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UConn coach Randy Edsall to retire at conclusion of 2021 season

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Randy Edsall is no longer UConn's coach.

Edsall, now in his second stint as UConn’s football coach, announced Sunday that he will retire at the end of the season. That news comes a day after UConn lost 38-28 to Holy Cross, an FCS program. The loss dropped the Huskies to 0-2 on the season. UConn lost 45-0 to Fresno State to open the season.

“After 17 years of service at the University of Connecticut as its head football coach, I’ve decided to retire at the end of the season,” Edsall said in a statement.

“Back in 2017 I made a commitment to the university, but felt it was better to make this announcement now rather than the end of the year to allow the university ample time to prepare for the future of the football program. All my focus and attention for the rest of the season will be to prepare our players and coaches to go out and win as many games as possible.”

Later Monday afternoon, Edsall's retirement became immediate.

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Connecticut coach Randy Edsall coaches his team against Fresno State during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Fresno, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian)
Connecticut coach Randy Edsall is in search of his first victory this season after losing the first two games of 2021. (AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian)

Edsall brought UConn to Fiesta Bowl, has struggled in second stint

Edsall, 63, first became the head coach at UConn in 1999 and guided the program’s transition to the FBS level. From 2000-2003, the Huskies were an independent program before joining the Big East.

Edsall guided the program to two conference titles and brought the Huskies to a BCS bowl game, the 2010 Fiesta Bowl. After that game, he left UConn for Maryland. He was fired during the middle of his fifth season at College Park, amassing a 22-34 overall record during that span.

A few years later, he resurfaced at UConn but has been unable to return the program to respectability. Including this year’s 0-2 start, UConn is 6-22 since Edsall returned to Storrs. (The team opted out of the 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.)

“When Randy Edsall arrived in Storrs in 1999, he was tasked with leading a Division I-AA program through the challenging transition to Division I-A,” UConn athletic director David Benedict said. “By 2011, his student-athletes were graduating at an admirable rate, the program was producing an abundant amount of NFL talent, and UConn had made an appearance in the Fiesta Bowl. While the program has been unable to recapture that level of success on the field during Randy’s second stint as our head football coach, the decision to retire at the end of the season was made by Randy. As is the case with all our teams, I am constantly evaluating the football program and will continue to make decisions that I feel are in the best interest of our student-athletes.”

Between his stops at UConn and Maryland, Edsall has a 102-136 record as a head coach. Before he became a head coach, he was as an assistant at Syracuse, Boston College, Georgia Tech and with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In a press release announcing Edsall's departure at the end of the season, UConn said it would begin a national search for Edsall’s replacement “immediately.” Defensive coordinator Lou Spanos will be the team's interim coach after the news that Edsall would be leaving right away.

The Huskies will continue their season by hosting Purdue next Saturday at 3 p.m.