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Connecticut has fired Paul Pasqualoni
We're not yet out of September, and two BCS schools have already dismissed their head coaches. One day after USC let go of Lane Kiffin, Connecticut has fired head coach Paul Pasqualoni. Associate head coach/offensive line coach George DeLeone has also been dismissed.
Pasqualoni knew changes were coming following the Huskies' 41-12 loss to Buffalo on Saturday, saying, "We're evaluating," Pasqualoni said Sunday in his post-game conference call with the media. "We haven't had that discussion (about changes)," he said in his Sunday teleconference. "I want to get through every piece of that (Buffalo) game. We, as a staff, are in the evaluation process." Little did he know at the time, athletics director Warde Manuel was thinking the same thing.
UConn AD Warde Manuel: "I am making this change now as we approach the conference season to see an improved performance from our program."— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) September 30, 2013
Saturday's loss dropped Connecticut to 0-4, but an 0-4 start was never out of the realm of possibility. Not with an opening schedule of FCS No. 2 Towson, Maryland, Michigan and Buffalo. This change was more about the direction of the program and, under Pasqualoni, the program wasn't moving forward. Taking over a program who won the Big East and played in the Fiesta Bowl as recently as January of 2011, Connecticut won 10 of 28 games under Pasqualoni, two 5-7 seasons and now this.
Pasqualoni will receive a $750,000 buyout.
From here, we suspect Connecticut will look in the direction of a young coach with an exciting style of offense and the ability to bring in recruits. Speaking of directions, that's a complete 180 from what Pasqualoni offered.
In the mean time, though, the Huskies will take this weekend off before jumping into American Athletic Conference play with South Florida on October 12.
Manuel will hold a 4 p.m. ET press conference to discuss the decision. As always, we'll update with more details as they become available.
UPDATE: Offensive coordinator T.J. West has been named the interim head coach.
UConn AD Warde Manuel says TJ Weist will be the HC for the rest of the season. Says search "will not be resolved in the next 8-9 weeks."— Paul Myerberg (@PaulMyerberg) September 30, 2013