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Joe Avezzano
Sport Football
Born November 17, 1943 (1943-11-17) (age 66)
Place of birth Yonkers, NY
Career highlights
Overall 6-47-2 (college)
17-13 (AFL)
Coaching stats
College Football DataWarehouse
Playing career
Florida State
AFL Boston Patriots
Position Center
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Florida State (AC)
Iowa State (AC)
Pittsburgh (AC)
Tennessee (AC)
Oregon State Beavers
Texas A&M (AC)
Dallas Cowboys (AC)
Dallas Desperados
Oakland Raiders (AC)

Joe Avezzano (born November 17, 1943, Yonkers, New York) is a former special teams coach in the National Football League and a former college football coach. He also was an American college and professional football player.


Playing career

He played college football at Florida State University, where he was a center. He was drafted and played professionally in the American Football League for the Boston Patriots in 1966.

Joe wore #50 and played in 3 regular season games for the Boston Patriots in 3 games during the 1966 AFL Season.

Coaching career

Avezzano began his coaching career at Washington High School in Massillon, Ohio, and then coached at Florida State, his alma mater, in 1968 and at Iowa State from 1969-1972. He was offensive line coach at the University of Pittsburgh from 1973-1976, helping the 1976 Panthers to the national championship. From 1977-1979, he was the offensive coordinator at the University of Tennessee.

In 1980, Avezanno was hired as the head coach at Oregon State University. The job at Oregon State was his first stint as a head coach. His time with the Beavers was unsuccessful. During his time at OSU, he managed two 14-game losing streaks, separated only by a 31-28 come-from-behind win over Fresno State in 1981 (at the time the greatest comeback in NCAA history, giving him his first victory at OSU) which followed a 0-11 campaign in 1980. In his five years as head coach, he posted a record of 6-47-2. He was fired at the end of the 1984 season.

Avezzano's next job was the offensive line coach at Texas A&M from 1985-1988, during which time the Aggies won three Southwest Conference titles and two Cotton Bowl Classics. He also served as offensive coordinator for Texas A&M in 1988.


Dallas Cowboys

In 1990, Avezanno was hired by Jimmy Johnson to be the special teams coach for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. He was honored by his NFL special teams coaching peers for the first time in 1991 when the Cowboys led the NFL in points scored on special teams (20 points) and in kickoff return average (21.7). In addition, the Cowboys placed a player in the top three in the NFL in both punt and kickoff return averages in the same season for the first time in team history.

In 1998, the Cowboys were one of only two teams in the NFL to be ranked in the top 12 in all four major kicking game categories, including leading the league in kickoff coverage (18.5), earning Avezzano his third Special Teams Coach of the Year award. Avezzano won his second NFL Special Teams Coach of the Year award in 1993 when his units helped Dallas finish as the only team in the NFL to rank in the Top 10 in the league in all four major kicking game categories.

In 2002, Avezzano served as both the special teams coach of the Cowboys and as the head coach of the Dallas Desperados. He was the inaugural coach of the Dallas Desperados of the Arena Football League and remained in that capacity through the 2003 season. Avezzano posted a record of 17-13, and guided the club to two post-season appearances and a division title in the franchise's first two years of existence.

Avezzano was not retained by the Cowboys when Bill Parcells became head coach in 2003.

Oakland Raiders

Avezzano was hired by Norv Turner as the special teams coach for the Oakland Raiders in 2003. He and coach Norv Turner coached together with the Cowboys from 1991-1993 where they helped Dallas win back-to-back Super Bowls following the 1992 and 1993 seasons. He coached with the Raiders until Turner's dismissal in 2005.


Avezzano is the only three-time winner of the NFL Special Teams Coach of the Year award voted on by NFL special teams coaches. His units consistently finished near the top of league rankings in all four major kicking game categories--punt return average, kickoff return average, punt coverage and kickoff coverage--while having a penchant for making big plays, blocking 23 kicks and returning 18 punts and kickoffs for touchdowns.

Joe is a member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity.

Joe currently is owner of "Coach Joe's" bar and grill in Frisco, Texas. The restaurant opened in 2007 directly nextdoor to "Randy White's Hall of Fame BBQ" owned by former Dallas Cowboy Randy White.

Coaching Record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl Rank#
Oregon State Beavers (Pacific Ten Conference) (1980–1984)
1980 Oregon State 0-11 0-8 10
1981 Oregon State 1-10 0-7 10
1982 Oregon State 1-9-1 0-7-1 10
1983 Oregon State 2-8-1 1-6-1 9
1984 Oregon State 2-9 1-7 9
Oregon State: 6-47-2 4-35-2
Total: 6-47-2
      National Championship         Conference Title         Conference Division Title
Indicates BCS bowl game. #Rankings from final Coaches Poll.

See also


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