Thursday, January 13, 2011

One reason why the job went to Pasqualoni

What may have been the 'X' factor that pushed Paul Pasqualoni to the top of the heap with UConn athletic director Jeff Hathaway in this unusual 13-day coaching search?

The Lone Star State.

We're hearing that Pasqualoni's experience as a successful recruiter and more specifically, his ties to Dallas and the state of Texas played a big role in his hiring.

As TCU is set to join the Big East in 2012, elevating the level of play in the conference up a few notches, UConn felt Pasqualoni's connections in the area will help the Huskies quickly establish a foothold in the talent-rich state. Pasqualoni also has ties in Florida, having spent a season in Miami with the Dolphins and having recruited the state while at Syracuse.

Mark Whipple, who spent the last two seasons as the offensive coordinator at the University of Miami, is a strong 'x's and o's' guy, but is not regarded as a strong recruiter.


Blogger Gary said...

Another reason: Hathaway's lack of a spine.

January 13, 2011 8:24 PM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

How so, Gary? I think it's a good hire.

January 13, 2011 8:59 PM 
Anonymous Bill W said...

I like the hire even if others hate it. He will be able to recruit CT and other important states like Texas and Florida. That in itself is big.

January 14, 2011 1:17 AM 
Blogger Gary said...

You know Chip, at first I was very upset by this, it just seems like this hire puts UConn in a holding pattern for 5 years basically. JH basically just hired a decade older version of Randy Edsall, and it sticks in my craw that the reason Whipple didn't get his contract finalized because JH refused to pay his assistants...sound familiar? Why do you think RE left?

I'm starting to warm to PP a little, but it just doesn't make the impact this hire should have or could have. It's nothing against PP, more of a shot at JH, he went the safest possible route when he had a chance to leave his mark on a program that he has not helped at all.

If this is JH's idea of a coaching hire, I shudder for when Calhoun retires and he's replaced by Tom Penders!

January 14, 2011 7:14 AM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Don't buy into the story about Whipple not taking the job because of money for assistants. He was never offered the job. He would.have jumped to coach UConn, and certainly wouldn't turn it down because of money for his assistants.

Same with Edsall. Yes, he wanted more money for his coaches, but it was one of many issues he had with Hathaway. Edsall left because he wanted more money for himself.

Is anyone that noble these days? To walk away from a $2 million a year job because the assistants aren't making enough? Edsall is no Robin Hood. It was all about him. And Whip has been waiting for a 1-A HC job for, well, 30 years now. Money, for himself or assistants, is no issue.

January 14, 2011 8:25 AM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Boy, Gary, I could go on and on...nothing on you personally, of course. But Hathaway getting killed for not allowing Edsall, or another potential coach, to grab the UConn check book and start writing blank checks to themselves all their pals. Isn't $3.4 million enough to live on for the next two years until its contract negotiation time again? Did Edsall really need to build a second floor on his cabana house in Cancun that quickly?

The inmates already run the asylum at so many football schools. Maybe the assistants deserve a raise. Fine. But credit Hathaway for being somewhat reasonable with finances in a troubled economy.

January 14, 2011 9:06 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll admit I was not thrilled when first hearing the news (would have prefered to steal Addazio from Temple and hope he kept much of our current coaches in place) but I'm going to give PP a chance and look at the positives. My goals for him would be to keep the building process going, keep the teams record 8-4 or better from year to year, and improve recruiting in CT, NJ, PA, Northeast - and maybe FL/Texas. He has proven in the past to recruit the best players in the Northeast lets see if he still has it.

It will be interesting to see what coaches he keeps and what style of offense he implements - if he blows up the current coaching staff and starts over I'll most likely go back to disliking this pick a lot.

January 14, 2011 10:39 AM 
Anonymous Aron said...

Chip you are buying this absolute garbage reason about Texas and recruiting? Last I knew the Cowboys don't re ruit H.S. kids...AND if this was really was a major reason why not give Arkansas OC Garrick McGee anything more than a token interview. It is time for Jeff Hathaway to go back to a school like Colorado St...a place where sports aren't big time! He runs a achool that makes a lot more than every school in the Big East except maybe WVU yet he pays assistant coaches like they work in the CAA. Why don't you guys write about how he is a marketing failure in any other major city market other than Hartford, why uConn doesn't have a satellite radio contract since the entire state can't hear a game broadcast on the CT Radio network. Jeff Hathaway is more concerned with being head of some bs NCAA committee than being a good AD plain and simple! Unfortunately that committee spot prevented him from going to MD as AD to replace Debbie Yow...hopefully instead it will be the UConn Board of Trustees and incoming president Dr. Susan Herbst firing him!

January 14, 2011 11:14 AM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Aron...just in response to the first part of your post...the stuff about Texas and recruiting didn't come from UConn. Pasqualoni is a great recruiter, always has been, and if you don't think coaching with the Dallas Cowboys is an automatic 'in' with Texas H.S. football coaches, then I don't know what to tell you.

January 14, 2011 11:57 AM 
Blogger Gary said...

Chip, I didn't take anything personally, I like this kind of back and forth discourse.

Not a fan of JH, think he botched this, only time will tell.

I hope PP does a bang up job, I think he's a capable coach, but is he going to elevate this program to the next level (top 20 rankings)? I believe it's going to be a lot of the same, 8-4 seasons, middling bowl games and the status quo. Is that good compared to where UConn was 10 years ago, yes, but this school should have its sights set higher, we need an occasional 10-2, 11-1 season sprinkled in, is a 62 year old Defensive Coordinator who hasn't coached in college in 7 years the answer? Not to the questions I'm asking anyway.

January 14, 2011 12:33 PM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

I think he's going to surprise people, Gary. Great recruiter, great people person, very good coach.

January 14, 2011 2:36 PM 
Blogger Gary said...

Chip, I hope you are correct and I hope I'm wrong. I'll defer to you, but just wanted to get my opinions off my chest. I'll be back at the Rent next fall rooting for PP and the whole UConn team

January 14, 2011 3:26 PM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Hathaway gave the assistant coaches their raise, which Edsall advised and approved back in August. New contracts were signed Dec. 29, before Edsall made his cowardly bolt to Maryland in the middle of the night. Like I said before, that wasn't the issue. And it wasn't an issue with Whipple, who certainly didn't choose to remain unemployed over a 5-year/$8.5 million contract because he couldn't get his coaches a little more money. Hathaway remains open to increasing the assistant coaches salaries, and will likely be paying more when Pasqualoni brings in some of his men.

January 14, 2011 8:15 PM 
Anonymous Aron said...

Chip I don't doubt his ability as a recruiter or closer in that process. He was killing it in south Fla back when Miami and FSU were winning and Spurrier was at Fla. I just think a guy who is a college coach is going to have a better relationship with a hs coach that a NFL dc because of his constant contact. As a lifelong UConn sports fan I hope you are right. As for raises, I had a inside view to the contracts just handed out from a asst who has moved on to another job. The raises were bs, thecstaff was still going to be the lowest paid in the league. The quote from Hathaway from yesterday about being here when the football team was syill at the FCS level was very clear. He left here went to Colorado St in the Mountain West Conf...small time...then came back and has neber adjusted his thinking. In an article about Hathaway as AD of the year in a 2008 isse of the Sports Business Journal it was mentioned how as Asst. AD he was very much against upgrading football from 1 AA, but Perkins was the boss and was going to do it no matter what. Mike DiMauro of the New London Day had an article yesterday about lack of attendence/loss of major donors. Very clearly Hathaway is losing his grip on his job security.

January 15, 2011 8:35 AM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Fair enogh, Aron. I respect your opinion. But Hathaway -- and Whipple for that matter -- both looked bad with the erroneous suggestion that pay for assistant coaches had something to do with Whipple not becoming the head coach. Patently false.

January 15, 2011 8:51 AM 
Anonymous Aron said...

on the subject of Whipple I agree with you 100%. I got a text message from someone VERY close to the situation at UConn when Whipple story hit the other night, he was directly involved to speaking with Coach P about some things during the interview process. He said that no decision had been made and Hathaway needed to make a decision very soon. That right there was a red flag about Whipple and money. If you ask me between Whipple and Pasqualoni who I would choose...I take Pasqualoni every time.
I am interested to see him close on a recruit...we all know that was one of Edsall's BIG problems.

January 15, 2011 9:14 AM 
Anonymous Aron said...

Chip the guy who looks the worst from this coaching search is K.C. Keeler from the University of Delaware. He and his agent Gary O'Hagen made a VERY bad PR mistake. Thankfully Hathaway didn't give that guy the time of day! That would have been a TOTAL disaster!

January 15, 2011 9:18 AM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Notice Hathaway go out of his way to mention no FCS coaches were considered? Thinly-veiled shot at Keeler and O'Hagan. Of course, Hathaway actually did interview an FCS coach in Norries Wilson, but since Wilson's name never surfaced in the media he rolled with it.

January 15, 2011 9:29 AM 
Anonymous Pat said...

Mr Malafrone, I know you are busy, but I just have to say a few short words. Something has been bugging me. What is wrong with the UConn athletics dept? Management higher ups made a decision recently that I just don't get. In regards to the vacant football head coaching position, they let Mark Whipple slip away in favor of Paul Pasqualoni, why? To save a few bucks. This was a mistake in my opinion. I always liked Paul Pasqualoni, a Connecticut guy and I think he got screwed at Syracuse. I think he WAS a great coach in college, and he HAD a good record in bowl games. But he is 61. Whipple is a much younger man, with his whole coaching life ahead of him. He too has a good record wherever he went. I remember when he took UNH from obscurity to the D2 national champoinship game. Same goes for when he coached at UMass. This is a very smart coach. The coach I would have liked to see at UConn. It just made better sense. I don't know, things go on behind the scenes that the general public will never know. I think Whipple was the man. Mark my words in 5 or 6 years from now.

January 18, 2011 11:28 AM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Pat, I never had a chance to meet Whipple while he coached at UNH, but I went to many games as a fan and loved his teams and style. Didn't meet Pasqualoni until last week, but was impressed with him as a man and how much he's influenced those who know him. We may not know who would have been the better hire until we see how UConn responds to coach P.

January 18, 2011 11:30 AM 

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