Joe Pizzo enters his second season as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at North Carolina A&T. Pizzo is responsible for designing the Aggies offensive game plan and schemes as well as recruiting excellent talent to the football program. He also calls the offensive plays on game day.
Pizzo is known for producing top-ranked offenses while striking a balance between the run and the pass. His reputation was upheld during his first season running the A&T offense. In 2011, the A&T produced its first 2,000-yard receiver, a 1,000-yard rusher and 1,000-yard receiver all in the same season.
Running back Mike Mayhew earned MEAC Co-Offensive Player of the Year Honors. Quarterback Lewis Kindle's remarkable improvement was highlighted by the fact he was the first Aggie quarterback to start all 11 games in 10 seasons. Kindle was also the first Aggie quarterback to throw for more than 2,000 yards since Maseo Bolin did it in 1995.
Receiver Wallace Miles also benefited from the Pizzo system. He became the first receiver in school history to have a 1,000-yard season. He later signed a free agent contract with the Detroit Lions.
Pizzo came to A&T after spending 14 seasons at Gardner-Webb University. Pizzo worked as the Bulldogs offensive coordinator for 10 seasons. The Bulldogs offense traditionally produced under Pizzo. They ranked near the top of the Big South in each of his 14 seasons. In 2002, the Bulldogs offense averaged 414.9 yards per game to finish with the 11th best offense in the nation. During the season, the Bulldogs led the Big South in total offense, passing offense and scoring offense. GWU's offense was so efficient, the offense only suffered through 13 turnovers.
Big South Offensive Player of the Year Jeremy Martin earned honorable mention All-American honors as the Bulldogs quarterback. Pizzo coached Martin to 8,025 career passing yards and 60 career touchdowns.
In 2003, Pizzo's efficient offense completed nearly 60 percent of its passes. His starting quarterback Nick Roberts threw for 2,410 yards and 20 touchdowns, and led the Big South in total offense. The Bulldog offense excelled again in 2004 as it produced 379.4 yards per game with 237 of those yards coming through the air. The 2005 Bulldogs may have had their best offensive season under Pizzo. The team was ranked 10th nationally in total offense with 441 yards per contest.
Pizzo's final triumph with the Bulldogs was his work with the 2009 team. During the season, the offense compiled 375.7 yards per game and averaged 27.7 points per contest. Wide receiver James Perry led the Big South in receptions per game and running back Patrick Hall led the way with 12 rushing touchdowns.
During his time at GWU, five of Pizzo's tutored quarterbacks ranked among the top-10 passers in school history. In addition to the outstanding quarterbacks he coached, William Andrews became the school's all-time leading receiver under his watch. Also, Jason Bright became the school's only All-American tight end during the Pizzo era. The school's other offensive accolades under the Pizzo led offense included four all-conference quarterbacks, seven all-conference receivers and Pizzo was a part of two Big South Championship teams.
Before becoming the offensive coordinator for the Bulldogs, Pizzo spent two seasons (1992-93) as the offensive coordinator for the Arena Football League's Charlotte Rage. His other coaching experience includes a two-year stay at Mars Hill College (1988-89) as an offensive assistant, where he was responsible for quarterbacks and receivers.
Pizzo played quarterback at Mars Hill College, where he earned South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year and All-American honors in 1985. During the same season, Pizzo led the Lions to the 1985 SAC-8 Championship and ended his eligibility with school records for passing attempts in a single game (49), touchdown passes in a single season (16) and the most total offense in a single game (2,080 yards).
He signed a free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers and joined the Cleveland Browns in 1987. He also signed a free agent deal with the Indianapolis Colts in 1991. Professionally, Pizzo has also spent time with the Detroit Lions, and started for the Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks of the World League of American Football. In November of 2007, Pizzo was inducted into the Mars Hill Athletics Hall of Fame.
Pizzo is a 1987 graduate of Mars Hill with a B.S., degree in physical education. He and his wife Dana, have one daughter, Stetson.