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OT 2 - 04/05/2012

Joe Avezzano (born 17 November 1943 - 5 April 2012) was an American football player and coach. He was the head coach at Oregon State University from 1980 to 1984, compiling a record of 6–47–2 (.127). Avezzano was later an assistant coach with the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders of the NFL. He died of an apparent heart attack while exercising on a treadmill in Italy.

Avezzano graduated from Jackson High School in Miami, Florida, in 1961.[1] 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. Avezzano wore #50 and played in three regular season games for the Patriots during the 1966 AFL Season. He was also on the 1967 preseason roster of the Pittsburgh Steelers, wearing #50.

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 University from 1969 to 1972 under head coach Johnny Majors. He followed Majors to the University of Pittsburgh, where he was offensive line coach from 1973 to 1976, helping the 1976 Panthers to the national championship. Avezzano went with Majors to the University of Tennessee in 1977, where he was the offensive coordinator for three seasons in the SEC.

In December 1979, Avezanno was hired as a head coach for the first time at Oregon State University in the Pac-10 Conference. He succeeded Craig Fertig and signed a four-year contract at $40,000 per year.[2][3] Avezzano's time with the Beavers was less than successful;[4] 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, Avezzano posted a record of 6–47–2 (.127); he was fired after the 1984 season.

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

Joe was also a coach for the Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders, and the Seamen Milano of the Italian Football League.

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