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Bob Diaco to be named Connecticut head coach

The Notre Dame defensive coordinator takes the reins in Storrs.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco has been named the new head coach at Connecticut, according to Football Scoop:

Diaco's name first began to surface Wednesday night, after Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi turned the Huskies down. He replaces Paul Pasqualoni, who was fired after an 0-4 start to the 2013 season. According to Bruce Feldman, he is getting a long-term deal:

By way of comparison, Pasqualoni was set to earn $1.6 million in his final season with the Huskies.

Diaco has never been a head coach. He bounced around as a positional coach in the Midwest during the early part of his coaching career, coaching running backs, linebackers and special teams at Western Illinois, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan. In 2005, he was the co-defensive coordinator at Central Michigan under Brian Kelly, turning around a defense that was last in the MAC in rushing defense in 2003 into the top run-stopping unit in the conference.

In 2006, Diaco was hired by Virginia, where he served as the linebackers coach and special teams coordinator for two years. Kelly hired him again in 2009 as Cincinnati's defensive coordinator, and the Bearcats ranked third in the nation in tackles for a loss and tenth in the nation in sacks that year.

Diaco moved with Kelly, becoming Notre Dame's defensive coordinator in 2010. The Irish defense saw immediate statistical improvement in nearly every category, allowing nearly six points and over 40 yards per game fewer than the previous season. Diaco was a semi-finalist for the Broyles Award, annually given to the top assistant coach in college football, in 2011, and won the award in 2012, when the Irish defense ranked second in the nation in scoring defense, surrendering under 13 points per game.

Diaco played linebacker at Iowa during his college days under head coach Hayden Fry, and was a graduate assistant for two years during the latter part of Fry's tenure. He was born in Cedar Grove, N.J.

Diaco's departure, coupled with that of former Notre Dame offensive coordinator and new Miami (Ohio) head coach Chuck Martin, means that Kelly will have to replace both of his coordinators this offseason.

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