UConn football coach Randy Edsall steps aside from head coaching duties

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Randy Edsall looks on cropped
Randy Edsall looks on cropped

A day after announcing he'd retire after this season, UConn announced that head football coach Randy Edsall will immediately be stepping aside from the team.

“Upon further reflection by both Randy and I, and after having the opportunity to visit with Randy today, we are both in agreement that it is in the best interest of our student-athletes to have a new voice leading UConn football,” athletic director David Benedict said in a statement.

The school said it was a "mutual decision" between Edsall and Benedict, and Defensive Coordinator Lou Spanos has been named the interim head coach.

The Huskies suffered a 38-28 loss Saturday against FCS opponent Holy Cross, doubling as an 0-2 start to the campaign.

The previous week, UConn's year started with a 45-0 defeat at Fresno State.

Edsall, 63, was a quarterback for Syracuse from 1976-79. He stuck around with the Orange to embark on his coaching career in 1980, as a graduate assistant for the program through '82.

'Cuse kept Edsall as an assistant coach on the staff -- mentoring running backs (1983-84, '86), tight ends (1985) and defensive backs (1987-90) -- before he became Boston College's running backs coach from 1991-93.

After an NFL stint with former Giants head coach Tom Coughlin's Jacksonville Jaguars from 1994-97, Edsall served as Georgia Tech's defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach in 1998.

UConn hired Edsall as a first-time head coach entering the 1999 season and he took the program to a new level.

The Huskies went from an FCS team to BCS/FBS in 1999. They reached their first bowl game in 2004.

Edsall led UConn to a program-first BCS bowl in 2010 before leaving for the Maryland head-coaching job. His stint with the Terrapins finished with a 22-34 (10-24 conference) record from 2011-15.

Rehired entering 2017, he made his way back to UConn. Edsall's second stint had not been a success, however -- the Huskies were 6-32 overall.