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Bears hire Zach Azzanni to coach wide receivers

Zach Azzanni. (AP)

The Bears will have a new receivers coach to meet draft prospects next week when the NFL Scouting Combine opens in Indianapolis.

And he has plenty of college experience.

On Wednesday, the Bears hired Zach Azzanni to coach wide receivers. He spent the last two seasons as Tennessee’s passing game coordinator and receivers coach. He joined the Volunteers in 2013, which included responsibilities as the school’s recruiting coordinator.

Azzanni replaces Curtis Johnson, who opted to re-join the Saints and head home to New Orleans after fulfilling his one-year deal with the Bears. Azzanni will be the Bears’ third receivers coach in as many seasons.

A former receiver at Central Michigan, Azzanni’s coaching resume at the collegiate level is impressive. He coached at Wisconsin (2012, receivers coach) and Western Kentucky (2011, offensive coordinator/receivers coach). He also was Florida’s passing game coordinator and receivers coach in 2010, the Gators’ last season under coach Urban Meyer.

From 2007-2009, Azzanni was as assistant head coach and receivers coach at his alma mater, Central Michigan. He coached current NFL star Antonio Brown for the Chippewas. Azzanni began his coaching career at Bowling Green.

Azzanni is the third new position coach to join the Bears’ offense, following offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn and running backs coach Curtis Modkins.