Graduate assistant Taylor Mazzone will be promoted to the Y receivers coaching spot vacated by Marques Tuiasosopo. The news was first reported yesterday on Twitter by FootballScoop.
“A lot of excitement and anxiousness,” Mazzone said of his feelings upon hearing the news. “I’ve been waiting for quite a while. This is a great opportunity at a great university. Coaching in the Pac-12 for my first job is unbelievable.”
The son of offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, Taylor worked previously as a graduate assistant at Arizona State, where he helped groom quarterback Brock Osweiler. He has also worked with Tim Tebow and Christian Ponder; he and his father have been credited for helping the latter become the No. 12 overall pick in 2011 NFL Draft.
Head coach Jim Mora told Mazzone after the Holiday Bowl that a position could be available for him if someone from the staff leaves. Two days after the Bruins’ 49-26 loss to Baylor, Washington officially announced that it had hired Tuiasosopo as its new quarterbacks coach. Tuiasosopo had led the Huskies to a Rose Bowl victory over a decade ago.
“He said if anything opens up, if we lose a position coach on offense, he would love to keep me,” Mazzone said. “It actually happened. … I’m sure he had 100 coaches that wanted to be on his staff. I was just very fortunate that he kept me.”
The 25-year-old’s resume was mostly built on training quarterbacks, but such a switch is hardly unprecedented. Mazzone has worked with receivers in the past, and said he has learned much by watching wide receivers coach Eric Yarber. He is already on the recruiting trail, although whether or not he will take over Tuiasosopo’s region responsibilities (Northwest and San Diego) remains to be seen.
As for any talk that he got the job due to his name? Mazzone is tuning that out.
“It’s mostly outsiders thinking that I might have the golden opportunity because of my father,” he said. “I don’t really worry about that.”
Mazzone will have the chance to prove himself early on, as he’ll enter next season without the services of Joseph Fauria (620 yards, 12 TDs). No one currently on the roster looks like he will be able to fill completely for the 6-foot-7 target, but Mazzone mentioned Darius Bell and Ian Taubler as standout athletes in line to contribute.
UCLA is also waiting on the potential commitment of Mater Dei’s Thomas Duarte, a four-star recruit who is planning to announce his decision at Friday’s Semper Fi All-American Bowl. The 6-foot-3 receiver/tight end is deciding between the Bruins, Notre Dame, Oregon and Washington.
Extra: I also wrote a story on coaches’ kids in November centered around Taylor Mazzone.