The search for a new head coach at Connecticut looks to have come to a close. Multiple reports, including Inside the Irish, are saying Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco will be the next head coach of Connecticut’s football program.
Brett McMuprhy of ESPN.com reports via Twitter Diaco is in serious negotiations with Connecticut, and Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com reports Diaco’s contract will be a five-year deal worth $1.5 million per year. Assuming all of this information is accurate, and it appears this is the case, this is a solid hire for Connecticut.
Diaco was the 2012 Broyles Award winner, which is presented to the top assistant coach in college football. Notre Dame’s defense was among the bets in the country last season, although they were flattened by Alabama in the BCS Championship Game. The strength of the Irish this season was once again the defense, which was 17th in the nation in passing defense and 32nd in scoring defense.
UConn going with Diaco confirms one thing the program was looking to center their rebuilding around, defense. It was previously reported UConn had offered the job to Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, the 2013 Broyles Award winner. Getting UConn to improve in the American certainly needs to start on defense. The Huskies allowed 30.3 points per game in 2013 (ninth out of ten teams in the conference). The defense had a conference-worst 16.0 sacks this season as well.
Notre Dame will be on the prowl for some new assistant coaches in the offseason. In addition to losing defensive coordinator Diaco, Brian Kelly‘s staff also has a vacancy at offensive coordinator. Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin previously accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Miami Ohio.