Coaches often arrive in new jobs with grand visions of unparalleled success but after the high-fivin' introductory press conference ends, there's no real plan to get there. With Paul Pasqualoni you get the sense that no detail is too mundane and every eventuality -- from practice to games -- has been considered and reconsidered.
It help explains a distinguished career that spans several decades and includes stops at every level. And that experience has taught Pasqualoni that there are no quick fixes in football. Sure, there are unexpected seasons that go better than anyone could've imagined (and just the opposite), but to maintain a program over an extended period requires meticulous planning and, well, a little luck.
The Huskies are decided underdogs heading into 2011, partly because they were underdogs a year ago before winning the Big East and making a BCS Bowl appearance, but also due to the fact that they've lost a starting quarterback and a running back who was the 2010 conference player of the year.
“This isn’t any different than the freshman team at Cheshire [Conn.] High School, the Dallas Cowboys, or the UConn Huskies,’’ Pasqualoni said earlier this week, according to the Boston Globe. “You go as hard as you can as long as you can and you don’t get tired.’’
Like any good leader, Pasqualoni understands the importance of surrounding himself with assistants who know exactly what they're doing. As such, offensive coordinator George DeLeone and defensive coordinator Don Brown have the full faith of their boss,
"I think, very honestly, Coach P is about excellence," DeLeone told the Hartford Courant's Desmond Conner. "He's not about being average. He's going to work himself, the coaches and the players as hard as they can to attain the goal.
"He's not afraid of success and the players won't be afraid of success. We're going to go after it. He understands the expectation and is not afraid of it. He's looking forward to the challenge and competing every week."
The coaches also have the respect of their players.
“When he first came in and we were in the defensive room … he’s like, ‘Gentlemen, I’d like to congratulate you on your recent success defensively, you are a good squad. I know you had your way of doing things,’ ’’ said cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson. “Then his head flopped around and he yelled, ‘But I have my way of doing things. We aren’t going to let people dictate. We are going to attack, attack, attack.’ ’’
The Huskies are facing plenty of obstacles in 2011, which isn't uncommon with a new coach and new faces at key positions. But Pasqualoni sounds undaunted -- and better yet -- wholly prepared. That's about all you can ask for. Well, that and a killer recruiting class. Luckily, the Huskies have that, too.