Football: UConn hires Lou Spanos as defensive coordinator

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Randy Edsall is bringing in a respected coaching veteran to take over the defense. (Eric Wang/The Daily Campus)

UConn football made official its hiring of NFL and college football veteran Lou Spanos as defensive coordinator on Wednesday

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to join Coach Edsall’s staff at UConn,” Spanos said in a release.  “I can’t wait to get up to Storrs and meet the student-athletes on the team and hit the recruiting trail.”

Spanos, most recently an analyst for Alabama’s defensive unit ranked second in the country, will try his hand at fixing not only the worst defense in the FBS, but one of the worst defenses of all time.

“Lou was exactly what I was looking for when I started the search for a new defensive coordinator,” head coach Edsall said in the release.  “I wanted someone who had NFL and college experience, someone who has coordinated a defense previously with success and someone who knows how to develop players and will be aggressive with the scheme that we will be running.”

Before spending 2018 on Nick Saban’s staff in Tuscaloosa, Spanos was most recently the linebackers’ coach for the Tennessee Titans under Ken Whisenhunt from 2013 to 2017.

Spanos’ only experience at the defensive coordinator position came from 2012 to 2013 with Jim Mora at UCLA. Under Spanos, the Bruins rose from 93rd in the nation in yards per play allowed the year prior to 87th in 2012, then up to 51st in his last year with the team.

A big part of Spanos’ philosophy at both of those destinations seemed to be getting pressure on the quarterback. The Titans’ linebackers were second in the NFL in sacks during his time there, and UCLA saw their sack total jump from 14 the year before he arrived to 47 in his first year there.

Edsall said that, other than his units’ performance on the field, he was most impressed by how he connected with players on the recruiting trail and how his former coworkers spoke of him.

“Talking with the coaches that Lou has worked for and with during his career, it was very apparent to me that we were able to attract an outstanding coach, person and recruiter to our staff,” Edsall said.


Luke Swanson is a staff writer for The Daily Campus.  He can be reached via email at luke.swanson@uconn.edu.

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