March 31, 2006
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
Purdue head football coach Joe Tiller today announced the hiring of Ed Zaunbrecher (pronounced ZAWN-brek-er) as co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Zaunbrecher, who will team with Bill Legg as co-offensive coordinators, fills the vacancy created by Blaine Bennett's departure earlier this month and rounds out the Boilermaker coaching staff.
Zaunbrecher, who previously coached at Purdue from 1977 to 1979, returns from Illinois, where he served as passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach last season. He accompanied head coach Ron Zook from Florida, where Zaunbrecher was offensive coordinator in 2002 and 2003 and quarterbacks coach from 2002 to 2004. The Gators led the Southeastern Conference in passing offense (271.1 yards per game), total offense (426.9 yards per game), third-down conversions (47.9 percent) and touchdown passes (29) during the 2004 season.
"I'm very excited to be back at Purdue and to work with Coach Tiller and some people I have known for a long time," Zaunbrecher said. "Purdue is noted for its great offense and quarterbacks, and I feel honored to be part of that tradition."
From 1999 to 2001, Zaunbrecher was quarterbacks coach at Marshall, and he also filled the role of offensive coordinator in 2000 and 2001. Legg and Purdue defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo were on the same Thundering Herd staff in 2001. Marshall ranked third nationally both in passing offense and total offense in 2001, averaging 350.1 and 505 yards per game.
Zaunbrecher was head coach at Northeast Louisiana (now Louisiana Monroe) from 1994 to 1998, compiling a 20-36 record. The Indians moved to NCAA Division I-A status in 1994 and went on to five games each of his last three seasons.
Zaunbrecher's other experience includes stops at Michigan State (1991-93 - linebackers and kickers); LSU (1984-90 - offensive coordinator and quarterbacks); Wake Forest (1980-83 - offensive coordinator, quarterbacks and wide receivers); and Arizona (1973-74 - graduate assistant, 1975-76 - offensive line).
During Zaunbrecher's first tenure at Purdue, he coached the running backs (1977-78) and receivers (1979) under head coach Jim Young. One of his pupils, Dave Young, concluded his career as the Big Ten all-time receptions leader. The Boilermakers won the 1978 Peach Bowl and the 1979 Bluebonnet Bowl.
"Ed has a wealth of experience and is a top-drawer coach," Tiller said. "He's another guy we tried to hire in the past but didn't get done. I have known Ed since his previous days at Purdue and have admired his skills from afar. His primary focus will be the passing game, and he will have a heavy hand in play selection on Saturdays."
Over the course of his 31-year career, Zaunbrecher has mentored 69 all-conference players and 42 National Football League draft picks, including six first-round selections. Nine of his quarterbacks have set school passing records. His list of signal-callers includes three currently playing in the NFL: Rex Grossman of the Chicago Bears, Byron Leftwich of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Chad Pennington of the New York Jets. Additionally, Zaunbrecher has been involved in 14 bowl games.
"Coach Zaunbrecher has forgotten more about the game of football than most people know," said Leftwich, whom Zaunbrecher coached at Marshall from 1999 to 2001. "He is one of those guys who had the opportunity to coach some successful quarterbacks in college, and you know his way of teaching works."
Zaunbrecher has authored numerous videos on quarterback play and the passing game, and in 2004 he established coachz.org, a Web site dedicated to professional development.
A native of Rayne, La., the 56-year old Zaunbrecher (born March 1, 1950) earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Middle Tennessee State in 1972 and a master's degree in guidance and counseling from Arizona in 1974. At Middle Tennessee State, Zaunbrecher was a three-year starter at center, earned the team's Scholar-Athlete Award and received the 1972 NCAA Postgraduate Award Scholarship. He and his wife, Bobbi, have three children: Ann Lindsay, Emily and Zach.