UConn coach Randy Edsall changes course, steps down immediately after 0-2 start to 2021 season

Written by on September 6, 2021

UConn announced on Monday that coach Randy Edsall will step down immediately, one day after the coach originally said he will coach the remainder of the season before retiring. Defensive coordinator Lou Spanos will take over as interim coach of the Huskies. 

“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,” UConn athletic director David Benedict said in a statement. 

The sudden change comes after the Huskies lost to 38-28 to Holy Cross, an FCS team from the Patriot League, in Week 1. The loss dropped the Huskies to 0-2 on the season and 6-32 since Edsall returned to Storrs, Connecticut, for his second stint with the program. This period with him leading UConn that has not gone nearly as well as the first run with the program.

“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 originally said in a release from the school on Sunday. “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.”

Edsall helped oversee UConn’s transition from the FCS level to an FBS program at the beginning of the century; the Huskies came from the Atlantic 10 conference and served as an independent program for four seasons before joining the Big East. While playing in the Big East, UConn had its greatest success under Edsall, winning the conference in 2007 and 2010. The 2010 season ended with a berth in the Fiesta Bowl, and it was Edsall’s final game at UConn before he left to take over Maryland.

Rekindling that magic has proven extremely difficult for Edsall, and the entire program opting out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have only set the Huskies back even further.

Spanos joined UConn as defensive coordinator in 2019 after serving as linebackers coach from 2014-17 with the Tennessee Titans. He spent the 2018 season as an analyst on Nick Saban’s Alabama staff. 

UConn announced it would begin a search for Edsall’s replacement immediately. It hosts Purdue next Saturday.

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