Monday, September 30, 2013

T.J. Weist named interim head coach at UConn

UConn made it official that offensive coordinator T.J. Weist has been named the interim head coach following the firing of Paul Pasqualoni.

Weist is in his first season as UConn's offensive coordinator and receivers coach. He said he was unsure of how he's going to handle all his duties. I would think he would have a hard time running the team while still being the receivers coach but we'll have to see how that plays out.

"We have to talk about how we are going to replace those two coaches whether it is within the staff, within our program or outside of our program, I will sit down with our guys and look at the options," Weist said. "I have to be realistic about being the head coach and the responsibilities that I have. I want to put my focus on being the head coach and this team and that has to be my focus first and I will go there whether I will be the coordinator, call the plays, coach the receivers I don’t have that answer yet."

Weist was one of the major reasons why receiver Brian Lemelle, one of the most high-profile recruits in this current true freshman class, came to UConn. Now he is the guy running the show recruiting wise (although linebackers coach Jonathan Wholley became the recruiting coordinator earlier this year).

Both Weist and AD Warde Manuel said all verbal commitments will be honored but of course that won't stop opposing teams from going hard after the UConn commits to see if they can get them to flip.

"Right now we are honoring the commitments that we have," Weist said. "We are going to call them and make sure they know there is stability, we want the players we are recruiting to know there is stability and understand the direction of the program and that will be a big focus for us in recruiting. How are we going to handle them in recruiting and their questions, we aren’t going to ignore it and we are going to reach out the them and keep recruiting. Right now this is my job. What happens in December is up to Warde, this is my job and this team is my focus and nothing else. I agree with him when he said the bottom line is to win, I don’t disagree with it. If we want to lead this program then we have to win, we have to do it in a style and manner with character and the things from us, I understand what he wants and I think our recruits need to understand that."

While part of me questions the promotion of an offensive coordinator of an offense ranked dead last among 123 FBS teams in rushing offense and near the bottom in sacks allowed and total offense, I know that the UConn receivers swear by Weist.

"He brings fire to that position," junior receiver Geremy Davis said. "He played that position, he is a fundamental guy and he is going to bring that to a team as a whole He brings fire and he is a player’s coach so we are going to show his mentality."

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