6 quotes from Randy Edsall's reintroduction as UConn head coach

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Friday December 30, 2016

Randy Edsall was introduced as UConn head coach on Friday — again.

There was a lot of reflecting on what worked in his first stint from 1999-2010, and how things are different now. Edsall won at least eight games six times in his final eight years, before he left for Maryland. But the press conference started with an apology.

Here were 6 quotes from Edsall’s introduction:

- He apologized for abruptly leaving UConn for Maryland after the Fiesta Bowl without any goodbyes or a heads-up, upsetting the community.

“Almost six years ago, I made one of the worst decisions, in terms of how I left the University of Connecticut. That is something I have to live with, I have lived with. I’m not perfect. Everybody makes a mistake. I regret it. It’s something that has weighed on me very heavily over the years. I just hope I will be able to earn the trust back from you wonderful fans, because what I’m doing now is I apologize for how I left. It was wrong. I take full ownership and accountability of that, and we’re going to move forward together to grow this program.”

- He has spent 2016 as director of football research for the Detroit Lions, and he’s run into a lot of former players in the NFL. That made an impact.

“Today, coming in here with my wife, we drove around the stadium, seeing the statue for Jasper Howard, it gets you right here, and it never leaves you. … I didn’t want to get emotional, but this is what Connecticut is all about and what it means to me. Thank you for having me back.”

- Signing Day is a month away. Edsall knows he has to move fast.

“We’re working on the staff right now. We’re going to put together the best staff for Connecticut and what we want to accomplish here. We’re going to have a great team around me to assist and help me do the things necessary to win. The one thing we’re going to do is do it right and get the right people in here. We’ll hit the road running and go from there. Yeah, it’s a short window, but that makes it fun and interesting.”

- His year in the NFL with Jim Caldwell taught him new concepts he plans to use.

“It reinforced to me a lot of the things I believe in as a coach, he did as well. There are also plenty of things I learned I can bring with me to enhance our program. You might see people throwing the ball more nowadays. More wide open than what it was. But the basic fundamentals of running, blocking, tackling, catching remain constant. You’ve got to have those things. It doesn’t matter what else you do, if you don’t have those fundamentals, you don’t put yourself in a winning situation.”

- How is the job different than when he took over the FCS program in 1999?

“The difference would be that everything is in place here. For me, the convincing factor was going to be the people. I know all the fans, and I know the support we had, and I know we’ll get that back. We’ll earn that back. What did it for me was this gentleman right here (AD David Benedict). If I didn’t believe in his vision and having the support you need from the trustees and president on down, I wouldn’t be standing here today. If you don’t have support from your AD, president and trustees, it’s hard to win.”

- After leaving UConn, he still paid attention to what they were doing. The Huskies haven’t posted a winning record since he left.

“I always checked the scores, I’m not gonna lie. You don’t invest 12 years of your life and had the opportunity to start as an FCS school and get to an FBS school to the Fiesta Bowl, that doesn’t leave you. Emotionally, I was tied quite a bit. I wanted Connecticut to do well.

“When you’re sitting out, the only job I was going to go be a head coach at was UConn if that opportunity presented itself. I had a good situation. It was the emotional tie, what we had and were able to accomplish.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.