Starting his fourth season as a member of the Tiger coaching staff, James Vollono had a memorable first season as the Tigers’ Tight Ends Coach.
After spending the first two seasons as the Tigers’ Running Backs Coach, he spent his first year as the Tight Ends Coach when the Tigers won their first Colonial Athletic Association championship.
The contributions of the Tiger tight ends helped Towson post a 9-3 record and make its first FCS playoff appearance.
He also assists Brian Fleury coaching the Tigers’ special teams.
Coach Vollono returned to his home state in 2009 when he joined the Tigers’ staff. He had spent two seasons at the University of North Carolina prior to coming to Towson.
A native of Kensington, Maryland who graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, Coach Vollono graduated from Catholic University in 2003 with a B.A. degree in Political Science.
“James is someone I have known for quite a few years,” says Tiger Coach Rob Ambrose. “He was a very good high school football player in the Washington, D.C. area and he played for me at Catholic University. He gives our football staff a more intimate knowledge of high school recruiting in the D.C. area. James did well as our Running Backs Coach for two years. He is a coaching natural and we were very pleased with his work with our tight ends in the spring.
“At North Carolina, he learned from one of the best Special Teams coaches in major college football, John Lovett,” Ambrose added. “In the area of Special Teams coaching, James Vollono is regarded as someone with a bright future and we’re happy to have him.”
A four-year performer at running back at Catholic University, Vollono was honored as the Cardinals’ Offensive Back of the Year as a junior and senior. As a junior in 2001, he played for Coach Ambrose when he was the head coach at Catholic.
Vollono rushed for 565 yards in seven games and scored three touchdowns in the 2001 season. He had one of the best rushing games in school history when he ran for 212 yards on 28 carries with two TD’s in a 27-25 loss to Hampden-Sydney.
As a senior, he ran for 468 yards on 138 carries and scored two touchdowns.
Vollono started his coaching career in 2003 when he worked with the sprint football team at the U.S. Naval Academy. He served as an assistant coach for the special teams and the quarterback for Major George Rizzi, the head coach of the Mids’ sprint football team.
In 2004, he began a career in Real Estate by working at Champion Realty in Annapolis. At the same time, he worked as an intern in the athletic marketing office at the Naval Academy.
When his younger brother, Matt, was a senior quarterback at Annapolis High School, Coach Vollono joined the Panthers’ coaching staff, working with the passing game and the defensive backs. During his stint at Annapolis, he coached Damien Kinchen, who will be a junior tailback at Towson this coming season.
In 2006, Vollono returned to college coaching when he joined the football staff at Georgetown University. As a member of Coach Kevin Kelly’s staff, he was a defensive assistant for the Hoyas.
After one season at Georgetown, Coach Vollono accepted a position as a graduate assistant on Coach Butch Davis’ staff at the University of North Carolina. While working with the Tar Heels, he was the Offensive Quality Control Coach and served as the Special Teams Assistant Coach.
Over the final two seasons, he helped the Tar Heels develop the best special teams unit in major college football. Among others, Vollono coached Brandon Tate, a record-setting kick return specialist. Despite most of his senior year, Tate set the NCAA career record with 3,523 kick return yards. As a junior, he averaged 24.1 yards per kickoff return and 9.4 yards per punt return. A two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference pick, he suffered a season-ending ACL injury last year. At the time of his injury, he was the ACC leader with 163.7 all-purpose yards per game. He was a third round draft pick of the New England Patriots.
Coach Vollono also worked with North Carolina place kicker Connor Barth, who was one of the top kickers in the nation as a senior, scoring 63 points. Barth was the Kansas City Chiefs’ place kicker in 2008, scoring 54 points while making 10 of 12 field goal attempts.
In two seasons at Chapel Hill, he helped Davis turn the football program around. In 2007, Davis’ first season at North Carolina, the Tar Heels had a 4-8 record. Last year, North Carolina finished with an 8-5 record after dropping a 31-30 heart-breaker to West Virginia in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, N.C.
Coach Vollono is the son of Robert and Mary Vollono of Annapolis, Md. He has three brothers and one older sister. His older sister, Mary Riley, is a graduate of UNC who is the mother of a young son and a young daughter. She and her husband reside in Newport News, Va. Two of his brothers, Bill and Joe, were wrestlers at the U.S. Naval Academy. Bill Vollono is a graduate of the University of Maryland while Joe Vollono graduated from the Academy. His younger brother, Matt, played quarterback at Campbell University. Coach Vollono is single and resides in the Baltimore area.