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UConn's Lou Spanos taking a leave of absence

Jim Mora and UConn kick off their season in ten days against a tough Utah State squad as they look to rebuild in his first season in Storrs coming off a 1-11 campaign in 2021.

That game has added an extra layer of difficulty as the program will be doing so without their defensive coordinator.

UConn announced this morning that Lou Spanos has taken a leave of absence for "personal reasons."

No further details for his leave were given in the school's statement.

Spanos has served as the UConn defensive coordinator dating back to 2019, and previously served as Jim Mora's defensive coordinator for their first few seasons together at UCLA back in 2012 and 2013.

Spanos filled in for Randy Edsall as the interim head coach during the 2021 campaign after Edsall initially announced plans to retire at the end of the season, before a "mutual decision" was announced by the school to part ways just a day later. 

He went 1-9 as the interim head coach of the Huskies.

Mora's next scheduled media availability is next Tuesday, and he'll likely address who will serve as defensive coordinator in Spanos' absence at that time.

The lone member of the defensive staff that has had the coordinator title at a previous stop is defensive backs coach Dalton Hilliard, who was the defensive pass game coordinator and corners coach at UT-Martin (FCS) in 2019. Earlier in his coaching career, Hilliard served as a graduate assistant for Mora at UCLA.

The rest of the on-field defensive staff consists of Kenny McClendon (former Youngstown State DL coach), and Siriki Diabate (former MTSU LBs coach).

Of course, Mora is a former NFL defensive coordinator and could just take over defensive play calling duties as well. 

Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.