Earlier today, The Boneyard's Matt Schonvisky reported that UConn was looking for a new offensive coordinator, referencing this listing on UConn's employment site. That job was previously held by Mike Cummings, who was hired from Central Michigan's staff where he coordinated offense for four seasons.
According to Jim Fuller of The New Haven Register, Cummings will remain on the staff and assume responsibility for the offensive line. You may recall that last year's o-line coach, Mike Foley, the only holdover from the Pasqualoni staff and a longtime Randy Edsall assistant, was fired a little over a week ago.
The team's offensive philosophy is not expected to change, as the new coordinator will be asked to employ a run-heavy approach modeled after Stanford or Alabama, per Diaco. Bob let on about potential offensive shake-ups about two weeks ago-- so far Foley has been let go and Cummings has been demoted.
By any stat or advanced metric used to evaluate offensive productivity, UConn's was abysmal last year. The Huskies finished 123rd in Football Outsiders' F+/- offensive efficiency ratings. Football Outsiders uses two metrics, FEI and S&P ratings, to determine overall rankings. FEI uses an average scoring rate across all of college football to comparatively evaluate a team's performance and here is a brief overview of S&P from their site:
UConn needs to get this hire right. The fanbase's patience is wearing thin after suffering through the Pasqualoni years and a very disappointing first season under Bob Diaco. This new OC needs to be great schematically and strategically, but his most important objective should be helping UConn develop a quarterback.
Tim Boyle is a junior next year, and there are doubts about whether or not he can handle the responsibility of starting at this level. To be fair, he is on his third head coach and will now be on his third offensive coordinator in as many years during his time at UConn. Our new offensive coordinator will be tasked with helping UConn finally find the answer under center.
There are other options if Boyle isn't the one: dynamic freshman Tyler Davis has enrolled early, so he's on-campus practicing with the team and stands out due to his ability to run the ball. The same can be said for transfer Bryant Shirrefs, who is now eligible to play after sitting out last season. I think next year our best shot to win is with Boyle, but that will obviously be up to this new hire to decide.
Whenever a high-profile coaching opening turns up, it is common to try to quickly put together a list of potential suitors based on history in the area or connections with the head coach. We did it for the head coaching search, but it's a slightly tougher game with coordinator positions.
Who would I like to see? I would prefer to promote a quarterbacks coach from a major program over an experienced MAC-level offensive coordinator. I'd like to find out that this new hire is an incredible recruiter, particularly in the Northeast, and that he has demonstrated versatility in his schemes-- letting us know that he tailors his offense to his players.
We'll have a list of potential candidates up tomorrow.