James Vollono | Florida International University

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Team: Florida International University
Organization: NCAA Football
Position: Assistant Coach/Special Teams

Biography

James Vollono enters his third season at FIU, serving as the Panthers' special teams coordinator.
 
In 2018, Vollono helped generate historic production from several of his players. He coached punter Stone Wilson who holds school records for most career punt yards (8,225) and career punts (203). FIU recorded the highest punt average (43.02) in school history and posted the second-best average in Conference USA. Wilson’s personal punt average (44.02 yards) ranked third in Conference USA while his 12 punts of 50-or-more yards also ranked third. Vollono helped Wilson earn selection to the All-CUSA Second Team.
 
Field goal kicker Jose Borregales set single-season school records under Vollono as well in 2018 for total points scored (96), PAT kicks attempted (55), and PAT kicks made (54). Borregales also made the fourth-most field goals (14) during a single season in school history and recorded the fourth-highest field goal percentage (77.8) ever by an FIU kicker. Borregales ranked first in the conference in field goal percentage in 2018 and earned selection to the C-USA Honorable Mention Team. The 53-yarder against Middle Tennessee for Borregales broke a school record for the longest field goal in school history of a game. 
 
Vollono’s special teams unit was also dangerous in returning punts as the team recorded the third-best punt return average (14.6) in school history. Vollono developed ex-quarterback Maurice Alexander into one of the top punt returners in Conference USA. The junior player led the conference in punt return average (14.6), punt return yards (219), punt return touchdowns (1), and was named to the C-USA First Team as a punt returner.
 
Additionally, Vollono developed Austin Maloney and Tommy Zozus into All-CUSA Honorable Mention Team selections as kick returner and long snapper respectively.
 
Vollono’s special teams unit was excellent in kickoff coverage as they ranked second in Conference USA in net average (41.8 yards) and touchbacks (54). FIU allowed opponents the least amount of kick-returns (22) and kick return yards (426) in school history in 2018 under Vollono. They also allowed the third-lowest amount of punt returns (15) and gave up the eighth-least number of punt return yards (171) in school history. 

Vollono comes to FIU after serving as an analyst for special teams with the Georgia Bulldogs during the 2016 season. Prior to joining Georgia's staff, Vollono spent three years at Mississippi State. From 2013 to 2014, he was a quality control assistant for special teams, and in 2015, he was a quality control assistant for offense in addition to continuing his work with special teams. During his time in Starkville, the Bulldogs were ranked No. 1 for the first time in program history, and stayed in that position for five weeks which led to Dan Mullen being named 2014 SEC Coach of the Year. MSU's special teams led the SEC in kickoff coverage in both 2014 and 2015. The Bulldogs also set a new program record by blocking four kicks in 2014, a mark they matched in 2015.
 
Prior to joining Mullen's staff, Vollono spent one season at Colorado as a special teams assistant. From 2009-2011, Vollono was an assistant at Towson. In his time with the Tigers, he spent two seasons as special teams coordinator, and also worked with running backs and tight ends. He served as the lead recruiter for current NFL running back Terrance West, whose rushing paved the way for Towson to win the Colonial Athletic Association Championship and reach the second round of the FCS playoffs in 2011. After that season, West won the Jerry Rice Award given to the top player in the FCS and Towson Head Coach Rob Ambrose was named the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year. West went on to set the FCS single-season record for rushing yards in his junior year.
 
Vollono spent the 2007 and 2008 seasons, under Coach Davis, at North Carolina as the Tar Heels' special teams quality control and offensive assistant. During his time in Chapel Hill, he worked with kicker Connor Barth who earned All-ACC honors in 2007 and is currently with the Chicago Bears. Vollono began his coaching career at the United States Naval Academy, and later held positions at Annapolis High School and Georgetown.

In 2003, he graduated from The Catholic University of America with a bachelor's degree in political science. He also holds a master's degree in teaching from Mississippi State. 

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