Paul Pasquoloni is out at UConn, per reports. Photo: Getty Images.
We have not even flipped our calendars to October yet and we have not one, but two head coaching changes in college football. Connecticut has reportedly fired head coach Paul Pasqualoni, according to UConn beat reporter Desmond Connor.
Paul Pasqualoni has been fired as #UConnFootball coach.— Desmond Conner (@desmondconner) September 30, 2013
Either OC T.J. Weist, TE coach Mike Foley or DC Hank Hughes will be interim head coach I'm hearing #UConnFootball— Desmond Conner (@desmondconner) September 30, 2013
Pasqualoni was hired to take over the UConn program following Randy Edsall's departure from the program to coach at Maryland. Pasqualoni was far from a popular choice to take over the Huskies, and his 10-18 mark overall and 0-4 start to the 2013 season justified that sentiment. UConn has had two losing seasons since Pasqualoni was hired and is well on their way to another in 2013. UConn's season started with a home loss to FCS Towson (33-18) and was followed by a home loss to Edsall and Maryland. UConn looked to pull an upset against Michigan at home but crumbled in the fourth quarter and this past weekend was blown out by Buffalo (41-12). The Huskies now enter a bye week looking to patch things up as best they can before entering conference play.
Where UConn goes from here will be interesting. Edsall left the program at its high point it seems, taking the Huskies to the Fiesta Bowl with a record of 8-4 in 2010. The program has since been left out of the realignment game despite a potential desire to join the ACC (Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Louisville all got invites) and is now lost in The American at a time when its long time basketball rivals took the Big East flag and formed their own conference. To put it mildly, UConn is in search of an identity.
Unlike USC, a program in need of a rapid turnaround and the potential to allow for that, UConn is in need of building from the ground up. This is not a program with a great foundation for football success, so it will be critical to hire a coach who will have a long-term plan to improve over time. This is not going to be a quick fix for the Huskies, and it will be important for the program to understand that through the hiring process.
UConn is also not in position to attract a big name, which means the program will be more likely to find an assistant coach ready to try his hand as a head coach or perhaps find a name from the FCS ranks.