The rumblings have begun. Actually, they started the moment UConn hired Paul Pasqualoni in 2011, and after the Huskies' latest loss to the Western Michigan, they've again resurfaced: is the 63-year-old coach, who spent the previous six years in the NFL and out of the college game, the right fit for UConn?
The Huskies were 5-7 a year ago but let's be honest: they probably weren't as good as their record. Pasqualoni gets credit for that. But this team has also lost eminently winnable games, most recently against Western Michigan, and earlier this season against NC State. And while very few programs go through a season undefeated, for UConn to compete in the Big East, they have to win the games they're supposed to.
So in light of their most recent defeat, some fans again have Pasqualoni on the proverbial hot seat.
On Sunday, the Hartford Courant's Desmond Conner spoke with UConn athletic director Warde Manuel about the latest loss.
"Too many mistakes, too many blown assignments," he told Conner. "I just came from the MAC [Mid-American Conference; he was previously the AD at Buffalo]. MAC football is good football, and these kids have to understand we have to play against a MAC team the same way we play against an ACC team or anybody else. This is Division I-A football, and because of that, we have to understand that we need to go into every game giving 100 percent effort on every play, every series and make sure that we're doing what we need to do to be successful."
And despite the torch-and-pitchfork crowd mobilizing, Manuel supports Pasqualoni.
"I'm not even thinking about whether Paul is the right coach at this point in his tenure," he said. "He's fine. Nobody is working harder than Paul and that staff and those kids. My expectation and his expectation is that we go out and we plan to win every game we go into. We just have to ensure that we're doing, as coaches, as players and staff, doing everything we need to do to put ourselves in position to win but that's not even remotely in my thought process, about whether or not we have the right coach. I think we have the right coach. We just have to get better."