He's Back. Randy Edsall returns to coach UConn football.
TORRINGTON: He’s back. Some are happy, some are sad. Some are angry, some just plain mad. Some think it’s an awful move, some laud it as the absolute best move the struggling University of Connecticut football program could have made.
Any way you look at it, the re-hiring, the second time around and the “there you are again” has created quite the buzz in UConn land.
Randy Edsall, the winningest coach in Huskie history, has signed a five-year deal to return as the head coach after fleeing in the middle of the night six years ago, for a job in Maryland, one that he lost six games into his fifth season.
Edsall will look to re-energize a program badly in need of something that will get their shrinking fan base excited, something they have not been since he left after the Huskies lost in the Fiesta Bowl in 2010 and the head coach bungled his exit, something he is sure to address on Friday.
Athletic Director David Benedict, who let Diaco go on Monday, wrapped up the return of Edsall in a hurry and is putting a great deal of faith in a coach who is a lightning rod of both good and bad in these parts.
“Coach Edsall is the right fit for our university, football program and student-athletes," Benedict said. "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."
UConn is coming off an awful campaign in which their offense was offensive and ranked dead last in the nation, one that helped the team finish 3-9 in 2016.
Edsall posted a 74-70 mark during his time in Storrs and has the luxury of hitting the ground running when he arrives, just in time for a critical open recruiting session that begins on January 11.
It was under Edsall that the program went from Division 1-AA to Division 1-A and into the FBS era.
Stabilizing the football program is so critical to the overall athletic health of the University and while nobody is expecting the Huskies to become an Alabama or Clemson, it would be nice to put the assumption of a bowl game in the mix each year.
Under Edsall, UConn won the Big East in 2007 and 2010 and was named the Big East Coach of the Year in 2010.
Edsall is a disciple of Tom Coughlin, the former New York Giants head coach whom he played for at Syracuse during his playing days.
The second act begins on Friday morning at 11 a.m. when Edsall will be re-introduced to the media and fans at Rentschler Field.