When I saw all the news about UConn coming extremely close to signing Mark Whipple as their new head coach, I didn't even bother reading any of the articles. Had I, I would have seen just how close we were to that pipe dream I had last week.
The Husky shortlist apparently consists of two people. Whipple...and Coach P.
I wouldn't have thought Pasqualoni would be interested in returning to the college game but I guess I was wrong. I suppose that once you've been a head coach for as long as he has, that itch never goes away. And he's probably never going to get that shot in the NFL, so college it is.
Pasqualoni even has some influential backing for the job. The Connecticut High School Coaches Association, a.k.a. the people who are in charge of all those precious, precious in-state recruits, have officially endorse Coach P for the job.
"Paul is an icon for coaches," said Filippone Friday night. "His reputation here is above any of reproach. He made a lot of friends while he was here. It’s not just the (older coaching constituency), like me and Lou. It crosses all the age boundaries … young coaches as well as guys who have been around a long time.
"As I made it clear to Jeff, we’re not trying to impose any kind of pressure or anything like that. We understand that’s not the way you pick a coach for a major college football team. They have a lot bigger issues to consider. We simply felt that this is an opportunity for us to say, in a pretty clear way, that we feel this man has the type of skill set, the type of reputation, that could clearly work with us … for whatever value that is."
All that said, it's pretty much a done-deal that Whipple is the guy. Though it does raise a question...will Coach P find a way back into college coaching one way or another now? Maybe a UConn isn't going to roll the dice with him but perhaps an up and coming program might? Not that there are many of those in the Northeast that would be able to take advantage of his Connecticut and NY ties, but if he's motivated, he can make it happen.
As for Whipple, you might remember that he was briefly considered a candidate for the Syracuse job when it opened up a few years back, even earning a brief dalliance on he Head Coach Sexy-O-Meter. We'll get to know the former UMass head coach much better in the coming weeks and months, it seems. One way or another, this guy was destined to coach in the Big East.