Randy, we need to have a talk. I've been hearing your name a lot lately. It's been linked to the Miami job, and I'm sure it'll be linked to others before the month is out. I expected this, and I want you to know, well, it's okay. You see Randy, it's time for you to leave UConn.
That's not an easy thing to write. You are, after all, UConn football, and five days ago you clinched the school's first BCS bid. You've done more for UConn athletics than anyone not named Jim or Geno, and you've built a program the entire state can be proud of.
You took nothing (insert trailer anecdote here) and created what is arguably the strongest football program in the northeast. If they announced tomorrow that Rentschler Field was being renamed Edsall Field I wouldn't object for a second. Still, it's time for you to go.
I'm not saying I would be upset to see you on UConn's sideline next year. At this year's low point, when some where starting to mention the words "hot" and "seat" in connection with your name, I said you had earned several years worth of job security, and I stand by that. If you want to stick around, you're more than welcome to. You've earned that.
But if Miami or someone else comes calling with an offer you like, I don't want you to think for more than a second. Take it. You'll be better off, and so will we.
You see Randy, I know who you are. You're a program builder, a leader, an impressive role model, but you're also a coach that will finish with either a 7-5 or 8-4 record at UConn in perpetuity. That's okay, but I suspect we'd both like to do a little better.
This year, as fun as the ending has been, has been the luckiest year in a career full of lucky years. Sure, we got to the BCS, but it wasn't because we were a good team. It was because we were surrounded by terrible teams. Good teams -- real, true, BCS-level teams -- don't lose to Temple or Rutgers, and they don't get shut out by Louisville. Yes, the BCS bid is real, and it's a real accomplishment, but that accomplishment is going to look a lot different in five years if you've cranked out a bunch of third-, fourth-, or fifth-place teams. If you were at a casino, this would be the exact moment to cash out.
I'm not complaining about UConn's luck, but let's be frank, that's what it was. Imagine this team if Todman's arm injury was more serious, or if Reyes doesn't grab that pick against Cincy, or if West Virginia doesn't fumbled a half dozen times. It's not pretty.
It's not hard to see why things are this way. You are, to be frank, a bad recruiter. That may be on you, it may be on UConn, but the fact remains that you bring in low-level talent, and by pure force of will turn it into mediocre talent. Moving could change that. The resources you'll get at a Miami might allow you to pull in mid-level talent that you then take to the next level, and I would not be surprised at all to see that happen. But it's not going to happen here. You were a fantastic program builder, but you can only do so much, and I fear you've done it.
Don't worry about us either. If you leave now, UConn is in the best shape it could possibly be to replace you. You've shown that football can succeed in Connecticut and that it's a good investment for the school. People are excited. Hell, you just got an editorial in the Courant that did everything but fellate the program. If there was ever a time Jeff Hathaway could feel comfortable pulling out the checkbook, it's now, and after grabbing the BCS bid, we've shown to perspective hires that it actually is possible to win in Connecticut.
Plus, we don't need your particular set of skills anymore. You've built us, and well, to be frank, now we need someone who can bring more talent in here. Sure, that may be possible, but we're going to have to try sometime, because 8-4 is good enough now, but it won't be when we're playing TCU every year.
You are UConn football. I've adored watching you grow this program and I couldn't be more thankful for the job you've done. If you want to stay, if you want to be Joe Pa to UConn's Penn St., you're welcome to try and do that, and I'd loved to see you succeed. But based on your past flirtation, I doubt that's what you want.
The time for you to go is now. It couldn't be better for you and it couldn't be better for us. I'll hold no ill will and will root for you wherever you wind up. That might not be the case three years from now. Randy, it's time to go.