Hughes named defensive coordinator

John F. Silver

There was no need for Paul Pasqualoni to go outside the staff to find a defensive coordinator.

Hughes

There was already one in Storrs with plenty of experience and success.

In a move that came as little surprise, the school announced that long-time assistant Hank Hughes will serve as defensive coordinator for the Huskies replacing the departed Don Brown, who left for the same job at Boston College.

Hughes will be entering his 13th year at UConn and this will be his second stint as defensive coordinator.

Hughes served from 2002-05 as defensive coordinator under Randy Edsall and then from 2005-2010 as assistant head coach for defense where he and former assistant Todd Orlando shared the management responsibilities.

Hughes was named the 2009 Girdiron Club of Greater Boston Assistant Coach of the Year in 2009. He named the interim head coach when Edsall left to Maryland and prior to Pasqualoni taking the head job.

The Huskies defense had a string of success under Hughes. The unit led the league in total defense in each of its first two seasons in the league in 2004 and 2005. The Huskies finished seventh in the nation in defense in 2006, averaging 297.1 yards per game in total defense while also ranking fourth in passing defense and seventh in passing efficiency defense. The Huskies were also ranked in the top 17 nationally in passing defense, passing efficiency defense and scoring defense in 2007, a 9-4 season that included a co-Big East championship.

Hughes will continue to work with the defensive line, his strength as a coach.

The Huskies also rounded out the staff by officially naming George DeLeone assistant head coach and in charge of the offensive line and Matt Cersosimo to coach corners as a switch from wide receivers.

DeLeone was replaced at offensive coordinator by T.J. Weist, who will also coach wide receivers.

The question with Hughes is how much different will the defense be than what was played under the aggressive Brown? How much scheme change will the Huskies have?

The Huskies are still putting the finishing touches on a recruiting class and have reportedly received a commitment from Virginia offensive lineman Chasz Wright, a 6-foot-7 295-pound tackle according to scout.com.