” said Azzanesi. “My family and I are very excited to join such a welcoming, collegial and caring community. Everyone I interacted with during this process was friendly, supportive and demonstrated a genuine care for each and every Alvernia student.”
This past fall during the traditional 2021 season, Azzanesi’s offense led the Hornets to its first five-win season since 2013. The Hornet offense ranked second in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) in scoring and third in passing efficiency and rushing.
During his 18-year tenure at Wesley, Azzanesi held various positions within the Wolverine staff. Before leaving Wesley, Azzanesi’s most recent role was as the Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator. During his 18-year stint, the Wolverines were 180-42 overall, including 63-13 in conference play. Wesley also made 14 NCAA Division III Tournaments, won six South Region titles, and played in the national semifinal six times.
Azzanesi was a member of the offensive staff for the entirety of his Wolverine career before becoming the offensive coordinator in 2018. In 2015, while Azzaensi was serving as the pass game coordinator and assistant head coach, Wesley’s offense was one for the record books. The Wolverines led NCAA Division III with an average of 591 total yards per game. They averaged 399 yards in the air and 192 yards on the ground. Their quarterback, future NFL player Joe Callahan, was one of only two quarterbacks in NCAA history to pass for both 5,000 yards and throw for 55 touchdowns in one season. Callahan would go on to make his NFL debut with the Green Bay Packers in December of 2017.
While at Wesley, Azzanesi also served as an assistant athletic director from 2006-2010 before being promoted to associate athletic director from 2011 until he left Wesley for Delaware State.
“I look forward to meeting the current team, as well as future Golden Wolves, as we embark on our journey to be the best football team we can be,” added Azzanesi.
“With Alvernia’s forward thinking administration, the addition of multiple competitive majors, and new facilities that are top-notch both at the small college level all create an excellent environment for student-athletes to be successful in the classroom and on the field.”
Azzanesi received his bachelor degrees in communications and accounting from Wesley in 2000. While at Wesley, Azzanesi was a standout two-sport athlete. He was an All-Conference quarterback for the football team and a captain for the baseball team. Azzanesi also went on to earn his MBA from Wesley in 2004.
“I am so grateful to the search committee for their tireless work during this process,” continued Stiles. “The football student-athletes on the committee and the team as a whole, were engaged and represented the best of Alvernia and the football program.”
Alvernia Football will compete in its fourth season in program history this fall. Coach Azzanesi begins his tenure immediately.