UConn confirmed the hiring of Randy Edsall as its new head coach on Wednesday afternoon.
“We are excited to welcome Coach Edsall back to the University of Connecticut,” UConn president Susan Herbst said in a statement. “He possesses the passion, experience and commitment to lead our program and develop our student-athletes, both on and off the field.”
In a move one doesn't see too often, Edsall will return to UConn as head coach where he served as head coach from 1999-2010. Edsall guided UConn to success beyond his 74-70 record indicates, shepherding the program from the Atlantic 10 Conference to viable members of a BCS conference. The Huskies rose from a 4-7 FCS program in Edsall's first season to Big East champions and Fiesta Bowl participants in his dozen seasons at the helm.
Edsall left after that Fiesta Bowl to take the head job at Maryland, and both sides suffered for the move. He went 22-34 in five seasons at Maryland while UConn went 21-48 in six seasons under Paul Pasqualoni and Bob Diaco and watched its Power 5 status disappear. UConn is presently the highest-profile program not in a Power 5 conference, so Edsall's task in his second go-round will be to again lift the program into a place where UConn will be viable candidates should the ACC or Big Ten ever expand again.
“Certainly as I look back on it, I wish I had done things differently in that instance,” said Edsall said of his messy departure for Maryland. “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. I have many incredible memories of my time at UConn and I hope the fans do too. It is my goal to get us back to that level of success and I hope that all of the Husky fans out there will be along for the ride.”
Edsall spent the 2016 season as director of football research for the Detroit Lions.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for more news on Edsall's hire and his staff.