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UConn hires Paul Pasqualoni

1/13/2011

Apparently Connecticut just can't get enough of Syracuse guys as its head coach.

The Huskies have replaced Orange graduate Randy Edsall with former Syracuse coach Paul Pasqualoni. He was the Orange head coach from 1991 until 2004, when he was pushed out in favor of Greg Robinson. Pasqualoni went 107-59-1 as the Orange head coach and has been an assistant in the NFL ever since, most recently with the Dallas Cowboys.

PasqualoniPasqualoniPasqualoni is a Connecticut native who had the support of the state's high school coaches. The Huskies appeared close to hiring former Miami assistant Mark Whipple earlier this week, but apparently hit a snag in negotiations.

I imagine the choice won't get UConn fans nearly as excited as West Virginia's choice of Dana Holgorsen as the coach-in-waiting or Pitt hiring Todd Graham. Pasqualoni's teams were seen as underachieving during much of his time at Syracuse, though Orange fans pined for his annual bowl consistency once Robinson came aboard. And Pasqualoni is far from an up-and-comer, as he will turn 62 in August.

The Huskies' candidate pool lacked many exciting names from the moment Edsall bolted for Maryland. It's still a young program with some geographic challenges, and the school has been stingy on its pay for assistants. At least Pasqualoni knows the Northeast extremely well and should be able to recruit the area. Recruiting skirmishes and on-the-field battles with Syracuse are about to become a whole lot more interesting.

Pasqualoni will be formally introduced by UConn on Friday. Stay tuned for more coverage and thoughts on the hire.