UConn football shook things up over break by replacing head coach Bob Diaco with Randy Edsall, who led the Huskies for many successful years in the Big East before a controversial exit. With that in mind, we asked our staff: what are your thoughts on the Edsall hire?
Matt Kren, Staff Writer
While I do not think the hire of Edsall is egregious in any manner, I would have preferred that UConn had gone with a younger coach. Although this was the last hire in Diaco, the theory with Edsall is after three years at UConn he will be bought out for zero dollars and the offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee will take the reins. After UConn garnered no top recruits this year, they will once again be in the bottom dwellers of the AAC and be stuck in the swamp of mediocrity. To shine some positive light on this new coaching administration, I am very happy with the hire of Lashlee, but more importantly the hire of Billy Crocker from Villanova. These two coordinators should be able to help UConn become better-rounded on both sides of the ball.
Chris Hanna, Staff Writer
I have to admit I was fairly disappointed in the hiring of Randy Edsall at first. However, after attending his introductory press conference and seeing the way he spoke about his love for being at UConn, I felt a little less concerned, especially given the remorse he showed about leaving. Furthermore, Edsall presented a kind of blue-collar attitude regarding turning the football program around, which I feel is something the school needs at the head of its football team. His leadership will bring stability to a program in desperate need of just that, while giving players the belief they need to exceed their own expectations. That's what Edsall did in his first stint in Storrs and what he should be able to do yet again.
The confidence Edsall gave me with his speech exponentially increased with the hiring of former Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee who took a pay cut to take the same job in Storrs. Lashlee is the young and brilliant offensive mind that could bring out whatever potential remains in the Huskies’ offense. Ultimately, fans of the program should be thrilled with the staff that Edsall and Benedict have put together, especially if Lashlee is a coach-in-waiting as he is suspected to be.
Matt Barresi, Campus Correspondent
Initial disappointment but a growing sense of acceptance seems to be the going theme with Edsall’s hiring. I remember seeing the news and just thinking “Is this really going to work out?” However I understand the move. Edsall was successful here in Storrs, something that it isn’t easy as evidenced by his successors. After a tumultuous era with Bob Diaco where they overachieved in his second season and seemed to have some talent going for them to the utter failure of last year, it makes sense. I certainly have confidence in Edsall’s ability to bring the program back to a credible level and consistently solid. Will he ever get them back to being a top 25 team (albeit consistently on the fringe) like they were his last go around here? Probably not; and that therein lies the problem most fans had, that it's not too ambitious of a hire. The Lashlee hire is a major coup, but people are already generating incredibly high expectations for him. Still it seems as though a solid staff has been assembled and ultimately I think Edsall takes the program in the right direction. There may have been better and/or sexier options, but hopefully the Huskies will be a respectable program under his domain.
Josh Buser, Staff Writer
It’s easy to see why a lot of UConn fans were not fond of the hiring. Edsall is a head coach that is getting up there in age and struggled at his most recent head coach position and left UConn on bad terms. It’s not the youthful hire with “Power 5” potential that brings excitement back to Storrs like many fans were hoping for.
However, I think it’s beneficial to look at the reactions of Edsall’s former Huskies. It seems that every one of his former players is thrilled with Edsall’s return, showering him with praise and encouraging fans that the future of UConn football is bright. Perhaps the most vocal of Edsall’s players has been NFL quarterback and UConn great Dan Orlovsky. The positivity and belief in Edsall from the ones who saw him at work firsthand should prove to UConn fans that he was the right hire.
Matt Kren is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering women’s basketball. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris Hanna is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com. He tweets
Matt Barresi is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Josh Buser is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.