UConn fans have made it through a long, tough winter at last and have a new Women's Basketball Championship to show for it. While another banner in the rafters is nice, it's finally time to look forward to the warm weather of spring and a shift in focus towards UConn football.
Now, that shift in focus may mean looking ahead to a still-shaky team and a constant rehashing of conference woes but it also comes with one of the highlights of UConn sports: Bob Diaco. Ladies and gentlemen (but mostly ladies), it's time to enjoy the beginning of the run-up to football with a few choice pictures of UConn's most photogenic coach (sorry Ollie).
A few rules to this little endeavor.
1. Photos of UConn-era Diaco only. I'm not in the business of putting Notre Dame's logo places for free. Though by all means feel free to toss me a Ruby Tuesday's gift certificate, Notre Dame marketing department.
2. Don't complain about the pictures included/not included. It already hurt me to pare them down to this amount and I can't even think about the one that got cut where a reflection in his hair looked really stunning. That said, if you find any good ones feel free to share them in the comments or hit me up on Twitter at @whitneym02. More Diaco photos are never a bad thing.
3. Feel more than free to complain about the rankings of the pictures included. Healthy debate, more than encouraged.
4. I reserve the right to go against my own rules. That's half the fun of making up your own, after all.
With that in mind, the 11 pictures of Bob Diaco necessary to prepare you for football season. In descending order from "You look good in that shirt" to "Is UConn paying you in gold-flaked moisturizer and trips to that spa from The Wizard of Oz?"
Photo: UConn Athletics
Ok, so I'm already breaking my own rules. This is pre-UConn Diaco, but there's no Notre Dame logo in sight so making an exception is reasonable. This is also one of the photos UConn used to announce his hiring - they knew to set expectations for both his coaching and that strut.
This is the best LL Bean ad of the last ten years and I charge anybody out there to convince me otherwise. A few angles lower with that wrist and this is Tag Heuer-worthy!
"Sometimes it's so exhausting looking this perfectly pressed and flawless."
I mean, that's probably not what he's thinking here (that's most likely closer to "can our QB's ever throw a ball directly at the target?") but it's fun to pretend he's actively posing sometimes. This is the same strut as above but with a Coach Taylor-esque level of ennui which really bumps it up a notch.
"Can we all hold on a minute and discuss how well I can pull off this T-shirt and whistle? Seriously. I should give you all lessons in casual wear for around campus."
New football daily schedule: practice, class, tutoring, weights, Bob Diaco gives a lesson in nailing how to wear free T-shirts.
Why do we not have more pictures of Diaco running in tight shirts? How is such scarcity even possible? There should be an ENTIRE department for this purpose only. 12 games...12 tunnel runs... that should generate at least 829 photos of worthy material. And that's undershooting it.
By the time you manage to tear your eyes away from this magnificent profile, we'll already be down a touchdown to Villanova in the opener. (I kid. We'll be down at least two scores.)
Jared Wickerham / Getty Images North America
Bob. Diaco. in. the. rain. PART ONE!
Personally, I think it's the 5 o'clock shadow that really ties everything together here.
...and Part Two. The fact that these shots are in public circulation is a true gift. Ditch the headset and make this black and white and these are easily Gucci fall campaign photos. This photo just barely gets the edge over the last one on the strength of that profile.
Probably a good time to include a picture of him looking extra ridiculous in a bucket hat. Don't want anyone to get too flustered. Even with that ridiculous thing on his head, he's still bringing it.
Photo: UConn Athletics
This picture directly led to me flipping through a lot of "Tom Cruise giving thumbs up in Top Gun". A lot.
**Cues Righteous Brothers on the jukebox**
Photo: Jim Rogash/ Getty Images North America
I understand that this isn't a picture of Bryan Harsin feeling how hard Diaco's abs are, but it also doesn't do anyone any harm to pretend that's exactly what this is. The world deserves a Bob Diaco workout tape in the next half decade. More people would buy that than the amount that stay at football games past halftime.
Photo: Jim Rogash/Getty Images North America
It hurts how good he looks in this window pane button up.
*sings* Now we get to watch him lose in that pattern. Guess that's why they call it window pain.
(If you didn't come here for me to use old Eminem lyrics to make jokes about our football coach, I'm unclear on what you expected.)
Photo: Notre Dame Athletics
Are we sure he's not a lost Kennedy relative? Absolutely sure? Because the combination of hair, eyes, and A+ tie game doesn't do much to convince me that's the case.
This gets best picture mostly because of the hair, but also because those eyes are downright smoldering. Eyebrows: strong. Starched collar: strong. Ability to pull off a paisley necktie that is perfectly knotted: so strong.
There you have it. If you weren't already excited for UConn Football 2015 there's no reason not to be now. Jokes aside, this season is shaping up to be better than the last two combined. A pretty intriguing quarterback race is heating up, the incoming freshman class is at the least a promising one, and Homecoming is against South Florida which brings loads of opportunity to feel good about our team for at minimum one game this season (even if it takes a lot of snark to do it).
But if all else fails, at least we have one very good looking coach to distract us from our worries.