With the news of UConn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee heading to SMU for the same position, Randy Edsall and the Huskies are now in search of a replacement. The new coordinator will certainly have big shoes to fill as Lashlee led an offensive renaissance in 2017, taking the Huskies from the second-worst offense in the nation to a respectable 49th in total offense.
We came up with a list of potential candidates based on ties to Edsall, successful experience in the northeast or lower Division 1 conferences, or any other potential ties to the program.
Dan Orlovsky - G.O.A.T
Orlovsky was the hottest name on Twitter after the Lashlee news broke, but it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Yes, he’s the greatest player in the UConn history. Yes, he spent 12 years in the NFL working with outstanding quarterbacks and offensive coordinators. Yes, he’s a great football mind, shown by his video breakdowns on Twitter.
However, Orlovsky’s only coaching experience is as a grad assistant with UConn football last spring. Going from almost no experience to running an entire offense is a huge step for anyone to take.
He could end up being a great coordinator one day, but the Huskies need to bring in someone with experience for the job. If he was to join the staff, becoming quarterbacks coach is a great place to start.
Mike Locksley - Alabama Co-Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach
It’s unlikely UConn will make another Lashlee-type hire at coordinator. However, if it does happen again, Locksley would be the guy since he was the offensive coordinator under Randy Edsall at Maryland and a well-known recruiting ace.
While the odds UConn pulls back-to-back coordinators from the SEC are slim, Edsall could offer him full control of the offense as opposed to just being a co-coordinator, so there’s a possibility it could be enticing for him.
Vinny Marino - Bryant Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach
As a UConn football alum and recruiting coordinator in Storrs from 2002-2005, Marino certainly knows the program well enough. Add in the fact that he was previously named one of the top 10 best recruiters in the Big East by Rivals and has a plethora of coordinator experience and Marino checks off all the boxes for the job.
He has worked as an offensive coordinator at Columbia, Georgetown, Davidson and now Bryant. He also spent time at Boston College as a recruiting coordinator, director of player personnel and quality control for the offense and special teams.
Marino also has a history of success with quarterbacks, coaching five All-Ivy League quarterbacks in six seasons at Columbia. At Davidson, he coached freshman QB Stockton McGuire to the Pioneer League Rookie of the Year award.
TJ Weist - Former UConn Offensive Coordinator
It’s hard to believe it’s only been four seasons since TJ Weist left UConn, but that’s what happens when the program bottoms out twice in such a short span of time.
He last worked at USF in 2016 as the co-offensive coordinator/passing game and wide receivers coach, meaning he can run a modern style offense. He did alright at UConn when he took over as interim head coach following Paul Pasqualoni’s firing.
Although Weist did not coach with Edsall, he still has experience at UConn and in the northeast. He would be able to bring a solid offensive scheme to the Huskies along with his former recruiting connections.
Liam Coen - Holy Cross Offensive Coordinator
UConn fans have seen their share of Liam Coen’s offenses over the past two seasons. He’s coached against the Huskies in their last two season openers with Holy Cross and Maine, where his teams have combined for 48 points and 756 yards of offense in those games.
In 2015, he was the pass game coordinator at quarterbacks coach at UMass where he coached quarterback Blake Frohnapfel to a First Team All-MAC selection. Coen has plenty of experience coaching football in New England, as he’s also spent time at Brown and URI.
Coen played quarterback at UMass, where he was a four-year starter from 2004-2007.
Brian Picucci - Maine Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
Coen’s coach when he played at UMass happens to be the man that replaced him at Maine in Brian Picucci. He carries 20 years of coaching under his belt, including 11 years at UMass.
In Amherst, he spent five seasons as run game coordinator and offensive line coach before ascending to offensive coordinator from 2009-2012. During that time, he coached a 1,000-yard rusher in all but two seasons and helped the Minutemen to a 2006 FCS National Championship. Picucci has also spent time at Southern Connecticut, Northeastern, and CCSU.
Brian Wright - Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach Toledo
In two seasons at Toledo, Wright has done a stellar job leading the Rocket offense. In 2017, they were 20th in the country in offensive S&P+ efficiency, 17th in the country in scoring, and first in the MAC in yards per game. The effort was good enough to earn Wright a nomination for the Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant coach in the country. Under his tutelage, quarterback Logan Woodside set school records for passing yards and touchdowns while earning MAC Offensive Player of the Year honors.
Before Toledo, he spent four seasons at Florida Atlantic and before that two seasons at FCS power Montana State. Before that, he spent nine seasons at Youngstown State. He’s been an offensive coordinator since 2005. Wright doesn’t have any ties to UConn, but would certainly be a good candidate.
Jeff Durden - Offensive Coordinator, Richmond
Durden has spent one season as Richmond’s OC, but it was a great one. The Spiders led the Colonial Athletic Conference in pass offense and was second to James Madison in scoring offense. They were first in the CAA in total offense, 11th in all of FCS. He’s been an offensive coordinator for 15 years and in that time was part of a national championship team at James Madison in 2004.
Scott Brisson - Offensive Coordinator, Lehigh
A Connecticut native, Brisson led the sixth-most prolific offense in FCS at Lehigh in 2017.
Kevin Cahill - Yale Pass Game Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach/QBs
Cahill is running the passing game at Yale and also coaching QBs and serving as assistant head coach. Last season, the Bulldogs finished 12th in total offense and 14th in scoring offense in the FCS ranks. In 2014, quarterback Morgan Roberts ran the nation’s fifth-best passing offense and led the nation in total offense under Cahill’s tutelage. Cahill has coached all over New England and has worked with running backs and receivers in addition to quarterbacks.
Mike Lynch - Co-Offensive Coordinator, Syracuse
Lynch works with the up-tempo offense Dino Babers has installed at Syracuse and could get a call from UConn and take it if he’s interested in running the show.
Aaron Smith - UConn WR Coach
Smith is the best internal candidate for the Huskies, although Edsall will likely be looking for someone with coordinator experience.
John Reagan - Penn Offensive Coordinator
Reagan played at Syracuse when Randy Edsall coached there in the 1990’s.