UConn athletics director Warde Manuel wasted little time finding the next football coach. Less than a week after the 2013 season ended, and more than two months since Paul Pasqualoni was fired, Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco was named the Huskies' head coach.
Details via the university:
Bob Diaco, who served on the Notre Dame coaching staff as the defensive coordinator for the past four years and the assistant head coach for the past two, has been named the head football coach at the
University of Connecticut – the 30th in school history.
Diaco was the 2012 winner of the Frank Broyles Award, given to the top assistant college football coach in the country and was the first Irish assistant to receive the prestigious award. He was a semifinalist for the award in 2011.
Diaco joined the Notre Dame staff in 2010 as defensive coordinator and inside linebacker coach, took responsibility for the entire linebacker position in 2011 and added responsibilities as associate head coach in 2012.
His 2012 Irish defense ranked among the top 10 in the Football Bowl Subdivision in 12 different categories as the school played in the BCS National Championship Game and posted an overall record of 12-1.
Diaco has an impressive coaching resume as he served at Virginia (2006-08) as the linebackers and special teams coordinator and Cincinnati (2009) as the defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach before joining the Notre Dame staff.
A native of Cedar Grove, N.J., and a 1995 Iowa graduate, Diaco began his coaching career in 1996-97 as a graduate assistant at his alma mater. He then served on the staffs of Western Illinois (1999-2000) as the special teams coordinator and running backs coach, Eastern Michigan (2001-2003) working with the same positions and Central Michigan (2005) as the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.
Diaco has coached in eight post-season games, including the BCS title game with Notre Dame in 2012 and the Sugar Bowl with Cincinnati in 2010. He played in three bowl games as a student-athlete at Iowa.
He was a two-time All-Big Ten selection at Iowa as a linebacker under Hall of Fame coach Hayden Fry and was named the team's co-MVP in 1995, starting in all 23 games over his junior and senior seasons.
Diaco has developed a national reputation as one of the top defensive coaches in the game. Notre Dame has allowed an average of 19.08 points/game over the last four seasons, which ranks as the ninth-best average over 2010-13 of any team in the FBS. His 2012 Irish defense ranked second in the FBS in scoring defense - allowing just 12.77 points per game. Notre Dame only allowed 15 offensive touchdowns - four fewer than any other FBS school. The Irish held six opponents without an offensive touchdown and nine foes to one or fewer offensive touchdowns.
Under Diaco’s coaching, linebacker Manti Te'o was the 2012 winner of Nagurski Trophy, Lott Trophy, Butkus Award, Lombardi Award, Bednarik Award, Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year. Te’o was also the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy.
Diaco’s 2011 defense ranked in the top 50 in scoring defense (24th, 20.7), total defense (30th, 344.7), rushing defense (47th, 138.9) and passing defense (38th, 205.8). It was only the second time since 2003 and fourth time in the last 15 seasons a Notre Dame defense ranked in the top 50 in all four categories. The Irish played in the Champs Sports Bowl following that season.
In his first season at Notre Dame in 2010, Diaco switched defensive schemes from a blitzing 4-3 defense the Irish utilized in 2009 and installed a 3-4 no-crease defense. Diaco's defense became immediately better as the Irish allowed 5.69 fewer points per game, 40.5 fewer yards per game, averaged one half sacks more per game and forced more turnovers in 2010 than 2009. The Irish played in the Sun Bowl that season.
Diaco will be officially introduced at a press conference Thursday at 3:30 p.m. ET.
CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman reported Wednesday that Diaco signed a five-year deal that starts at $1.5 million per year.