Rob Ianello is in his fifth season as associate head coach, recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach.
For just the second time in program history, Buffalo had two wide receivers named to the All-Mid-American Conference team in the same season as Anthony Johnson was named to the first team and K.J. Osborn was named to the third team in 2018. Johnson became just the third player in school history with two 1,000-yard receiving seasons in a career with 1,011 yards in 2018. In his two seasons with the Bulls, Johnson had 25 touchdown catches, third in school history.
In 2017, Johnson who had one of the finest seasons in school history. The junior receiver led the Mid-American Conference in receiving yards with 1,356 and touchdowns with 14, which was also a school record. Johnson, a first-team All-MAC selection, ranked second in the nation in receiving yards per game (113.0) and third in receiving touchdowns (14).
Buffalo’s receivers flourished under Ianello in 2015. For the first time as an FBS program (since 1999) the Bulls had three players with 50 or more catches in a season. Matt Weiser had 63; Ron Willoughby had 61 and Marcus McGill had 50.
Ianello brought over 25 years of experience to UB and is recognized as one of the best recruiters in college football. He most recently spent three seasons on the Kansas football staff where he was the recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach.
Ianello was instrumental in helping bring the 25th-rated signing class to Kansas in 2013 according to The Sporting News. The Jayhawk class had two four-star prospects, including the top-rated JUCO prospect in the nation in defensive lineman Marquel Combs.
No stranger to the Mid-American Conference, Ianello served as head coach at Akron for the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Prior to his stint at Akron, Ianello was a member of the coaching staff at Notre Dame from 2005-09. He coached the Irish in the 2008 Hawai’i Bowl, 2007 Sugar Bowl and 2006 Fiesta Bowl.
From 2005-08 at Notre Dame, he served as wide receivers coach and coordinated the recruiting efforts of the Irish. In January 2009, he was promoted to assistant head coach for offense. In that role, he led offensive staff meetings when head coach Charlie Weis was not present, and later served as the team’s interim head coach.
Notre Dame’s 2009 offense ranked sixth nationally in passing offense (323.50 ypg) and ninth in total offense (451.75 ypg). Ianello mentored Irish wide receiver Golden Tate, who was the 2009 Biletnikoff Award winner and a consensus All-American. Additionally, he coached Jeff Samardzija, who was a Biletnikoff Award finalist in 2005 and 2006 and earned All-America honors in 2006.
As the recruiting coordinator for the Irish, he directed three consecutive top-10 recruiting classes from 2006-08, something only three other schools (USC, Florida and Georgia) could claim. Additionally, Ianello is the only coach named one of the 25-best recruiters nationally from 2005-09 by Rivals.com. In the book “The Second Season” by recruiting analyst Tom Lemming, Ianello is name done of the top-10 recruiters of the last 30 years.
Ianello had two coaching stints at Wisconsin (1990-93, 2003-04), and was part of a staff that helped lead the Badgers to the 1994 Rose Bowl, the 2003 Music City Bowl and the 2005 Outback Bowl.
From 1994-2002, Ianello was on staff at Arizona, serving as recruiting coordinator from 1994-96, and wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator from 1997-2002. The Wildcats played in two bowl games, the 1997 Insight.com Bowl and the 1998 Holiday Bowl. The 1998 Arizona team finished 12-1, which stands as the best record in school history.
Ianello served on the board of trustees of the American Football Coaches Association in from 2003 to 2009. The board formulates policy and provides direction for the AFCA. He also has served as the chair of the AFCA’s assistant coaches’ committee and the general chairman of the AFCA’s all-division assistant coaches’ committee. He also served on the AFCA ethics committee in 2010 and 2011.
Born Nov. 4, 1965, Ianello is a native of Port Chester, N.Y., and is a 1987 graduate of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., owning a bachelor’s degree in English.
Ianello and his wife, the former Denise Dove, have one son, Zachary, and two daughters, Ashley and Courtney. Denise played collegiate basketball at Northern Illinois and is a former assistant women’s basketball coach at Arizona and Wisconsin. She has also worked as a scout in the WNBA.