Randy Edsall is betting on himself, and recently promoted assistant coach John Dunn, as he seeks to re-re-build UConn’s football program.
While the 2018 football season was undoubtedly abysmal, the Huskies managed to put a decent offense on the field, averaging 22.2 points per game. Each week, quarterback David Pindell and company kept UConn somewhat competitive despite a historically bad year for the defense.
With the departure of Pindell and offensive coordinator John Dunn garnering interest from elsewhere, UConn needed to act swiftly to keep its offensive leadership intact.
Credit to Randy Edsall for making that happen. So far, his attempt to resuscitate the program he helped build up has looked pretty ugly. The combined record in his first two seasons with the Huskies is 4-20 after going 1-11 in 2018.
All this suffering has been endured in the name of ‘trusting the process’. While those words are easy to blurt out, and commitment is often bandied about, Edsall has shown a commitment to the program and this rebuilding project by reportedly cutting his own salary by $150,000 to increase John Dunn’s offer without costing the school a penny. To put it in perspective, Dunn’s salary could now go up 50%, from $300,000 to $450,000.
Additionally, Edsall promoted Dunn to associate head coach. Though the role might sound symbolic, it serves to set Dunn up for a future head coaching gig when Edsall inevitably retires in a few years. He already makes a lot less than his peers, trailing the head coaches of AAC rivals Memphis, Navy, Cincinnati, Houston, Central Florida, Tulane, Tulsa and East Carolina. He gets paid less than every head coach in the power five.
As if this wasn’t enough, Edsall plans on matching 10% of the next 1 million dollars donated to the UConn Football program, following a massive $1 million donation by UConn alum Chris Fraser. That’s another $100,000 out of his own pocket.
So what is the outlook after all this? What can fans expect in the 2019 season and beyond?
A selfless head coach, a newly-crowed associate head coach, a newly-hired defensive coordinator with ties to the NFL and the Alabama Crimson Tide, and a young group of players - recruited by Randy Edsall - with the sole purpose of redefining the UConn Football program.
Granted, Edsall and the Huskies can only go up from here. But despite all the negativity surrounding the events on the field, Edsall’s commitment and the development of the program appear to be strong.