Wednesday, June 24, 2015

UConn's Diaco thrilled to welcome freshmen to campus

The newest additions to the UConn football team arrived on campus over the weekend and nobody was happier to see them there than head coach Bob Diaco.

"It is great and the veterans have completely embraced them, showed them the ropes, teaching them our culture and how we do our business and what the school is about," Diaco said after competing in the charity mini-golf event at the Travelers Championship along with UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma and associate head coach Chris Dailey. "It is fun to watch them during their first week here, it is fun to watch them train, trying to learn movements. It is an awesome time.

"I am excited to watch everybody make gains, from Marquise Vann to Graham (Stewart) and all the way down to guys who just got here like Connor (Freeborn) and Tyler (Davis)."

He is also happy to see the preferred walk-ons including Valley Regional three-sport captain Chris Jean-Pierre, who was named the Register's Male Athlete of the Year last night.

"All the guys are like that," Diaco said. "They are all multi-jobs guys on strong teams, they have long histories of success and good to great students. If you have a recipe like that, good to great students who are incredibly athletic, winners, multi-sport, multi-job guys, how can you not like guys like that.
We are looking for competitors and teammates."

As for the mini-golf event, the UConn team did not win but Diaco still enjoyed the experience.

"It is just great to be here, to do an activity that is other centered and the proceeds going to all these other awesome charities whether I was representing UConn football or not, I would like to be a part of it," Diaco said. "To come and spread the word, talk about the football team and the young men that represent it is awesome. I will do it any time I can.

"I was better than last year. The course, I think was the same, so that helps and maybe next year I will keep getting better and better. Hole in one on the last one."

Last but not least, with P. Diddy arrested after getting into an argument with UCLA strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi due to the treatment of his son, I got Diaco's thoughts on how he handles meetings with unhappy parents.

"I don't know what happened," Diaco said. "There are three sides to every story. There is the coaches' side, the parent's side and somewhere in between is what happened. I have no idea of what happened.

"I think communication helps that. You communicate with respect, love and care and even if it is something that they don't want to hear and they are not participating more than they would like to or more than their family thinks that they should,  if the communication is right you work through it."

It was previously announced that the Oct. 2 game at BYU would start at 10:15 p.m. Today BYU put it out there that the game will be televised by ESPN2. It was originally listed as either an ESPN or ESPN2 game.


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