Jerry Azumah is a native of Worcester, MA who attended the University of New Hampshire by way of a full athletic football scholarship. Azumah graduated in 1999 receiving a B.A. in Sociology, minoring in Justice Studies. During his four years at UNH, Azumah was an All-American tailback. While attending UNH, Azumah held the all-time Division 1-AA rushing record of 6,193 yards as well as numerous university records that stand until this day. He is the only rusher in Division 1-AA history to have four 1,000-yard seasons. In 1999, Azumah was presented with the Jim Urquhart Student-Athlete of the year award. He also received the Walter Payton Award as the nations top offensive player in NCAA Division 1-AA Football. For his achievements and significant contributions, the UNH athletics department inducted him into the Wildcat Athletics Council Hall of Fame in 2005.
Since his departure from UNH, Azumah continues to be a generous supporter of UNH Athletics. In 2003, he became the youngest UNH alumni on record to give a gift of six figures to his alma mater. This provided funding for renovations and state of the art equipment for the university’s strength and conditioning facility. The end result was the Jerry Azumah Performance Center located in the UNH Field House in Durham, NH.
The former Chicago Bear cornerback and kick returner was drafted in the fifth round of the 1999 NFL draft (147 overall). In his Rookie season, Azumah was awarded the “Brian Piccolo Award” by his teammates. Brian Piccolo was a running back for the Bears in 1965 playing for four seasons. In 1970, at age 26, Piccolo passed away due to cancer. In order to preserve his memory the Bears created the award, which exemplifies the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor of the late Brian Piccolo.
In 2004, not only was Azumah selected to his first NFL Pro Bowl representing the NFC after leading the league in kick returns, he was also named All Pro. One memorable experience out of many in his NFL career was in 2002 when he became the last Chicago Bear to score a touchdown in the historic Soldier Field. Azumah retired from the NFL in 2006 following a successful seven-year all pro career. Shortly after, he joined U.S. Cellular Bears Post Game Live and Chicago Tribune Live as a studio analyst/Bears expert for Comcast SportsNet. Continuing on the path of an on air analyst, Azumah has become a regular on various networks and radio shows such as Fox Chicago and ESPN 1000 analyzing the NFL.
Personally and professionally active in community affairs, Azumah served on the University of New Hampshire Foundation Board of Directors for several years since joining in 2001. The UNH Foundation was established in 1989 to build private support for the University of New Hampshire. The energetic team of dedicated professionals works in concert with the University to strengthen programs, support deserving students, provides opportunities for the talented faculty, enhance facilities, and address other areas of need.
Founding his own foundation, The Azumah Student Assistance Program (ASAP) is dedicated in making a difference in the lives of the youth in our communities. Incorporated in 2004 as a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization, ASAP is committed to providing financial scholarship assistance for underserved students seeking private secondary education in the Chicagoland area in addition to supporting targeted educational youth programs. Since the inception, ASAP proudly has impacted the lives of several youth by rewarding multiple scholarships while providing various support to qualified youth programs annually. In 2010 the ASAP Foundation joined with Link Unlimited, an organization that provides educational services and mentoring to economically disadvantaged African American youth in the Chicago area.
Azumah was elected Vice President of the Board of Directors of Bears Care after serving several years as a board member. Bears Care is the Chicago Bears charitable organization that supports numerous charities and assists those in need from programs supporting education, youth athletics, medical research and health awareness in the Chicagoland community. Mr. Azumah also volunteers his time motivational speaking and attending several charitable organizations.
Azumah has one sibling named Bridget and is the first generation son of Theophilus and Bertha Azumah, natives of Ghana West Africa, who currently reside in Worcester, Ma.