The University of Connecticut has found a replacement for former coach Bob Diaco less than two days after the school announced he was relieved of his duties. Randy Edsall will return to navigate the program in 2017, according to a Wednesday news release.
Edsall coached the team from 1999 to 2011 and was at the helm of the program in 2002 when UConn football graduated from the second-tier of play, to NCAA’s top level of football, the FBS or Football Bowl Subdivision.
“Coach Edsall is the right fit for our university, football program, and student-athletes,” said David Benedict, UConn’s Director of Athletics in the release. “He led UConn to its most successful period in the history of our football program, and I believe he will provide consistent leadership and long-term success once again.”
The Hartford Courant reports Edsall’s contract is a five-year deal that will pay a base salary of $1 million per season. Wednesday’s move followed Monday’s firing of Diaco, which resulted in a $3.4 million payout for termination. UConn finished 11-26 during Bob Diaco’s three seasons with the program.
According to the Office of the State Comptroller, the reported $1 million per year deal would rank Edsall among Connecticut’s top five highest paid employees.
Edsall’s mark at UConn included 74 wins, the most by any coach in program history. The Huskies first-ever trip to a Bowl Championship Series game on January 1, 2011, a 48-20 loss to Oklahoma, was the highlight of Edsall’s previous tenure that lasted 12 seasons. Following the 2011 Fiesta Bowl, Edsall left the program to coach at the University of Maryland. He was unable to finish his sixth season with the Terrapins as he was fired six games into the 2015 campaign.
Edsall was regretful in Wednesday’s news release of his decision to leave UConn back in 2011.
“Certainly as I look back on it, I wish I had done things differently in that instance,” said Edsall, whose most recent job was as director of football research for the Detroit Lions. “I completely understand and respect that there are loyal fans, supporters, and former players that still have not forgotten and it will take time to forgive.”
The school has planned a news conference to introduce Edsall as head coach that will be open to the public Friday at 11:00 am in East Hartford.