- Randy Edsall will step down immediately as head coach of the University of Connecticut football team.
- Edsall had previously indicated that he’d retire at the end of the year.
- Defensive coordinator Lou Spanos will serve as interim head coach.
Randy Edsall managed to take the University of Connecticut football program from bad to abysmal during his second tenure at the school but he won’t be able to do any more damage. Athletic director David Benedict has seen enough and following a ‘conversation’ with the hapless head coach announced that Edsall will step down immediately. This change in plans came abruptly following Edsall’s announcement on Sunday that he’d retire at the end of the year. Defensive coordinator Lou Spanos will take over as interim head coach.
Edsall leaves a raging dumpster fire at UConn. The Huskies are 0-2 on the 2021 season with a 45-0 loss to Fresno State and a 38-28 loss to FCS Holy Cross. The Huskies didn’t play in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but even with a year off UConn is 6-32 in Edsall’s second stint as head coach which began in 2017. It only took Edsall four years to realize that he didn’t have the chops any more and that it was time to get out. Edsall made this statement following the loss to Holy Cross:
“Back in 2017 I made a commitment to the University, but felt it was better to make this announcement now rather than the end of the year, to allow the university ample time to prepare for the future of the football program.”
“All my focus and attention for the rest of the season will be to prepare our players and coaches to go out and win as many games as possible.”
Edsall’s announcement was apparently a surprise to UConn administrators. Even so, athletic director David Benedict didn’t exactly sound heartbroken to hear the news:
“While the program has been unable to recapture that level of success on the field during Randy’s second stint as our head football coach, the decision to retire at the end of the season was made by Randy. As is the case with all our teams, I am constantly evaluating the football program and will continue to make decisions that I feel are in the best interest of our student-athletes.”
Less than 24 hours later, it was announced that Edsall would leave immediately by ‘mutual decision’. The narrative is that the coach and AD finally got a chance to talk and it was decided that the best move was for Edsall to leave immediately. The more likely scenario is that AD Benedict gave Edsall the opportunity to leave immediately before he fired him:
“Upon further reflection by both Randy and I, and after having the opportunity to visit with Randy today, we are both in agreement that it is in the best interest of our student-athletes to have a new voice leading UConn football.”
Edsall parlayed a mediocre 74-70 record at UConn from 1999 through 2010 into the head coaching gig at the University of Maryland. He didn’t exactly set the world on fire with the Terps going 22-34 and getting himself fired six games into his fifth season. Somehow, he got another shot at UConn following a year away from football.
There’s a good chance that no one else wanted the job. Edsall had done everything he could to burn bridges on the way out during his first run as UConn coach–he bailed on the team following a Fiesta Bowl loss to Oklahoma in 2010 after taking the Maryland job. Word is that he caught a commercial flight home rather than fly home with the team and didn’t tell his players what was going on. Somehow Edsall was allowed to keep his job this long despite dropping records of 3-9, 1-11 and 2-10 in three full years at the helm.