Randy Edsall has shown that, indeed, you can go home again — even after a less-than-amicable divorce.
Following up on the reports that first surfaced Tuesday, UConn officially confirmed Wednesday that Edsall has returned as the head football coach of the Huskies. Edsall replaces Bob Diaco, who was fired two days ago after three years on the job.
The new old coach will be formally introduced at an 11 a.m. ET press conference Friday.
“We are excited to welcome Coach Edsall back to the University of Connecticut,” said president Susan Herbst in a statement. “He possesses the passion, experience and commitment to lead our program and develop our student-athletes, both on and off the field.”
“Coach Edsall is the right fit for our university, football program and student-athletes,” athletic director David Benedict said. “He led UConn to its most successful period in the history of our football program, and I believe he will provide consistent leadership and long-term success once again.”
Edsall spent a dozen seasons as UConn’s head coach, guiding the Huskies to a 74-70 record from 1999-2010. Since Edsall departed for Maryland, UConn has gone 24-49 in six seasons.
Fired by Maryland midway through the 2015 season after posting a 22-34 record with the Terrapins, Edsall is spent the 2016 season as “Director of Football Research” for the NFL’s Detroit Lions.
“It is an honor to have the opportunity to rejoin and lead the UConn program,” said Edsall. “I want to thank President Herbst, Athletic Director David Benedict and the rest of the administration for believing I am the right person to build this program and develop its student-athletes. I look forward to working with David, our student-athletes and the entire athletic department.”
Mindful of his controversial departure from Storrs — he left for the Terps job immediately after the Fiesta Bowl without telling his players personally — Edsall issued a mea culpa for the manner in which he left.
“Certainly as I look back on it, I wish I had done things differently in that instance,” said Edsall. “I completely understand and respect that there are loyal fans, supporters and former players that still have not forgotten and it will take time to forgive. I have many incredible memories of my time at UConn and I hope the fans do too. It is my goal to get us back to that level of success and I hope that all of the Husky fans out there will be along for the ride.”
Not including bonuses, Edsall will earn $1 million in guaranteed compensation in the first year of the five-year deal. Diaco was paid $1.7 million in what turned out to be his final season with the Huskies.
According to the school, the buyouts for UConn and Edsall will mirror each other beginning at $3 million and decreasing $1 million each year to zero after the third year.