With a reputation as a top-notch builder, leader and recruiter, Randy Edsall is in his second season asMaryland’s head football coach.
Edsall, who is originally from nearby Glen Rock, Pa., spent the previous 12 seasons as head coach at the University of Connecticut where he took the program from FCS (formerly Division I-AA) status to five bowl games, including a BCS contest.
Edsall, who was hired in January 2011 as the 34th head coach inMarylandhistory, guided the Huskies to a pair of Big East Conference titles (2007, 2010) and postseason appearances in each of his final four years, including the 2011 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
The 2010 Big East Coach of the Year, who also had a successful run as an NFL assistant, led UConn to eight or more wins in each of the last four seasons as the Huskies successfully made the ascent to the FBS (formerly Division I-A). In fact,Connecticutwas 33-19 over the last four seasons, including a pair of bowl wins. UConn is also the first program to go from FBS newcomer to BCS bowl participant in only seven years.
During his time inStorrs, the program blossomed from a major college football newcomer upon his arrival to a team that made five bowl appearances in the past seven years. He left as the school’s all-time leader in career wins (74) and most games coached (144). Edsall was also an impressive 65-46 (.586) in the school’s first nine FBS seasons (since 2002).
The 2010 Huskies were typical of a hard working, blue-collar Edsall team. After starting out 3-4, including 0-2 in the league, UConn finished the year with five consecutive Big East wins to earn the conference championship and a spot in the BCS. UConn’s trip to the 2011 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl marked its fifth bowl trip since 2004. The Huskies defeatedSouth Carolinain the 2009 Papajohns.com Bowl by a 20-7 score. Edsall guidedConnecticutto a 38-20 win overBuffaloin the 2009 International Bowl, led the team to a victory in the 2004 Motor City Bowl and an appearance in the 2007 Meineke Car Care Bowl.
Edsall’s Huskies won their final three regular season games in 2009 – including a historic double-overtime win over Notre Dame. UConn posted a 7-5 regular season record facing the 25th-toughest schedule in the country. In 2007, the Bryant and Munger Coach of the Year Award finalist helped guide UConn to a share of its first-ever Big East Championship in a season where the Huskies were picked to finish seventh in the league.
Edsall is a two-time recipient (2007, 2010) of the Bowl Championship Division Head Coach of the Year inNew Englandby the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston.
Edsall has been a prominent voice in the college football community as he was a member of the American Football Coaches Association Board of Trustees and the NCAA Football Rules Committee.
UConn joined the Big East Conference in 2004, finishing just one win shy of tying for the league championship. The Huskies led the conference in total defense each of their first two years and again in 2008. During its debut season in 2004, UConn also led the Big East in total offense. UConn finished in the national top 20 for total offense (2003, 2004) and total defense (2002, 2005, 2008) in multiple seasons. The Huskies finished an impressive sixth in the country in total defense in 2008. Under Edsall’s guidance, the Huskies defeated members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, ConferenceUSAand Southeastern Conference during their Football Bowl Subdivision tenure.
In addition to the great success on the field, UConn has performed admirably in the classroom under Edsall. In five of the past seven years, including 2007, `08 and `09, UConn was recognized by the American Football Coaches Association for its high graduation rate.
UConn was the top team in the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate (GSR) in both October 2008 and ’09 among league schools. The Huskies were third in the Big East in the 2010 GSR release and within four points of second.
In 2008, UConn had the highest GSR for African-American student-athletes among all state universities that participated in a bowl game following the 2008 season. In 2009, the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) for the UConn football team was an impressive 951, which was third in the Big East Conference and just five points behind the second-place team. That mark also placedConnecticutahead of the Bowl Subdivision average of 941 and among the top 30 percent of schools in the country.
In 2007, UConn was one of just six schools to play in a bowl game and also boast a GSR over 80-percent for both its Caucasian and African-American student-athletes. In 2003, UConn was the only public Division I-A school to graduate at least 90 percent of its football players and in 2005, UConn was one of only eight schools to both graduate 70 percent and win a bowl game.
Even in its first season at the Division I-A level, UConn was able to make its mark on the national scene.
Edsall guided the 2002 team to a 6-6 record in its first year with a full complement of 85 scholarships. UConn ended the 2002 season impressively, registering four straight wins to reach the .500 mark, including season-ending road wins at Navy and at bowl-boundIowaState.
UConn’s .500 season was its best record since the squad won 10 games in 1998. The Huskies’ six wins were more than the Huskies posted in 2000 (three) and 2001 (two) combined. In 2002, the Huskies were the most improved Division I-A team in the country, according to preseason and postseason ratings by College Football News.
The excitement for Edsall and his team continued to swell in 2003 as the Huskies moved into their new home, Rentschler Field, and enjoyed the nation’s largest attendance increase (+ 21,252 fans per game).
Finishing with a 9-3 record, many national media outlets, including Bristol-based ESPN, proclaimed that UConn should have received a bowl berth, a feat highly-uncommon for an independent team.
With their membership in the Big East for the 2004 season, another strong campaign by the Huskies resulted in a bowl berth. UConn went 8-4 against a challenging slate that fall as the program gained its highest-ever level of exposure. The Huskies capped their historic season with a resounding 39-10 win over Mid-American Conference Champion Toledo in the Motor City Bowl.
The 2007 season witnessed a new level of excitement inStorrsas the Huskies earned their first ever national rankings, peaking at No. 13 in the BCS standings on Nov. 5. UConn became just the second Big East team to ever go 7-0 at home and defeat three teams there which were ranked in the Top 10 at some point during the season. The Big East Champion Huskies finished that season at 9-4 with a berth in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, earning Edsall New England Division I Coach of the Year accolades.
Edsall was named the 27th head football coach at theUniversityofConnecticuton December 21, 1998. He brought 19 years of coaching experience to the Husky program, including 15 seasons on the collegiate level and three in the NFL.
Edsall joined the Huskies after completing the 1998 season as the defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech, where he helped the 14th-ranked Yellow Jackets complete a 9-2 campaign.
Prior to joining the staff at Georgia Tech, Edsall spent three seasons as the secondary coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. In his three seasons on Tom Coughlin’s staff, Edsall was a part of one of the most successful expansion franchises in the history of the NFL. The Jaguars reached the playoffs twice, including a berth in the 1996 AFC Championship Game.
Edsall began his coaching career in 1980 at his alma mater,SyracuseUniversity. A former quarterback for the Orangemen, Edsall started as a graduate assistant from 1980-82. In 1983,Orangehead coach Dick MacPherson named Edsall to oversee the running backs.
Edsall coached running backs for three seasons (1983-84 and 1986) and oversaw the tight ends in 1985 before making the switch to the defensive side of the ball. He coached theSyracusedefensive backs from 1987-1990 and during that period the Orangemen were ranked among the Division I-A leaders in pass defense.
He remained in the Big East for the next three years as he moved on to become the defensive backs coach atBostonCollege. Edsall served under Coughlin who was hired as head coach prior to the 1991 season.
Fran Foley, who serves asMaryland’s director of football operations, were also on the staff during that time, a period which saw the Eagles reach a pair of bowl games.
Edsall was a three-year letterwinner in football, basketball and baseball atSusquehannockHigh School(Pa.). He was an all-state selection in all three sports in his senior season and was inducted into the York Area Sports Hall of Fame.
He went on toSyracuse, where he was a member of the football team and earned one varsity letter as a quarterback for the Orangemen. He was a member of theSyracusesquad that captured the 1979 Independence Bowl title under head coach Frank Maloney. Edsall earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education fromSyracusein 1980 and added a master’s degree from the Big East school in health and physical education in 1982.
Edsall was honored with the Leadership Award at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday National Liberty Bell Ringing Celebration inHartford,Conn., in January, 2010. He was honored this last fall by the UConn Alumni Association as an honorary alumnus of the school.
Edsall was an active member of the community and has supported a number of charitable events over the years.
He and his wife, Eileen, a former basketball and volleyball letterwinner atSyracuse, have a daughter, Alexi (21), and a son, Corey (18).
The Edsall File
Full Name: Randy Douglas Edsall
Date of Birth: August 27, 1958
Hometown: Glen Rock, Pa.
Alma Mater: Syracuse, ’80
Family: Wife, Eileen; Children, Alexi (21), Corey (18)
Yrs in Coaching (College): 27 (23)
2011-pr.: Head Coach
1999-2010: Head Coach
1998: Assistant Coach – Defensive Coordinator/DBs
Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL)
1994-97: Assistant Coach – Defensive Backs
1991-93: Assistant Coach – Defensive Backs
1989-90: Assistant Coach – Recruiting Coordinator/DBs
1987-88: Assistant Coach – Defensive Backs
1986: Assistant Coach – Running Backs
1985: Assistant Coach – Tight Ends
1983-84: Assistant Coach – Running Backs
1980-82: Graduate Assistant