UConn Football: Randy Edsall Hired at Maryland Leaves Connecticut In Limbo

Daniel DinunzioAnalyst IJanuary 3, 2011

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01:  Head coach Randy Edall of the Connecticut Huskies looks down in the second half while taking on the Oklahoma Sooners during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Randy Edsall is the new head coach at the University of Maryland.  He left the state of Connecticut last week to head out to the BCS Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and left with his family to meet with Maryland officials.  Today he will be introduced at an afternoon press conference to make this official.

Good, maybe then UConn fans and players can get an explanation to why nobody found out about this until Internet reports had made it seem like it was already a done deal.  Yes, Randy Edsall built UConn from nothing, but the way that this has seemed to unfold puts Edsall in a position where he has never been before.  This also puts a lot of pressure on Jeff Hathaway, the athletic director at UConn, to find a replacement for Edsall as soon as possible.

National signing day is less than a month away, and the Connecticut recruiting class could suffer significantly if swift and appropriate action is not made.  Edsall spent the last twelve years building UConn into a BCS team, but the way he left seems to have a lot of people ticked off.

Sources say that Edsall was in communication with Maryland officials as early as last week.  That would mean that he was in some type of negotiations a week before the Huskies took the field in Arizona to play Oklahoma.

Also, after the game it was star running back Jordan Todman who stood up amongst his teammates to let them know that he would be giving up his senior year of eligibility and entering the NFL Draft.

Was there some strong reason why Head Coach Randy Edsall couldn't stand up and at least say that he would be interviewing for the head coaching position at Maryland.  Now I can see the parallels between Edsall's hometown Glen Rock, Pennsylvania and the close proximity it has to College Park, Maryland.

Edsall's move south seems even more puzzling because he had offers on the table before.  He turned away Georgia Tech, and his Alma Mater Syracuse.  There were also interviews with Notre Dame and Miami.  His name has been hot on the coaching market, but this move to Maryland seems lateral at best.

Why would you want to go work for an athletic director in Kevin Anderson who fired Ralph Friedgen after being named Coach of the Year.  The guy won nine games with an inexperienced and young Maryland team.

For those who don't know Randy Edsall has won nine games in a season ONCE.  He was 74-70 at UConn, but Edsall's team struggled consistently on the road.  Year in and year out the Huskies couldn't get it done away from The Rent.

The move to the ACC makes sense if he is worried about conference expansion.  With TCU coming to the Big East in 2012, I don't believe that Big East football is in jeopardy.

What I can't seem to wrap my head around is how just a couple weeks ago Edsall talked publicly about what he had built at UConn and compared it to almost like being a baby. He had been through some much in Storrs, both ups and downs.

At the end of the day, I didn't expect Edsall would be here forever, but this came as a shock to me.  Really, Maryland?  The alarming trend of BCS Big East coaches jumping ship continues.

Petrino to Arkansas, Rodriguez to Michigan, Kelly to Notre Dame and now Edsall to Maryland.

Whether or not this is the right decision, time will tell on that one.  There's rumors floating around out there that Edsall was worried about the tough admission standards at UConn and that he wasn't particularly best buddies with athletic director Jeff Hathaway.  Edsall is expected to take three or four coaches with him to Maryland.

That would make it seem as if Hathaway is going to have to go out and promote this job to see who may or may not be interested. This is really the first big challenge that Hathaway faces as athletic director.  Sure he has had to renegotiate the contracts of Auriemma and Calhoun and battle with the NCAA on recruiting violations, but this is a whole other level.

Replacing the man who built a university's program from the ground up is one tall order.  The only way this can transition into a success is if UConn opens up the checkbook and goes after a big-name coach.  See what happens with Rich Rodriguez at Michigan, or pick up the phone and give Mike Leach a call.

Hathaway needs to find somebody fast who is going to come in and get right to work.  It is a very critical during this transition not just for recruits but for current players on the UConn roster.

Players were open and outspoken of the way their coach left.  Yeah, I guess you can sit there and say it's a business, but these student-athletes look up to Randy Edsall, some as if he is a second father.  I don't agree with how Edsall left his team out to dry and today will be putting a Maryland hat on his head.

It's not going to be easy for Edsall to go down to Maryland he think he can win nine or ten games every year.  Don't get me wrong, he is capable, but there is going to be enormous pressure for him to sell the program down there.  How does he do that?  He's got to go in there and win immediately.

If Maryland officials think he is going to go down there and find success like Jimbo Fisher did in his first season at Florida State, well then they might be surprised.

As a UConn student and fan, I hope that the athletic department takes this as an opportunity to think outside the box.  We've seen the struggles that took place at Louisville and this year at Cincinnati after they went to BCS Bowls.

If you had told me last month that Randy Edsall had coached his last game at Rentschler Field, I would have said you were delusional.  I guess that's the nature of college football.  I'm sure Maryland put an offer on the table that Edsall had to take.  Enjoy your millions Randy.

Hopefully you're still the coach when Maryland visits UConn on September 14th, 2013.  Edsall has a lot of work to do if 9-4 and coach of the year in the ACC gets you fired.

At the same time, UConn has its own problems in limiting the damage and negative effects that Edsall's departure could have long-term.


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