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UConn football and men's basketball news and notes from writer Neill Ostrout.

Pasqualoni taking over at UConn

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MIAMI - NOVEMBER 15: Head coach Paul Pasqualoni of the Syracuse Orangemen voices his opinion about a face masking call against his team as the Miami Hurricanes defeated the Orangemen 17-10 during NCAA football action on November 15, 2003 at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

In something of an upset, Paul Pasqualoni will be the next head football coach at UConn. Several sources confirmed the hire early Thursday evening.

Pasqualoni has signed a five-year contract. His salary will be very similar to the one that was being earned by Randy Edsall, in the $1.6 million range.

UConn made the news official in a press release Thursday evening. A news conference is scheduled for Friday at 12:30 p.m. in Storrs.

“We are very proud to welcome Paul Pasqualoni to the UConn family and also bring him back home to his native Connecticut,” UConn Athletic Director Jeff Hathaway said in a statement. “Paul brings an outstanding coaching background to UConn on the collegiate, professional and high school level. He also is a man of strong character and integrity and we look forward to him developing our football student-athletes in the classroom, on the field and as part of the community.”

Once thought to be a certain hire, former UMass and UNH coach Mark Whipple is out. Interim coach Hank Hughes, Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley and Arkansas offensive coordinator Garrick McGee were also in the mix.

But it’s Pasqualoni, the 61-year-old former Syracuse coach, who will guide the Huskies know.

Pasqualoni has been an assistant in the NFL since leaving Syracuse in 2004, most recently serving as the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive coordinator.

Pasqualoni’s ties to the state are numerous. He grew up in Cheshire, coached as an assistant at Southern Connecticut and served as the head coach at Western Connecticut.

Pasqualoni recruited some of the best high school players in Connecticut to play for him with the Orange, including New Britain’s Tebucky Jones and Bloomfield’s Dwight Freeney.

He will now get to coach Tebucky Jones Jr., a redshirt freshman wide receiver with the Huskies.

- Neill

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Neill Ostrout