TOWSON, Md. – A member of the coaching staff at the University of North Carolina for the last two seasons, James Vollono has been named as the Running Backs Coach at Towson University, it has been announced by the Tigers’ new Head Football Coach, Rob Ambrose.
A native of Kensington, Maryland who graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, he 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 Coach 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 will do well as Running Backs Coach and he will also help us as a Special Teams Assistant Coach,” Ambrose added. “At North Carolina, he learned from one of the best Special Teams coaches in major college football, John Lovett. 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. In 2001, Vollono rushed for 565 yards in seven games and scored three touchdowns. 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 defense for Major Jerome Rizzo, the head coach of the 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.
In the last two years, he helped the Tar Heels develop the best special teams unit in major college football while working for Lovett. Among others, Vollono coached Brandon Tate, a record-setting kick return specialist. Despite missing seven games of his senior season, 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 selection, Tate was on his way to a tremendous senior season when he suffered a season-ending ACL injury in the sixth game of the year. At the time of his injury, he was the ACC leader with 163.7 all-purpose yards per game. He also averaged 22.6 yards per punt return and 27.7 yards per kickoff return. Coach Vollono also worked with North Carolina place kicker Connor Barth, who was one of the top kickers in the nation last season, scoring 63 points.
In two seasons at Chapel Hill, he helped Davis turn around the football program. In 2007, Davis’ first season at North Carolina, the Tar Heels had a 4-8 record. Last season, 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, R.I. 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 Naval Academy. His younger brother, Matt Vollono, is a sophomore at Campbell University who could be the Camels’ starting quarterback this season.
Vollono is the fifth assistant coach to join Coach Ambrose’s staff since he became the fourth head coach in Towson history last month. He joins Offensive Line Coach John Donatelli, Wide Receivers Coach Guilian Gary, Quarterbacks Coach John Kaleo and Defensive Assistant Brian Fleury on the Tigers’ coaching staff.
Coach Ambrose hopes to finalize his coaching staff within the next week.