Monday, September 30, 2013

Pasqualoni reacts to his firing at UConn

Former UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni has his flaws but being a stand-up guy is certainly not one of them.

When coaches get fired from their jobs as Pasqualoni did today, they tend to go into hibernation and avoid the media at all costs. However, Pasqualoni agreed to do a conference call with the media about an hour and a half ago and by the sounds of things, he was handing what must have been a brutal day for him pretty well.

Here are his thoughts.

"I didn’t not really (expect to be fired) as a coach you always know that there is a chance that things can happen but I didn’t necessarily anticipate it," Pasqualoni said.

"My next move is to be around my family and my kids and just enjoy my family. You have to wait and see what happens. I am not the kind of guy who is going out to look for jobs or apply for jobs, the next job has always came. It is the middle of the season so we will see what happens."

After being informed by AD Warde Manuel that he was being let go, Pasqualoni addressed the UConn players one last time before leaving campus.

"I told them I enjoyed very much the opportunity to coach them, appreciated their commitment to the program and a commitment to doing things the right way in the classroom and off the field, on the field and the tremendous effort that they have given," Pasqualoni said. "We had some really good Saturdays, we didn’t have enough good Saturdays but that does not diminish the enjoyment and pleasure I had with being with them."

The players definitely appreciated that he took the time to say goodbye in person.

"It gave us some closure and it is nice to have somebody before they leave come and wish us the best of luck in a personal manner," said junior cornerback Byron Jones.

Here is what junior receiver Geremy Davis had to say.

"He talked to team, he said if you need anything call. He was loyal to us. We are going to respect the guy for what he did, the environment that he tried to build and you can respect the man."

Pasqualoni knows this UConn team is much better than its 0-4 record.

"I just think that the kids were fine. This year when you look at the teams we played, regardless of what conference they are in, Towson I-AA program, we have faced some very good teams this year. The four Saturdays (actually a Thursday and three Saturdays) that we had, we were not able to play well enough or be good enough on those four Saturdays against some very good teams. I thought the kids have effort, I thought we tried, we made some critical errors and we turned the ball over, made a mistake that really cost us and that was really what cost us this year.

"I really would have loved the opportunity to get over the hump, I was looking forward to having a great plan for the South Florida game, we were going to make some changes and try to get this thing back on the road, get some players who were out get back and healthy and get ready for the conference season. I sure would have loved the opportunity to take a good shot at the rest of the season and try to get the thing going in the right direction but it didn’t work out that way."

One of the changes Pasqualoni said he was planning to make was inserting true freshman Tim Boyle as the starting quarterback which is the way interim coach T.J. Weist could go.

"I am used to having success in football so for me disappointing for me that I wasn’t able (to get) the number of wins that you needed to collect but at the same time I feel good about the kids we brought in.

"I hope that they do well. I told them before I left that get ready to play, South Florida has good players, you can beat them and the coaches have a great plan. I thought we had a . Just go 100 miles an hour going, win this game and take them one game at a time. I’ll be rooting for those guys.

"I love football. I may go down and coach the South Windsor eighth grade team. I don’t know if they need a coach. I will see what opportunities develop. I have football in my blood, I love it, we’ll just kind of see what happens."

Pasqualoni said this will be the first in-season weekend that he won't be preparing for a game since 1964.

"I don’t know., It will be a little different. This will be the first high school weekend since I was in high school that I am not playing or worrying about a football game, probably since 1964, that is a long time ago. It will be different."

Pasqualoni wished the remaining UConn coaches well as they try to turn the frustrating season around.

"They are great guys,we worked hard this is not from a lack of effort I promise you and I think the defensive staff will continue to work hard and the T.J. will do the best he can do, you have to get another coach in there because now he is shorthanded and he needs coaches to recruit, coaches to coach and I told him when I left if I can help you I am down the street, just give me a call."

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