Bruce Feldman first reported and then UConn confirmed that the Huskies have hired Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee to run the offense on Randy Edsall’s staff. This news comes two days after UConn announced its first four staffers.
Welcome to UConn new offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee! pic.twitter.com/wiq5xSyeng— UConn Football (@UConnFootball) January 12, 2017
“He is one of the brightest offensive minds in college football,” Randy Edsall said in a statement from the school. “I know that his experience around some of the highest-powered offenses and top players in the country is going to be an incredible benefit to our program.”
Lashlee, 33, is credited by Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn for turning around the Tigers’ 2016 season after a rough start. Malzahn gave playcalling duties to his protege and it paid off as Auburn went 6-0 after the change.
Considered by many to be a potential head coaching candidate since at least last offseason, Lashlee has spent all but one year of his coaching career with Gus Malzahn, serving as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at Auburn since 2013. In his first year there, he was a finalist for the Broyles Award for best assistant coach in the country.
He actually played for Mazlahn in high school before attending Arkansas, where he played quarterback and backed up former first-round pick Matt Jones. He got his first college coaching job in 2006 as a graduate assistant at Arkansas.
Auburn's S&P offensive ranking under Rhett Lashlee (via https://t.co/QnajpVDOr2):— Aman (@AmanfromCT) January 12, 2017
2016 - 31
2015 - 40
2014 - 4
2013 - 7
This is a great hire for athletic director David Benedict and Randy Edsall, and brings hope that we’ll actually see some modern, exciting football at Rentschler Field—and potentially soon. As an experienced and successful quarterbacks coach, Lashlee will be able to help UConn at its most dire need since the departure of Dan Orlovsky and should provide a boon to recruiting for the offense as well.
Curiously, Lashlee is taking a significant paycut to come to UConn, where he will be making $350,000 after being slated to earn $600,000 at Auburn. Benedict was previously the second in command of the Tigers’ athletic department before coming to UConn, perhaps he sees Lashlee as the perfect coach-in-waiting and implied as such during the hiring process. It’s also possible Lashlee wanted a greater degree of control over an offense, which he would have at UConn since Randy Edsall has a defensive background.
"This is a great opportunity for Rhett to implement and run his own offense,” Malzahn said. “I've known Rhett for two decades and he's a man of great character and integrity and this is another step towards his goal to become a head coach.”
Here are a few in-depth articles from Auburn’s SB Nation site on what to expect from a Rhett Lashlee offense.