Paul Pasqualoni became the 28th head football coach at the Univeristy of Connecticut on January 14, 2011. A native of Cheshire, Conn., Pasqualoni has extensive coaching experience on the high school, college and professonal level and has served as a collegiate head coach for 19 seasons.
“We are very proud to welcome Paul Pasqualoni to the UConn family and also bring him back home to his native Connecticut,” said University of Connecticut Director of Athletics Jeffrey Hathaway. “Paul brings an outstanding coaching background to UConn on the collegiate, professional and high school level. He also is a man of strong character and integrity and we look forward to him developing our football student-athletes in the classroom, on the field and as part of the community.”
Before taking the Connecticut position, Pasqualoni had been coaching in the National Football League as he was a member of the Dallas Cowboys staff (2005-07 and 2010) and the Miami Dolphins (2008-09).
Pasqualoni worked with the tight ends (2005) and linebackers (2006-07) in Dallas. The Cowboys won the NFC East in 2007 and were a Wild Card playoff team in 2006. In 2007, the Cowboys’ defense limited opponents to 4.9 yards per play and were third in sacks. He rejoined the Cowboys staff in 2010 and became thedefensive coordinator.
He served as defensive coordinator with the Dolphins and his defense allowed just 19.8 points per game in 2008 as the Dolphins won the AFC East Chhampionship. His 2009 defense led the NFL in sacks per pass attempt.
Pasqualoni served as the head coach of Syracuse from 1991-2004 and led the Orange to nine bowl games and was the head coach at Western Connecticut from 1982-86 and led them to an NCAA Division II postseason appearance.
Pasqualoni concluded his 14-year tenure as Syracuse’s second-winningest coach with 107 victories. He guidedhis teamsto four BIG EAST conference titles, including a share of one in 2004 – his final year at the school — and had a 6-3 postseason record. Among those appearances, he led the Orange to two Fiesta Bowl appearances (1992 season and ’97 season) and a trip to the Orange Bowl (1998 season), in the first year of the Bowl Championship Series. Syracuse also played in the 2004 Champs Sports Bowl, 2001 Insight.com Bowl, 1999 Music City Bowl, the 1996 Liberty Bowl, the 1996 Gator Bowl (1995 season) and the 1992 Hall of Fame Bowl (1991 season) during Pasqualoni’s tenure. His Orange teams won 10 games in three different seasons – 1991, 1992 and 2001.
He joined the Syracuse staff in 1987 and was an assistant coach there for four seasons before being named the head coach prior to the 1991 season, taking over for the legendary Dick MacPherson.
Pasqualoni developed a solid contingent of professional players at Syracuse, including a string of 17 selections in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft as seven were first-round picks. The school produced at least two NFL draft selections in 11 of Pasqualoni’s 14 years as head coach.
During his tenure at Syracuse as an assistant and head coach, the Orange were recognized with the AFCA Academic Achievement Honorable Mention Award for having a graduation rate better than 70 percent a total of 14 times.They honored during 10 of the 14 years Pasqualoni was head coach. In 1999, Syracuse won the American Football Coaches Association Academic Achievement Award for posting a 100 percent graduation rate for the class that enrolled in 1994.
Pasqualoni won the ECAC/Vince Lombardi Foundation Coach of the Year award in 1996 following his second-straight 9-3 season. He was named the 1992 and 1995 ECAC Coach of the Year for Division I-A.
Pasqualoni served in leadership roles with the American Football Coaches Association Board of Trustees. He was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 1998 and served a three-year stint as a member of that group before becoming third-vice president for 2002. He was first vice president in 2004.
The Nassau Coaches Association honored Pasqualoni with the 2003 Ralph Luisi “Don’t Quit” Memorial Award, given to an outstanding educator and coach who loves football and teaching.
After finishing his undergraduate degree at Penn State, he spent four seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Cheshire High School (1972-75).
His first collegiate job was as an assistant at Southern Connecticut in 1976 and was elevated to defensive coordinator in 1980. Pasqualoni had a five year stint from 1982-86 as the head football coach and athletic director at NCAA Division III Western Connecticut State in Danbury, Conn. His teams posted a 28-13 record at Western and he led the school to an NCAA Division II playoff appearance in 1985.
Pasqualoni has experience coaching in a number of variousl all-star games, most recently as an assistant at the NFL’s Pro Bowl in 2010. He served as the defensive coach for the Blue squad at the 2000 Blue-Gray Game. Pasqualoni coached in three East-West Shrine games, serving as an assistant coach for the East squad in 1994 and 1999, and as head coach of the East team in 1996. Pasqualoni was an assistant for the South squad at the 1998 Hula Bowl and served as an assistant coach for the East team in the 1993 Japan Bowl.
A 1972 graduate of Penn State, Pasqualoni joined the football team as a walk-on and later lettered. He lettered in football and basketball at Cheshire High School in Connecticut and also earned a letter in football at Bordentown Military Institute in New Jersey.
Pasqualoni earned a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education at Penn State and a master of science in physical education and human performance at Southern Connecticut State.
Born on August 16, 1949, Pasqualoni and his wife, the former Jill Fleischman, have two sons, Dante Paul and Tito Lucian, and a daughter, Cami Mae.