The University of Connecticut announced Monday that it will part ways with coach Bob Diaco on Jan. 2.
Diaco spent three seasons with the Huskies and was 11-29. They finished 3-9 this year.
The school did not explicitly say why it was waiting until Jan. 2 to make the move official, however, there were reports Diaco’s buyout decreases after the first of the year.
Because of Jan. 2 effective date, Diaco buyout is $3.4 million, unless it was negotiated down. Would have been $5 million before Jan. 1.
— Ed Daigneault (@EdDaigneault) December 26, 2016
“I know this may come as a surprise to our fans and supporters given the timing of this decision,” UConn Director of Athletics David Benedict said. “However, it became apparent to me that a change in program direction is necessary at this time.”
UConn was one of the nation’s worst offensive teams. It ranked 122nd in total offense and 128th in points scored with 14.8 per game. The Huskies scored just two touchdowns in their final four games and both came in the season finale against Tulane; they had been shut out the two previous games.
Diaco was somewhat mocked for his creation of the Civil conflict trophy, which was meant to inspire a rivalry between the Huskies and UCF. However, the trophy was controversial since UCF didn’t know it was part of a rivalry with UConn. When UCF defeated the Huskies this past season, the Knights had no interest in taking the trophy with them.
Diaco does have an aptitude for defense and his UConn teams showed that though it was difficult with so little offense to balance it out. With several major programs searching for defensive coordinators (like Colorado and Florida), Diaco might find a new home quickly.
“This is obviously not the way I had hoped things would turn out, but I appreciate having had the opportunity to be here at UConn,” Diaco said. “I thank the administration, staff and fans of the UConn Football program for their passion and support over these three years. Most importantly, I want to say how much I love the players on this team and will be rooting for their success. I know that there are great things to come for all of them.”
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