One day after USC decided to make a change on the sidelines, a school on the other side of the country has done the same.
Confirming speculation that began bubbling just a short time ago, UConn announced in a press release that Paul Pasqualoni has been relieved of his duties as head football coach.
At a press conference scheduled to be held at four p.m. ET today, the school will announce an interim head coach. One person that won’t be is George DeLeone, who the school simultaneously confirmed has been “has been relieved of his responsibilities” as associate head coach and offensive line coach.
“I am making this change in our football coaching staff now as we approach the conference season to see an improved performance from our football program,” said athletic director Warde Manuel in a statement. “I am disappointed in the record of our team thus far, but I am confident that our coaching staff and student-athletes will continue to work hard to improve and that will be reflected on the field of play as we start our American Athletic Conference season.”
As part of his dismissal, the school announced, Pasqualoni will receive a $750,000 buyout.
The firing ends Pasqualoni’s decidedly unsuccessful two-year-plus run with the Huskies.
After replacing Randy Edsall in 2011, Pasqualoni won five games in each of his first two seasons. The Huskies were off to an 0-4 start in 2013, including an embarrassing 41-12 loss to Buffalo this past Saturday. In the season opener, UConn was suffered a 15-point home loss to FCS-level Towson.
The move also comes a little over a week after UConn nearly upset Michigan in Storrs.
UPDATED 11:42 a.m. ET: UConn released a statement from university president Susan Herbst in regards to Pasqualoni’s firing.
“A decision has been made and it’s now time to move on to a stronger future that starts today. What cannot be lost here is how incredibly proud we are of our student-athletes. They are outstanding young men in the midst of a very tough season. Being a Division I athlete and a student is an enormous challenge, and we know how hard they are working and how deeply they care about succeeding for their university.
“What this team needs now as much as anything is the support of Husky fans everywhere. As we saw at our last home game, the amazing energy and highly-charged spirit of our fans breathes life into this team and that must continue and be repeated again and again. There is no substitute. Support from fans lifts players up and keeps a team going. It is essential to competing and achieving the levels of excellence we demand at UConn.”