UConn sports

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

What do you think? Leave your comments below.

Categories: General
Neill Ostrout

23 Responses

  1. Uconn Believer says:

    For all of the Cuse fans out there – compare Coach P’s record for the first 10 years versus any other coach in Syracuse history. He had the most wins, bowls played and won. How can say he can’t recruit? There are more Cuse alumni in the NFL from his time that any other time. The only point I will concede is that his time had come when he was let go. Is this because of offensive schemes or because of the lack of facilities and other benefits compared to Miami, Va Tech – even UConn? The only way we will know is if Cuse ever gets back on top again in the Big East. If not, even though he has been out of there for years, you can continue to blame him while watching UCONN play meaningful games in December and January. Congrats to Uconn on hiring someone who will drive UCONN higher.

  2. Full Disclosure says:

    Let’s not make this too personal folks. The bottom line is Jeff Hathaway did a LOUSY job in picking a retreaded 61 yr old head coach. Why because the State High School Coaches wanted him ? What big time players have come out of CT in the past 10 years and gone on to star at other colleges elsewhere ? You aren’t going to keep the top players in CT and even if you do what makes you think that they will be able to compete at the highest levels. This was an awful selection an old man who couldn’t get the job done his whole career. What a retirement package that Hathaway gave this clown……

    Hathaway MUST be held accountable by the CT “horde” media for this selection. I guarantee that we will NOT see a BCS game again in the next 5 years.

  3. No Axe to Grind says:

    What a train wreck…this guy is a joke as coach. UConn just destroyed their football program for the the next 8 or 9 years. Edsall got out because the cupboard was bare…Parqualoni will brings nothing to the table for recruiting….he literally killed Syracuse, Robinson just kicked dirt in the grave.

    They had a nice run…..OVER….This will be Hathaways legacy. Destroying the UConn football program. Nice job Jeff. UConn fans better hope that Calhoun stays until after Hathaway leaves or he will take down the Basketball program too.

  4. Paul Tonelli says:

    Too old….he became offensively challenged at SU by the end of his stint. No imagination offensively! Whip would have brought excitement and a younger staff with him. Paul….well, prepare to keep some of the same coaches (I’m sure that was factored into the decision) and bring in more dinosaur’s!!!

  5. Real-SU says:

    @SU-”expert”. I think you mean Doug, not Don. Don was the QB. Doug was the HC.

  6. KP says:

    I agree with the view that this is probably Coach P’s last job. I’m just hoping he isn’t going to run the “freeze option” and stick with the pro-style offense UCONN had under Edsall.

  7. DC says:

    Great coach that is a leader on the field and in the community. With his pro ties, he will be a great recruiter too. Bad day for the rest of the big east.

  8. Jake Crouthamel says:

    Great hire. He will have the inside track on all of the one star recruits in Darien, New Canan, and Trumbull. You are going to love the freeze option — noone can defend it because it hasnt been used since ‘P’ and DeLeone used it to lead Syracuse to six wins per season in the mid-1990s. In other f-ball news UCONN announced it has joined the Patriot League for all sports and will open at home against Colgate next year. On a serious note the demise of the UCONN program is bad news for the Big East which is struggling to maintain it BCS standing.

  9. Jake Crouthamel says:

    Did UCONN also announce that they are no longer a Division I program? Wait until Coach Pee installs the 1990s freeze otpion along with his buddy George DeLeone. Start the search for the next head coach. He drove the Cuse into mediocrity. Maybe Greg Robinson could coach the defense as well

  10. Steve Arconti says:

    Awesome…..Paul has been a great coach over the years and I remember watching and lewrning from him while he was at WestConn…..Uconn made a great choice…th Huskies will soar higher without Edsall…

  11. Fred says:

    A great guy who was given a raw deal at SU! Congrats Paul and good luck from a longtime SU fan We wish you the best.

  12. Rob says:

    To old, but a better choice then that nut Mike Leach. But the real story is what happened to Whipple?

  13. SU_expert says:

    Paul destroyed the SU program after Donnie MacPherson drove SU into the top 10 teams. Donnie was the only reason Syracuse had the resrurgence in th 80′s to 90′s. Coach McPherson survived on Donnie’s control of the team (look at the record, it’s all the proof needed) Pasqualoni inherited the players that Donnie helped recruit into SU. Until Donovan McNab was the last player influenced. Pasqualoni never got a good player after McNab left (Coach P was always a poor recruiter). Then Coach P left an inferior team to another Coach named Robinson. Coach P will embarass UCONN. I feel sorry for you that this bad penny (Coach P) just won’t stay lost.

  14. Cusefan says:

    You might think I’m bashing UConn, but I’m not. Your team just took a big step backwards. The college game left Coach P behind somewhere in the late 90′s. It’s not that he’s a bad x’s & o’s guy. Even at the end @ SU he was a solid tactician. What he lost at the end was creativity, drive ( he was content with mediocrity ), and absolutely any passion for recruiting. He and our athletic director at the time (Jake Crouthhamel) both publicly questioned whether a private school from the Big East could compete for top recruits. Translation: we give up & you should be happy with 6-5 records. Are you fans ready for 6-5 records?

  15. Craig W. says:

    Great hire for my beloved Syracuse Orange. I hope he hires George DeLeone. Welcome back to the dark ages UConn.

  16. John says:

    Great, great pick…a huge upgrade vs. Edsall and the best available candidate. A great leader, teacher, recruiter, and football mind. Plus, someone with CT roots that is looking to make his legacy vs. using it as a stepping stone. This just feels right!

  17. Cliff says:

    No, no, no, you have it all wrong… Greg Robinson drove SU into the ground. The year after Pasqualoni left SU went 1-10 under Robinson. Pasqualoni was responsible for a lot of their success in the ’90′s and early 2000′s.

  18. CT_BUFF says:

    Well, we won’t have to wait for a contract extension, he’ll be retired. I would have preferred someone a decade or so younger.

  19. richard says:

    This decision is horrible.Th e program just took a hundred steps back.He destroyed syracuse……..What is this joke of an AD thinking

  20. Cliff says:

    This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Pasqualoni was 107-59-1 as Syracuse HC, was 62-33 in the BE, won the conference and finished in the Top 25 multiple times, and has BCS games under his belt. He also won’t miss out on big recruits from CT, he actually used to steal them from UConn. Not to mention he also coached Donovan McNabb.

  21. Mitch says:

    This move will now guarantee Syracuse will have a better record than Conn next year. As will Prairie View Community College.

  22. Craig James says:

    UConn needed Mike Leach. Maybe then they’d have some sort of offense for the first time.

  23. Full Disclosure says:

    a 61year old head coach in a young man’s game ?? awful decision …what about Mike Leach ? go ahead and have the courage to ask Hathaway if he even inquired about him ?

    Horrendous decision by the AD …horrendous …

    I am a Uconn Alumni and am ticked off to say the least