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Search for UConn football coach ramps up Sunday...

POSTED December 08, 2013
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

EAST HARTFORD: The search begins in earnest on Sunday.

That’s the word coming from UConn Athletic Director Warde Manual concerning the finding and naming of the next Huskies football head coach.

“I’ve been talking with different people about who is out there and might be interested,” Manual said on Saturday before the Huskies mauled Memphis, 45-10. “On Sunday I will be talking face to face with some of the candidates on my list.”

Manual set no time table on when this process needed to be completed nor did he comment on the status of interim head coach T.J. Weist who posted a 3-5 record during his time at the helm and ended the year on a three game winning streak.

“We need to get the right coach to take us where we need to be,” Manual said. “This is one of only 128 Division I head coaching jobs. It’s a great job at a great University that produces champions.”

Manual has seen that first hand this fall with a National Championship Field Hockey team, a soccer team on a serious role in the NCAA tournament and two basketball teams who have yet to lose a game to date.

Will the Huskies continue a trend towards offensive minded head coaches or will he go back to his defensive roots?

27 of the last 31 head coaches at this level have come from the offensive side of the ball.

“We will try and find a candidate that is the perfect fit for what we need here at UConn,” Manual said.

Manual told reporters that he had talked to about 25 former players over the last few weeks, asking what kind of coach they would like to see at the university that has had three consecutive losing seasons and a combined record of 13-23.

After promising to wait until the regular season was over, Manual is itching to get the real talking underway.

Will Weist be on in the mix? Manual would not say but word has it he likes how Weist rallied this team over his eight games.

“I am very impressed with what he has done,” Manual said. “He got this team to buy in, to play hard despite our record. These seniors have been through a lot and they have stayed with it.”

Money does not seem to be a factor in the search, the Huskies are prepared to do what it takes, within reason, to get the right candidate.

“While we may not have unlimited funds,” Manual said, “My hands are not tied financially.”

The list of names that is floating around includes current head coaches and coordinators but who the AD actually has on his list is known only to him.

Stay tuned.

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