After four seasons as UCLA's offensive coordinator, Noel Mazzone is reportedly heading back to the SEC to take the same position at Texas A&M.
According to ESPN.com's Joe Schad, the 58-year-old coach agreed to a three-year deal to serve under Kevin Sumlin. Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports confirmed the news and added that Mazzone's son and UCLA quarterbacks coach Taylor Mazzone will join the Aggies too.
The Bruins averaged at least 32 points per game in each of Mazzone's four years at the helm, and he will look to bring Texas A&M's offense back to prominence after it slipped to 27.8 points per contest in 2015.
Mazzone's decision to depart UCLA comes just one day after Bruins head coach Jim Mora pumped the brakes on rumors that a move to Texas A&M was imminent for his offensive coordinator on the L.A. AM570 Petros and Money Show, per Jack Wang of InsideSoCal.com:
"There is no confirmed validity to the rumor that Noel is leaving," Mora said. "He may, but he may not. I would hope that by the end of the day, we'll know one way or the other."
Mazzone enjoyed three previous stints in the SEC as Ole Miss' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 1995 through 1998, Auburn's offensive coordinator from 1999 through 2001 and Mississippi's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach once again in 2005.
While returning to the conference could help increase his profile, he figures to have his work cut out for him on the heels of quarterbacks Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray both opting to transfer away from Texas A&M.
Since averaging over 44 points per game in Sumlin's first two seasons with the Aggies, that production has dropped off due largely to Johnny Manziel making the leap to the NFL.
Mazzone worked wonders with quarterback Brett Hundley at UCLA, helping him develop into a Heisman Trophy candidate.
It is unclear if he will have that level of talent to work with under center with the Aggies, but Sumlin is banking on the fact that he can mold Jake Hubenak or an incoming signal-caller into someone capable of leading Texas A&M to the top of the SEC.
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