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UNHFOOTBALL-2012CAAFootballCo-Champions

JERRY AZUMAH PERFORMANCE CENTER

As a starting tailback at the University of New Hampshire, Jerry Azumah ‘99 earned a reputation as an unstoppable record-breaker. By the time he graduated from the University and joined the Chicago Bears as a fifth-round draft pick, he had already smashed four NCAA FCS career records and been awarded the Walter Payton Award for his outstanding achievement as the nation’s top offensive player. At the age of 25, he did it again. With a gift to fund the Jerry Azumah Athletic Performance Center, he was the youngest UNH alum on record to give a gift of more than $100,000 to his alma mater. The gift provided funding for the renovation and complete overhaul, including state-of-the-art equipment of the University’s strength and conditioning facility located in the UNH Field House. The Azumah Performance Center opened in the summer of 2003. The massive workout facility, which was originally 4,000 square feet, grew to over 6,000 square feet during a summer renovation in 2009. The renovated center features 5,000 pounds of Olympic weights, 7,000 pounds of dumbbells, 18 Powerlift platform stations, 12 Hammer strength machines, an additional 15,000 pounds of weights and 1,500 square feet of warmup area. “His National Football League profile will tell you that Jerry Azumah was 5-11, weighed 195, and played defensive cornerback with the Chicago Bears,” said Marty Scarano, University of New Hampshire athletic director. “What those statistics miss is the size of Jerry Azumah’s heart. We are so proud to have Jerry’s name affiliated with the University of New Hampshire. Jerry was a leader while attending UNH and continues to set a great example as a graduate.” Azumah is the son of Theophilius and Bertha Azumah, natives of Ghana who settled in Worcester, Mass. He came to UNH in 1995 as a freshman, majored in sociology, and minored in justice studies. “My scholarship at UNH allowed me to pursue my interests in the classroom, build a successful college football career and changed my life on every level,” said Azumah. “I’m pleased to be able to make a major contribution to my university and to bring new opportunities to today’s student-athletes.” During his four years at UNH, Azumah was an All-American tailback and has been referred to as a player who comes along once in a coach’s lifetime by former UNH football coach Bill Bowes. He holds numerous school records, including the record for touchdowns rushing (60) and overall TDs (69), and FCS records for rushing yards (6,193), all-purpose yards (8,376) and points scored (424). He had the six best — and eight of the top 10— UNH rushing games ever and holds the all-time FCS rushing record of 6,193 yards. At that time, he was the only runner in FCS history to have four 1,000-yard seasons. Azumah is one of the only players in the history of the NFL to make the transition from offense to being a starting cornerback. In 2003 he became the first Wildcat to ever play in the Pro Bowl, where he excelled as a return specialist. He was a full-time starter at cornerback from 2001 through 2005 and made significant contributions on defense. Azumah holds the distinction of being the last Chicago Bear to score a touchdown at Soldier Field when he intercepted Donovan McNabb in a divisional playoff game versus the Philadelphia Eagles and ran 39 yards for a touchdown Jan. 19, 2002. The play gave the Bears a 14-13 lead in the third quarter. Azumah announced his retirement from NFL football in 2006 due to injuries, but he continues to keep in touch with his alma mater and is always looking for new ways he can help the University, the athletic department and the Wildcat football program.

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2013 UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE FOOTBALL 2009 New Hampshire Football 69 •

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UNH 2013 Football Media Guide  

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