HARTFORD, Conn. – Connecticut athletic director Warde Manuel is looking for a coach who can bring more excitement, passion and, above all, victories to UConn.
Manuel fired coach Paul Pasqualoni on Monday, with the team 0-4 and coming off a 41-12 loss at Buffalo.
Pasqualoni, in his third season at UConn, finishes with a 10-18 record. Associate head coach George DeLeone, who coached the offensive line, also was let go.
“I’m changing now because we have to have different leadership to get different results,” Manuel said. “I’m not comfortable with losing.”
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The school said it will pay the 64-year-old Pasqualoni $750,000 to buy out his contract.
“I would have loved the opportunity to get over the hump,” Pasqualoni, a former Syracuse coach, said Monday night. “We were going to make a few changes and get this thing back on the road.”
Pasqualoni replaced Randy Edsall, who left UConn to coach Maryland.
The Huskies are off this week before hosting South Florida on Oct. 12.
Offensive coordinator T.J. Weist, whose energetic style is a contrast to the more reserved Pasqualoni, will take over as interim coach for the remainder of the season.
The 48-year-old Weist, who played at Alabama, came to Connecticut in the offseason from Cincinnati, where he coached wide receivers.
Weist said the team is taking the approach it is starting at 0-0.
“I definitely think I’m prepared for this, and I’m ready for it,” Weist said. “And I want it.”
Manuel said Weist would have to show he can win to have “any shot” at becoming the team’s permanent coach.
Manuel said he will not be contacting active coaches at other programs about the job until after the season.
• Senior free safety Christian Bryant of No. 4 Ohio State is out for the season with a broken ankle, an injury that occurred in Saturday’s 31-24 victory over Wisconsin. He was considered the leader of the Buckeyes’ defense.
“The sign of a good team is always that someone must step up in his place,” coach Urban Meyer said.
• Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice last week, intends to enter next year’s NFL draft.
“He’ll have plenty of interest,” Gators coach Will Muschamp said. “He’ll be a productive guy on the next level.”
• Former Texas quarterback James Street died Monday at his home in Austin. He was 65 and a cause of death has not been determined.
A backup who took over the Texas wishbone offense in 1968 and led the Longhorns to the 1969 national title, Street won 20 straight games, including a 15-14 victory over Arkansas in 1969 dubbed the “Game of the Century.”
Street was 29-8 as a baseball pitcher in college. His son, Huston Street, helped Texas win the College World Series in 2002 and is a relief pitcher for the San Diego Padres.