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Bob Diaco out as UConn head coach on Jan. 2 so Huskies can save $1.6 million

After three years, Diaco is done with the Huskies.

NCAA Football: Tulane at Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

You may have thought that the coaching carousel had ground to a halt. But in what is intriguing timing, UConn has decided to fire head coach Bob Diaco after a 3-9 2016 campaign.

In a statement released by the school Monday, UConn AD David Benedict hit on the timing of the situation.

“I know this may come as a surprise to our fans and supporters given the timing of this decision,” continued Benedict. “However, it became apparent to me that a change in program direction is necessary at this time.”

But what he didn’t say is one of the reasons UConn is waiting to make the move until after the new year. The Huskies aren’t firing Diaco immediately, instead he won’t be officially out the door until Jan. 2, 2017. This is a contractual dealing more than anything else. In May, Diaco signed a two-year extension to remain in Connecticut. According to the Hartford Courant, the buyout language is structured like this:

The contract expires Jan. 14, 2021. Should UConn chose to terminate the agreement for any reason other than "just cause," the university would pay Diaco a buyout — $5 million if that termination took place in 2016, $3.4 million in 2017, $1.7 million in 2018, and $1 million in either 2019 or 2020.

So in order to save some cash, the Huskies are waiting to officially make the move.

Diaco and the Huskies have struggled. After a 2-10 debut season in 2014, they went 6-7 in Diaco’s second season with a postseason loss in the St. Pete Bowl. This year they slid backward, and according to S&P+ rankings adjusted for opponent, UConn ranks 117th.

At least we’ll always have the Civil ConFLiCT as the lasting legacy of the Diaco era.