UConn fires head coach Paul Pasqualoni after 0-4 start
UConn fired coach Paul Pasqualoni on Monday after the Huskies’ 0-4 start. In a statement, athletic director Warde Manuel said he opted to make a change in leadership now before the Huskies dove deeper into American Athletic Conference play.
“I am making this change in our football coaching staff now as we approach the conference season to see an improved performance from our football program,” said Manuel. “I am disappointed in the record of our team thus far, but I am confident that our coaching staff and student-athletes will continue to work hard to improve and that will be reflected on the field of play as we start our American Athletic Conference season.”
Pasqualoni will received a $750,000 buyout. UConn announced that associate head coach and offensive line coach George DeLeone had also been terminated.
The Huskies fell 41-12 to Buffalo on Saturday after losing games to Maryland, to No. 15 Michigan and, in a stunning opening day upset, to FCS Towson.
UConn hired Pasqualoni following Randy Edsall’s departure for Maryland at the end of the 2010 season. The Huskies were coming off a share of the Big East title and a berth in the Fiesta Bowl. Edsall went 33-19 in four seasons at UConn; Pasqualoni finished 10-18.
The last time the Huskies’ started 0-4 was in 1991, when they competed at the FCS level. UConn was one of only three teams from BCS automatic-qualifying conferences to finish the season’s first month without a victory.
Pasqualoni’s lack of success — he went 5-7 in each of his first two seasons in Storrs — is somewhat surprising considering his track record. As the coach at Syracuse from 1991 to 2004, he won the second-most games in school history (107) and led the Orange to the 1999 Orange Bowl.
The Huskies’ weak offense was the cause of Pasqualoni’s downfall. UConn often boasted strong defenses — last season the unit ranked ninth in the country and first in the Big East in total defense. But the Huskies’ 2012 offense was the worst in the conference in both total offense and scoring offense. The addition this year of new offensive coordinator T.J. Weist did little to spark the attack; UConn ranks ranks 119th nationally in total offense, averaging only 272.5 yards per game.